Monday, November 12, 2007

"It's what's inside that matters most"

Perhaps far more important than the confidence in one's ability to defend oneself is the confidence in that one is living a life that's purpose is worth defending.

Indeed, while self defense training may make you an audacious foe, woe be it to any man who attacks another who's life is not just deeply rooted in purpose, but a purpose much larger than himself. For such a man, winning is no longer a matter of skill, it is a moral imperative. If this purpose is buttressed with the knowledge of how to defend it, a more dangerous man than this, you will not find.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Video Clips

We put together these video clips so you could see us demonstrate for a class. We hope you enjoy them. Instructional videos are not far behind, so if you have a specific subject you would like to see a video on, please let us know.

Click on the following links to visit the videos:
  • Empty hand defense
  • Basic knife defense
  • Verbal Judo Briefing

    From "Maintaining the 'Semantic Edge' Verbal Judo tactics & techniques with Dr. George.

    Thompson In Tactical Communication/Verbal Judo we make a major distinction between natural language and tactical language, the former being dangerous and unpredictable, the latter, safer and more professional.

    Natural Language or "Verbal Karate," as I like to call it, is language used to hurt, to attack, or to express personal feelings where not appropriate.

    "Verbal Judo" is tactical and re-directive language used to achieve a professional purpose.

    In our on-going efforts to train officers to speak more professionally, we ourselves need to use language correctly. Too often police trainers use language loosely which misleads officers. Ideally we should all use similar words when describing the "job." For example, in academies we often stress that officers must be "aggressive". I heard this for months in my academy and then when I hit the streets and got a complaint, I was told I had been "too aggressive!" What does that mean? No one was ever able to explain that to me. I should have been told to be assertive, not aggressive. "Assertive" means to have a positive influence upon, while "aggressive" means to attack, to push ones personality upon another. Should an officer enter my home aggressively, he would meet righteous resistance. Don't, for example, tell me rudely, "Sit down!" I won't do that for anyone in my own home, and I suspect most people feel the same way. By contrast, an "assertive" officer would have said, "Sir, I know it's your home, but for your safety and mine could I ask you to have a seat so we can chat about the issue here?" The "could I ask you" phrase makes all the difference and I would sit. The officer would have had an "influence, a positive impact" upon me created by his respectful tone and request.

    Connected to this semantic problem is the police truism I often hear officers relating: "Never Back Up" for it will be read as weakness by the wolves on the street." If one is not going forward, one is retreating backward. This "straight line" thinking is disastrous for two reasons:

    • One, it leaves us but one option: go forward, even if we have blundered in our initial approach. I liken talking to the martial arts for several reasons, one of which is the flexibility suggested by the circular nature of the arts. Should we come on too strong in our approach with someone, for example, we don't back up, we simply change angle. We change the way we approach the subject, we master by adapting and improvising.

    • Two, such advice does not allow us to tactically disengage should we not be capable of handling the situation in front us. Once we believe "Never Back Up," we are trapped, and our ego will get us hurt or killed.

    Another critical semantic distinction is this one:. The "aggressive" officer RE-acts to events. The "assertive" officer RE-sponds. The prefix RE means to come back to, to return, so when we React, the act controls us. Reactive officers make mistakes because they are controlled by the action itself. Should an officer lose his temper and snap at someone, he is reacting to their attitude and behavior, letting them shape and control his behavior. The assertive officer, by contrast, REsponds, he re-answers rather than reacts, suggesting greater control. The root word of respond is the Latin 'respondere,' a verb meaning to answer. Communities want responsive officers--not reactive ones--working their streets.

    Another confused set of words is sympathy & empathy, a confusion that in police work can be dangerous. The word sympathy means to share feelings with, to be in accord with, whereas empathy (EM from the Latin 'to see through,' and 'pathy' from the Greek meaning 'eye of other) means to understand as if you stood in the others shoes only momentarily.
    In police work, we rarely sympathize with anyone, unless it be for a victim, but to maintain the tactical edge we always need to think like those we are dealing with if we are to anticipate their actions. Tactical Empathy is an officer's greatest skill!

    And finally, consider the distinction between "anticipate" and "expect." To anticipate means to "see before hand and move to prevent." It would, for example, be good to anticipate a punch and move your head before such landed! The word expect means to "wait for," suggesting greater rigidity of response. Expect a left to the face, for example, and you will get hit with a right or kneed in the groin! Indeed, if you want to test the rigidity of "expect," try this: Approach three people on the corner and expect the one on the right to give you the most trouble. Within two minutes, the one on the right is in fact the most troublesome! We know from acting research that audiences reflect back to you what you put out three times in intensity! When you expect trouble, you generate it! In short, the trained officer is assertive, not aggressive, he responds but never reacts, and because he employs tactical empathy rather than sympathy, he is able to anticipate trouble and move to prevent it, rather than expecting it and causing it! A mouthful, I know, but words do make a difference, and I urge us all to use the same words the same way when we train officers.

    Such clarity cuts down on confusion and gives officers a clear idea of how they should perform in the field.

    Dr. George J. Thompson is the President and Founder of the Verbal Judo Institute, a tactical training and management firm based in Auburn, NY. He has trained more than 175,000 police officers and his Verbal Judo course is required in numerous states.

    Doc has created the only "Tactical Communication" course in the world and he has written four books on Verbal Judo, each analyzing ways to defuse conflict and redirect behavior into more positive channels. The Verbal Judo Institute, offers Basic & Advanced courses in the Tactics of Verbal Judo. Doc received his B.A. from Colgate University (1963), his Masters and Doctorate in English from the University of Connecticut (1972), and he completed post-doctoral work at Princeton University in Rhetoric & Persuasion (1979). Widely published in magazines and periodicals, his training has been highlighted in such national media outlets as NBC, ABC, & CBS News, CNN, 48 Hours, Inside Edition, LETN, In the Line of Duty, and Fox news, as well as in the LA Times, NY Post, Sacramento Bee, and other publications.

    On a personal note, Doc and Pam are the proud parents of three-year old, Tommy Rhyno Thompson, and Doc, a survivor of throat cancer, has returned to active teaching. He currently offers VJ training on the internet, and has two more books forthcoming, Verbal Judo Leadership: The Hard Right (with Gregory Walker), and Hammett's Moral Vision. You can contact Doc at VJI, Inc., 2009 W. Genesee St. Rd., Auburn, NY 13021, 315-253-0007.

    « Last Edit: May 31, 2006, 21:25:30 by Hock

    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Principles or Techniques

    4 Principles:

    1 - If the way is free, go forword.
    2 - If you run into an object, stick to it.
    3 - If the force is greater, give way.
    4 - If the object gives way, follow it.

    What is more important Principles or Techniques?

    Techniques - the number of things you are able to do in a fight.

    Principles - How & why something works.

    One of my old instructors use to say "Understand the principles behind the techniques & you can create all the techniques you want, but know just a technique and all you have is that one."

    What is your guys reasoning on this? And what do you think of the principles above?


    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    HANDS…are you watching them.

    I was at work 2 nights ago when I went on a call for a stabbing victim; this call reminded me of some things that I had learned from some of my old instructors.

    Where are his hands & how close is he?

    We could critique this call for all the things this guy did wrong to get in this situation, but that would make this essay even longer, so we are going to focus on one point today and deal with the other components at a later date.

    This call was an assault on a homeless man who was with his wife in the park at night. As the victim states he was walking through the park when the attacker approached him and seemed to be arguing with the victim. While they were arguing the attacker became physically aggressive, at this time the victim noticed his left side on his back was wet and that is when he realized he had been stabbed.

    The victim had a 1’’ – 1 ½ ‘’ laceration on the left side of his back around the posterior auxiliary area and he had a baseball size hematoma right under the injury. The victim had no idea what he had been stabbed with or that he had been stabbed until seeing or feeling the blood. He did complain of pain on breathing, but on feeling around the injury sight I did not elicit any pain from him. He was breathing shallow & said it was more painful to take deep breaths. The victim stated that he had no idea if he had been stabbed or slashed and the hematoma kept growing if pressure was not kept on the injury. This victim was considered acute even though his blood pressure and heart rate were normal; because I had no idea how long the knife was or if he was stabbed or slashed, which would let you know how life threatening the injury was, so we just treat the injury for the worse it could be.

    What I learned here was you needed to keep an eye on your attackers hands, because that is where most of the damage to you will come from. If someone came up to you with his fists closed and up in front of him you would immediately know that this is a possible threat to you. But if his hands where in his front pockets as he approached you may not think anything about it until it is to late. How about if all you can see is his elbows at his side? Like when you would have your hands in your back pockets. Does any of this raise your alert level? Are his hands open at his side or closed? If closed do you see his fingers or the back of his hands? What does he have in his hands? For most people out there the hands are going to be the main threat.

    You need to keep in mind another thing. How close is the possible attacker? You should not let anyone that is being hostile towards you within 5 feet of you. This keeps his hands out of range and possibly his feet. You want your attacker to have to take a big step towards you if he wants to hurt you. That way you have some time to get yourself ready for action. You should already have your hands up in the window of combat (imaginary rectangle bordered from eyes to groin and as wide as your shoulders), so that the attacker has some sort of obstruction in his way if he tries to get to you.

    You don’t have to have fists just your open palms almost like you are in a semi-surrender hands-up position. This does a couple of things for you; it gives the outside impression that you are not starting the confrontation/fight so that if there are an witnesses they can testify that you were on the defensive. It will possibly look better for you in court if it goes that way. Second, it gives the appearance that you are passive and not a threat. In the end, this will set him up if he decides to attack.

    Just My Thoughts. (JMT)

    Who Do we train to Fight?

    "Remember, you train not just to know how to fight, but you train to learn how you will be attacked. Most of the attacking population is untrained. Another portion is poorly trained. The next and smallest segment is properly trained. Make fun of kick boxing or pressure point fighting, or high school wrestling, or joint locks? You should know what they know, to know what to expect.Three classes of fighters...- Untrained and poor fighters- Instinctively good, yet untrained- Properly trained "

    By: Hock