Saturday, June 2, 2012

Violence – it’s a good thing . . . .


Violence: a: intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force b: vehement feeling or expression c: a clashing or jarring quality

I’ve been following AGirl’s journey on her mission to smack the crap out of her martial arts instructor. Of course the fact he’s a Marine and a MMA fighter might be seen as an impediment to his to anyone else but AGirl. To her it seems to be an additional driving force. Anyway, she had some real success the other day despite being a bit bruised up herself – she was pretty darn happy. In the post and in the thread that followed my contribution revolved around the fact – IMNSHO, of course – that violence is a GOOD thing; it’s the focus and management of her violence that made the difference. That has lead to a couple of days of pondering regarding the purpose and act of committing an act of violence and where that fits into your life a as individual who has decided to carry a weapon for personal defense.

With the birth of our “touchy-feely” society in the 70s, we have been continuously flooded with sure knowledge that “violence is bad!!!” Of course, a quick review of the 35 years previous to the 70s certainly could be viewed as a reason for the reluctance to use violence – a generation that was immersed in WWII, Korea and then Vietnam would certainly be looking for a period of peace. Yet it seems to have lead to the wholesale belief that all violence, any violence at all is a bad, bad, bad thing. This has lead us a point in time where we are Creating a Society of Victims – the subject of a January post.

The example I use most to express the changes in the societal norm is the playground, and a guy named Jack. My grade-school days go back to the late 50s. Jack was the stereo-typical bully and I was one of his many victims. Aggression was much more acceptable as a human trait then and Jack was our playground poster boy for aggression. Finally, after multiple years of his attacks on me – and my mom’s patient mantra of “you have to learn how to stand up to bullies Billy” – I finally made my stand. The net result was a bloody nose for me and my removal of the top of his knuckle with my teeth as he punched me in the face. And, a life free of his bullying from that day on. In school, well . . . . I got sent to . . . . the NURSE to stop the bleeding of my nose and Jack got a Band-Aid for his knuckle – and then we both got sent . . . . back to class! Because the administration – and the adults of that era – realized we all needed to learn how society worked in the clenches. Obviously, much has changed today. We would have been suspended – at the very least – because violence is simply unacceptable in today’s world.

There is only one problem with that whole thought – there ARE violent people. And, in the dark of the street at night, in the dark of your home at night, in the Quick-Trip after midnight – when they are intent on doing violence to you, your family or those around you – they are looking for victims. And we are creating them by the millions each and every day. The NRA has even gotten into the act with their “Refuse to be a Victim” courses – just to teach people not to let other folks crap on them. Really?? Is this what it has come to??

So let’s talk about why it’s a good thing for you to be VIOLENT!!

I’m going to chat about what I would call “normal violence” – the violence that a typical individual can be pushed into. I am not discussing the individual that’s a psychopath or sociopath that uses violence as their fuel – we will leave them for another day.

Every one has the ability to become violent – everyone. From the toddler that pitches their plate on to the floor – to the wife who has been beaten for the last time. Within our psyche there is a switch that, when thrown moves us from an individual taking punishment, taking abuse, taking our situation to a person willing to fight, willing to harm, willing to kill. While the wild-eye, full-on violent counter attack, in defense of your person may work as a last ditch effort, it brings with it significant risk because it is without thought, it is simply instinctual. Where the true value of violence comes from is in its focus and management.

Let’s start small and work up. A fist fight. Your “Jack” enters a discussion with you that rapidly gets out of hand. The next thing you know the fists are flying. Your body will naturally respond – your fists come up, fore-arms block, you crouch, widen your stance placing one foot slightly back for stability – all this really without thought. To end this threat you have two choices. First, defend, take the blows and wait for Jack to tire. This is risky, he may be stronger, have more endurance. He may lose all control, employ additional weapons and reach a decision to simply end you – rather than win the fight. If you allow yourself to lose focus, to not pay attention to his physical queues – dilated eyes, facial color, color of his ears, sound of his voice, content of his speech – you may wake up dead and never have seen him move from fighter to killer. Just because you have entered a physical conflict does not grant you the luxury of turning off your brain, turning on your defenses and hoping for the best - at least not if you want to see another sun rise, kiss your spouse or hold your child. A thinking fighter wins.

A more solid response, after acquiring a defensive stance, is to look for weaknesses, patterns, movements that will allow you to either escape – or allow you to put Jack down quickly and hard. Remember, escape guarantees survival – going on the offensive offers the possibility of survival, but it is no guarantee. Full disclosure – I am NOT trained in the martial arts. The ever lovely Mrs. B reminds me that she can “break by femur” with her Brown Belt in Tai-Kwan-Do. I have chosen not to test this statement – I suspect it’s a wise choice! However, in a fist fight I am confident I could get a quick strike to the wind pipe, a solid thumb in the eye, a good elbow to the ribs or a knee to the crotch. Given this particular situation, release your violence – but keep your brain engaged to look for opportunity. Is this easy to do? Nope, we have been so trained in non-violence over the past 40 years; we have multiple generations of sheeple running around all over the country. I am simply saying; don’t allow yourself to be part of this flock. Train, learn, fight your instructor and learn to allow your violence to serve you well.

Next level? Knife fight. Honestly, knives scare the crap out of me – period. They can disconnect tendons, let blood, sever windpipes and pierce vital organs with a simple ease and grace that is terrifying. My advice in this case – find a “force multiplier” quick. Make sure you “bring a gun to a knife fight” – and use it. When the Balloon Goes Up has been posting a number of scenarios lately. His latest involved a couple walking their dogs when they encounter a 3-person threat. One with a knife out, one near by for backup and a third standing off in a doorway. This is where practice, carrying your weapon, the ability to clearly communicate with your spouse can save the day. Three things make this a shoot first environment for me – a threat was issued by the fellow with a knife, a knife is drawn and is part of the threat and there are three of them. My suggestion – pass the dog lead to your spouse, MOVE and DRAW, shoot the threat with the knife until he is on the ground, KEEP MOVING, engage the others as required. While this is going on, the spouse should be dialing 911. Did I say KEEP MOVING towards safety?

I guess the main idea here is – again – be willing to do real violence, keep thinking, and keep moving. There are no guarantees other than the assurance that if you simply stand before a threat with a knife your day will not end well.

Final level – a gun fight. The very first rule of a gun fight – DON’T GET INTO ONE!!! Adopt Cooper’s Color Levels or the NRA’s Levels of Awareness as part of your life style. Scan, assess, and observe constantly, continuously – every day, all day.

Bring your damn gun!!! One-more-time: BRING YOUR DAMN GUN!! Enough said.

Gun fights typically (70%) follow the rule of 3: 3 rounds, 3 seconds, 3 meters. Can you get to your carry weapon and get off the first round in under 3 seconds? Down to 2 seconds?? In over 80% of the cases the shooter who gets the first hit wins. Practice, practice, practice.

Shoot the threat down. Draw your weapon, get the first hit, and the second, and the third, and . . . . . Until your attacker is down and unmoving on the ground – period!

MOVE!!! If you “stand and deliver” like at a typical range, you stand an 85% chance of taking a center mass hit – you are pretending to be a target. If you MOVE, that hit rate drops to 25%. MOVE and shoot, MOVE and reload, MOVE and find cover. MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE . . . . .

You must be mentally, emotionally and physically willing to commit true violence – quickly and brutally. And do it while thinking, evaluating, moving, choosing . . . . .

Remember, in an existential threat environment, where your choice is a box or a sunrise, violence is truly your friend. Learn about it, experience it, embrace it . . . . this friend may someday save your life.


  1. First you are too funny. Second, as always great information. I am so tired from work, but I am going to link this tomorrow.

  2. Excellent post and ALL excellent points! Sadly, today both the bully AND the victim would be expelled from school for who knows how long... I can remember busting a guy's knuckle with my tooth too... LOL What it takes is the WILL to stand up, and I'm not sure how many really have that any more!

  3. AGirl - honestly, you've provided me with a chuckle or two as well. Glad I could return the favor and thanks for the kind words.

    RabidAlien - the thought of doing violence is so foreign to most, it takes some "ponder time". Remember, visualization can be almost as valuable as range / training time. Visualize a situation and you responding agressively and winning. It can break down some walls and make you a more effective warrior.

    NFO - thanks for the kind words as well. Ah, the "will" - well said. I still see Jack's face as he pulled his knuckle from my mouth - too funny looking back over 50 years! I spend lots of time with my kids and grandkids making sure they are made of stronger stuff - I think it's time well spent.

  4. With regards to getting into a knife fight: my sensei is a trained knife fighter (I don't take weapons classes from him though, just Judo). He gave me some advice once. He said that if you ever get into to hand to hand combat with an opponent armed with a knife, you are gonna get cut. You will bleed. Period. The only real question is if you are gonna die.

    1. Yep. And, bottom line that is the only question a person really needs the answer to regardless of the weapon be it knife or golf club .

      Are ya gonna die punk?? Well, are ya?? (ok, don't do Clint very well)

  5. I read somewhere what Andy's sensei said too, and I can only imagine it being exactly like that. Surely he knows for certain! The Steven Segal stuff looks flashy, but in the really real world it isn't going to work so well against someone with a knife. There's a video floating around of a knife wielding guy in South America somewhere who kills and maims about half a dozen armed police officers in about five seconds with a kitchen knife. Stuff happens fast!

    1. I fully agree - life is much messier. And bringing a gun to a knife fight is certainly no guarantee you go home without taking real damage . . . but it helps.