Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

Please take a look at my bibliography if you do not see a proper reference to a post.

Please take a look at my Notable Quotes

Hey, Attention on Deck!

Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:

I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me

I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me

I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull

I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death

I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed

I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes

I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados

I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers

The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn

Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung


The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.

Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.

“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated. - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)

“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames (note: you are on your own, make sure you get expert hands-on guidance in all things martial and self-defense)

“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne

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Verbal Self-Defense

Lets be frank, SD is complicated and for the majority keeping it away from the physical is the best strategy. A good tactic if avoidance was not possible is to resort to VSD or Verbal Self Defense. I have spoken of it, it is covered in many sources, and it can be very, very effective with one small caveat. It is not for the novice or beginner. If you misjudge many things in attempting to use VSD it can trigger reactions you were not wanting or want to avoid.

So, the question comes up of "How do you practice the art of VSD?" Much like fighting there are limitations that may or may not result in good training and practice. It is also to be noted that even with those who advocate VSD as a part of your SD tool box they don't actually provide you with any types of training or practice. I would venture to guess that this is because of its difficulty. No one situation will be repeated in another - each is so unique it makes it very difficult to train and practice.

Look at those who perform hostage negotiations, a type of verbal self defense or better verbal protection of others as well as the actual threat. You have persons who are trained in many different disciplines that take on this job. A general police person does not do this unless no other choice is available, it is too dangerous to all concerned.

If you have no choice then you have to do something other than allow it to become physical. Remember that sometimes violence is of the type where your in it deep before you even know it so VSD may not be available but lets hope you never, ever, have to deal with that.

So, back again, how do you train and practice. My only suggestion is to acquire as much knowledge as possible on the subject. I can recommend highly the book by Suzette Elgin, "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense." I am not an expert yet I have found that this starter is great if it does nothing else but make you aware of certain things regarding verbalization of thoughts and idea's.

I discourage drills or what you might perceive as reality training in VSD. It is too easy to get caught up in those pre-planned drills because awareness of the training and practice much like research tends to change the environment and intent. It is and can be too controlled and you don't want folks to think that what is practiced in that light is all that you need, etc. Remember, hostage negotiators and those who talk down the person on a high ledge are not relying on drills or practice in controlled environments. They tend to do a great deal of associative training, i.e. working with experienced persons for long training periods before ever venturing into lone encounters of hostage/suicide type situations.

Remember, I am only posting to get you thinking and I am not even beginning to cover all its complexities. I am personally training and practicing in my life because I have discovered that I am one who has used aggressive verbalization and am not proud of it so find that I am more aware of what I say and what others say to me.

It becomes important to me to use this awareness in my personal relationship so it remains a loving and personal relationship yet I am also using it in an environment that most never consciously consider as a war zone, work. This can be practiced at work with other staff and especially those in management positions. You will be surprised when you read this book, and others, when you are aware and thus recognize the bait/triggers when you or others have conversations. I even discovered through my efforts where my Verbalizations originate and they were necessary then yet not now yet I was still using them unconsciously.

Anyway, if you can apply the knowledge in life then hopefully you will be able to apply it in a high tension, with possible physical intent, situations to your benefit. If nothing else your VSD may provide you an opening to take the very best SD move, RUN for SAFETY!

I just wanted to post on this thought, "how to train, practice and learn VSD." Start with the book by Ms. Elgin. I want to say last that the reason I went for this book is because Mr. Rory Miller provided a full paragraph in his bibliography at the end of "Facing Violence" which meant to me, if he is that serious about the book then I had better read it myself - glad I did, a good beginning on VSD.

Note: The last the last chapter in the gentle art of verbal self-defense, i.e. "Conclusion: Emergency Techniques," and the very last technique, "Verbal Self-Defense against Physical Violence." She has some excellent recommendations that can be coupled with what Rory Miller provides in Facing Violence.


JoRoman said...

May I suggest the book The Gift of Fear, by Gavin D Becker. It is required reading for Secret Service trainees as well as many government law enforcement college level programs. It is a great read which helps determine how fear affects us during violence, ways predators use our own fears by verbal and physical acts, and how to use verbal and physical techniques to use our fear effectively for self protection. Great article and very important topic!

Charles James said...

Hi, JoRoman: Got it, read it, loved it, thanks :-)