Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Recovering Under Overwhelming Force

Will be doing a workshop in a few days and I want to think out loud here. Nick wants me to do self defense law, and that's easy. One of the standards. He also keyed on an article I wrote for YMAA and wants a class on recovering from overwhelming force.

It's one of those things that is so inherent in my assumptions that I hadn't thought about breaking it out. I mean, physical self-defense is what happens when you are losing. Deadly force is justified because you are about to die-- so having a solid base or good structure or room to move or time to think or space and time for feints or a single opponent in your weight class are all really, really unlikely.

So, brainstorming, this is how I plan to structure it:
  • Super brief Logic of Violence intro: Self-defense predicates on a threat doing something bad. The threat will be doing whatever he does for a specific goal and with definite parameters (don't get caught, don't get hurt and two more). His choice of time, place victim and specific situation derive from the goals and parameters. His choice of time, place, victim and situation also completely drives who the victim will be and what the victim must defend against.
  • Quick talk that most crimes involve psychological dominance rather than injury for very logical reasons, at least in this country. Signs of psych dominance, signs it might go bad, decision points and the one thing you absolutely don't want to do.
Then the actual elements of physical dominance (speed to freeze your brain, power, compromised structure, constant movement... that kind of stuff) and what to do:
  • Beating the OODA loop-induced freeze.
  • Fighting emptiness: Not the direct skill needed under an assault, but a habit and way of thinking that helps with other direct skills. It sounds esoteric, but fighting emptiness is just ignoring our primate instinct with other humans to try to match force with force and instead use our force on the undefended place, or get to the flank or squeeze out of a lock or wall pin through the gap... it's a pretty universal principle.
  • Which leads to exploitation of the threat's momentum.
  • Pocket structure: Finding and training places where you can create structure to hit hard with only some bones in alignment.
  • Trying to come up with a name for this one. "Gift-blasting?" Often, the thing the bad guy does to compromise your structure, (like whipping your jacket over your head and forcing your head down) gives you something cool, like a powerful falling shoulder slam directly into his knees if you can see it. It plays a little off the fighting emptiness concept because most people instinctively try to rise directly against the force and fail to see the gift.
If there's time we might go into the fighting the mind stuff, but it already looks fairly ambitious for the time slot.

Does that look like a good intro?

Anyway, if you're going to be in the Boston area Friday:
And, for that matter, Saturday in Rhode Island:


Maija said...

Unfreezing, emptiness, working with movement and space, gifts, and potentially mind work?
Sounds like an awesome combination ... All the stuff I'm super interested in :-)

Jake said...

Looks interesting. It covers a lot of the ground that we address with the SPEAR system (weathering the ambush, getting back in the fight), but I'd be interested to see your take on it.

Hollis Easter said...

Rory, I love reading your blog, but I won't be able to attend your workshop this weekend. For those of us stuck out in the wilds, would you be willing to elaborate on the "one thing [we] absolutely don't want to do"?


Rory said...

Sure, Hollis. Don't make it personal. Asocial is usually also impersonal. I want your wallet. I show you the gun to make you give me your wallet. You say something like, "You don't have the guts to pull the trigger" and you create a different situation.

Hollis Easter said...

A really good point--and quite similar to things we talk about in my field. I do a lot of work with suicide intervention, and you'd be amazed how many people try to "help" by saying things like "we both know you aren't really going to kill yourself" or "what happens when you get it wrong and just injure yourself?". In both cases, we've taken a person who's in an unstable situation with him/herself and added a new aspect of instability: personal confrontation with us, because we've challenged the capability and agency of a person who's already feeling threatened. Bad things happen.

Your point makes a lot of sense--if I don't want him to use the knife on me, don't dare him to use it.

Valeer Damen said...

This sounds like a really wonderful seminar that I would love to attend. I'm stuck on the other side of the pond, unfortunately. Do you ever happen to come across to Europe, by any chance? Thanks for all your sharing and wisdom. There's so few places to find this depth of thinking.

Rory said...

If plans come together I'll be in the UK in late spring and then either Sweden or the Netherlands for a follow-up. Any of those close enough to you?

Anonymous said...

Were in Sweden?

Rory said...

Not sure. The group I'm in contact with has hosted seminars in Stockholm and Gothenbourg. If and when things get confirmed, I'll definitely put the information here and on the website, chirontraining.com.

Valeer Damen said...

Wow, UK and perhaps the Netherlands! That would be wonderful. I live in the Netherlands. Sweden I've never been to before. I'll keep an eye on your schedule then!