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11/05/2017: "The tale of the flea market"
Apropos of the "It has to be the same" and follow-on "That which cannot be unseen" posts - church.
A dojo member recently had to defuse a situation with an individual at his church's flea market. You would think of all places... But confrontations can happen anywhere, at any time.
The dojo member (hereafter "DM") was directing traffic at his church's flea market. One individual decided to drop off his mother in an area he shouldn't have. DM tried to direct him to where to drop her off, but the driver bulled ahead and pulled in where he wanted to. His mother got out, and several church members began objecting to him parking there.
DM heard the commotion and went to see what was going on. By the time he got to the car, the driver had gotten out and was arguing with the church members. DM is about 6'3", and of average build. He said the driver was a little shorter, but about 100 pounds heavier - and was obviously used to using his size to intimidate people.
DM kept his distance and started taking mental notes. Is the driver left or right handed? His keys are in his right hand, so he's right-handed. I have a clipboard in my hand. If he comes at me, I'll extend it into his line of sight (not throwing it at him) to provoke a flinch reaction, so he can't advance farther. Where are other people standing?
DM had also positioned himself farther away than the usual safe distance (where your body's proximity radar lights off, or, alternatively, two steps of the taller person), and had turned his body sideways, thus protecting his vulnerable areas. Holding the clipboard also allowed him to have his hands in a neutral position - in the center of his body, where he could immediately bring them up or down as needed.
DM didn't react to the driver's bullying manner and language, and talked him down and got him to get back into the car to move it elsewhere.
Unfortunately, one of the other church members was insulted at the language the driver had used, and confronted him after he had gotten back into the car - which resulted in him getting out of the car again to deal with her.
DM talked him back down, and the driver finally moved the car elsewhere. Crisis averted.
Other dojo members who coach their kids' sports teams have had to deal with irate parents at matches - but this incident just goes to show yet again that confrontations can happen anywhere, at any time. All of the dojo members who've come to class with a story have reported that they were able to keep their wits about them, observe what was going on, plan for contingencies, and defuse the situation. Although we don't role-play these sorts of things in class, we do talk about them a lot - and we put our students under various kinds of pressure so that they learn to deal with stressful situations (both the physiological stress they engender and the psychological stress) without freezing or losing it.
We're always happy to hear that what we teach has been useful in a real-life situation, and that incidents ended with no harm done. We wish the incidents hadn't happened in the first place - but are glad to have provided the tools necessary for dealing with them.
Too many people think self defense involves fighting. That's actually the final stage - as these incidents show.