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Old April 11, 2012, 09:12 AM   #26
Glenn E. Meyer
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Swearing and talking aggressively is not a good idea. Witnesses will think you are a bad person.

Also, if you think you are intimidating criminals by using bad words - they live a life of swearing.

Perhaps one can refer to the literature of victim selection as compared to one's posturing and speculating about being mean tough guy.
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Old April 11, 2012, 01:41 PM   #27
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I prefer to maintain a bland nonspecific sort of pleasant expression in public, with the emphasis on bland. Encouraging approach from strangers is not what I'm interested in doing, but neither do I want to frighten passing children and little old ladies with some sort of ogre-like demeanor. Communication among humans is after all mostly non-verbal.

Think about who you are communicating with and what you are saying. For instance, take a look at http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...3_StudyDay.htm . "Normal" people are not likely to be a problem, but predators are a different kettle of fish.

'Social violence' must be considered also as it's likely to be more commonly encountered in ordinary life than predatory violence. I'd suggest getting a copy of Rory Miller's book Meditations on Violence for a discussion of lots of relevant material - see http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594391181?...t1_markup.html
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Old April 11, 2012, 04:55 PM   #28
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Let me clarify myself. I do not support anyone being anti-social to another person. Of course, you should smile, say hi, please, thank you, etc. in your daily interactions.

However, in a tactical situation you should not be smiling, saying please or thank you. You should use a firm command voice, you should look somewhat serious and sometimes swearing may not be out of the question. Of course, this wont look good for the youtube video and wont make you look good in court. The point of a self defense situation is to stay alive first and then worry about the defense later. Of course, whoever picks the situation apart is going to find mistakes and may not like what they see on a cellphone video. You can always explain later that you used a tone and voice which you thought would keep you safe. I would rather have a video of myself using a command voice and swearing presented to a jury then to have my remains presented to my wife.

In the law enforcement world, they call these "verbal tactics". The first thing you use is "verbal tactics". I have never seen an officer say something like "Can you do me a favor please and drop that weapon?" The verbal tactics used are always a little bit more coarse and may not be fitting for children. The facial expressions also are never a warm smile either. This is all in the name of controlling the situation.

Here is a good Youtube video of exactly what I mean. The officer in each interaction isnt sounding nice or politically correct. There is no smiling, but its all in the name of controlling the situation through "verbal tactics".

http://youtu.be/YpUkIUIRZ5g?t=25s
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Old April 11, 2012, 08:43 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
...However, in a tactical situation you should not be smiling, saying please or thank you. You should use a firm command voice, you should look somewhat serious and sometimes swearing may not be out of the question...
But one must still decide when things become a "tactical situation." That decision will require some good judgment. Putting on your "war face" too soon will not be helpful.
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Old April 11, 2012, 09:05 PM   #30
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this sounds like business or office etiquette not SD. There is alot to be said about projecting seriousness or strength in the face of potential danger.
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Old April 11, 2012, 09:11 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireForged
this sounds like business or office etiquette not SD. There is alot to be said about projecting seriousness or strength in the face of danger.
How do you know when it's "in the face of danger"?
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Old April 11, 2012, 09:16 PM   #32
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the whole premise of this thread is defusing the potential of conflict from a passing stranger. That anyone could be the badguy. I mearly spoke under that same assumption. Face of danger is rather pointed... I will change it to in the face of potential danger.
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Old April 11, 2012, 09:35 PM   #33
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Well one could aways be a Zatoichi.

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Old April 12, 2012, 09:51 AM   #34
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Swearing is never a good idea. Period. Learn to use the language.
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Old April 13, 2012, 11:39 AM   #35
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Fireforged is correct about the premise of this thread.

Based on the number of replies decrying pleasantries in 'tactical situations', it seems as though there are title-replies, and skim-replies landing here.

Once a clear threat is identified, you transition away from that first resort. I am actually dumbfounded that a few people seem to think that I suggested smiling AFTER a situation has escalated. This thread is about proactive behaviors, not reactive.
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Old April 13, 2012, 04:43 PM   #36
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A smile and a firm handshake will get you places. Well used to be that way. I try to smile at everyone I encounter.
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Old April 13, 2012, 10:02 PM   #37
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Be polite....be kind....and have a plan to "stop" everyone you meet....
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Old April 14, 2012, 01:08 AM   #38
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Quote:
But one must still decide when things become a "tactical situation." That decision will require some good judgment. Putting on your "war face" too soon will not be helpful.
A professional will treat each encounter as a tactical situation in the interests of safety. Although this may seem silly treating each and every encounter as a tactical situation, it is sage advice. If someone is doing something they are not supposed to do, then you have to let them know in uncertain terms with a firm and serious tone. No asking nicely or smiling. Asking nicely and smiling implies that what you are saying is a suggestion, but talking in a firm and serious tone implies that what you are saying is a command.

For example, on a routine traffic stop the man gets out of his car and walks back to you while you are still in the car. This is a time for a firm and serious voice commanding that man to stay where he is. Even though the man may have the best of intentions trying to come to the officer, he could easily have a weapon on his person and many officers have been killed in this manner. Telling the man nicely to stay where he is and smiling would seem like a suggestion the man might ignore or not understand. He may decide to come to you anyway. However, talking in a firm and serious tone will not be misunderstood.

Swearing is a psychological tool for the professional user which is used in certain situations with certain individuals to bring the situation under control quickly. This tool is used on a case by case basis with discretion. Experienced professionals will know when such situations dictate the so-called potty mouth.

For a non-professional, I do not believe smiling will be effective in a self-defense encounter for obvious reasons. There will be times the non-professional will have to issue commands in a serious and firm tone of voice just like the professional user. Lets say, for example, you are outside on your lawn and there is an angry person just off of your property who is coming quickly to talk to you. It would probably be a good thing if the homeowner retreated to their home, but lets say there is not enough time. Then the homeowner will have to give a command "Do not come on my property!" No pleases, smiles or thank yous.

So a situation to use the command voice is one where an individual is performing an action which will jeopardize your safety.
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Old April 14, 2012, 01:18 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
...If someone is doing something they are not supposed to do, then you have to let them know in uncertain terms with a firm and serious tone....
What if someone is not doing something he's not supposed to do -- that way most interaction in everyday life is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
...For example, on a routine traffic stop...
This isn't necessarily about LEOs. Private citizens don't do traffic stops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
...For a non-professional, I do not believe smiling will be effective in a self-defense encounter for obvious reasons....
We're not talking about self defense encounters. Take another look at the OP, and see post 35:
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBid
...Based on the number of replies decrying pleasantries in 'tactical situations', it seems as though there are title-replies, and skim-replies landing here.

Once a clear threat is identified, you transition away from that first resort. I am actually dumbfounded that a few people seem to think that I suggested smiling AFTER a situation has escalated. This thread is about proactive behaviors, not reactive.
Let's stay on topic.
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Old April 14, 2012, 02:55 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deaf Smith
Well one could aways be a Zatoichi.

Deaf
Oh that made me laugh... But acting blind and foolish only gets you underestimated, not out of the situation.

Physical appearance is never a guarantee of safety, that's just life. A smile, a smirk, an indifferent look, it's all a challenge to someone. Coming from Southern California, the punks in Oregon who think they rule the small town here just amused me, but smiling was never an option against multiple people. A kind gesture can be a sign of submissive action to those who THINK they are dominant. I'm not fond of that. I nod to those who give me a stare, and those who seem less threatening get a smile. It's the way I learned to handle things, your mileage may vary....
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Old April 14, 2012, 03:44 AM   #41
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I think the premise of this thread is not so much the smile as much as it is about your general character and vibe. Put yourself in a possible attackers shoes. If you saw two guys walking downt the street, one really social saying hello and being polite to everyone he sees and the other with his head down, hands in his pocket, avoiding everyone, and quiet, which would be more of a prospective target? Someone with the character of the latter two may be afraid of contact and people in general, therefore making him the "better" of the targets.

I work as a bouncer on the weekends at a local bar. I kid you not, a simple smile and some not so harsh words go much farther than 1) not doing anything and 2) trying to be overtly aggresive. I see people who get scared when someone trys to be a big tough guy and it makes it worse. I see others who try to get big and tough when someone trys to start trouble with them, and it only gets worse. The situations which are the most easily diffused, are the ones where one of the parties involved just kind of nods it off. They dont show weakness, but they dont make themselves an aggressor. I'm not a psychiatrist, but I think its general knowledge that people desire kindness, and this *may* prevent you from becoming a target. While this may not work with the sociopaths etc., it is another very strong tool for the toolbox. When you do this, it makes you hard to read and judge. People do not like others who are unpredictable. It goes along the lines of "be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
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Old April 14, 2012, 09:16 AM   #42
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If we are talking about behavior and mannerisms before and leading up to a self defense encounter, we must first understand the most common types of violence.

#1 Domestic- 80% of all violent crime is domestic violence
#2 Substance and alcohol induced
#3 Gang violence
#4 Targeted violence (strong-arm robberies)

There are also other types of violence which occur such as "road rage", but I find those instances to be rare so I dont include them in this post. Common sense can help avoid the other types of violence which infrequently occur. The top 3 forms of violence are more complex and go beyond a simple smile. That leaves us with #4 which is targeted violence. Here is a video which demonstrates targeted violence.

http://youtu.be/OlP9-8f5YpE

In the above video, the man was followed into a local McDonalds and then knocked out during a strong-arm robbery. This is actually a fairly common attack around here where one or more persons will overwhelm a soft target with brute force, quickly snatch whatever they have and then run into the night. The robber does not use a weapon because armed robbery carries more time in prison and such.

My advice to avoid violence is to stay away from alcohol/other drugs, stay away from areas which are known gang hangouts, and just try to get along with your wife the best you can. Be aware of your surroundings and keep people you do not know at a distance when possible. If you believe someone is following you and cant seem to get away then I wouldnt smile or try to be friendly. Obviously, someone who is following you does not have the best of intentions and are probably going to rob you at some point. Therefore, you have to make it appear that you will not be as soft of a target as they believe. Smiling and being friendly will reinforce in their mind that you are a soft target. You want to get away from someone who is following you and put distance in between them and you. However, sometimes you cant get away from them and so you have to engage them with words and gestures as a first resort. Sometimes a beggar will follow you for money and get up close for example. This is not a time to be friendly because being friendly will only encourage them to follow you more. You put up your hand as if to indicate "stop" and say in no uncertain terms in a serious loud voice "Do not follow me." or "I do not want to be bothered."

Finally, its noteworthy to say that anti-social behavior is never an acceptable reason to resort to violence against another individual. So just because someone is not smiling or acting in a manner which you approve does not mean you can engage in violence. Words and gestures is never a justification to hit someone.

Last edited by CaptainObvious; April 14, 2012 at 09:25 AM.
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Old April 14, 2012, 10:54 AM   #43
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Cpt obvious has a good point. Each situation is different and needs to be addressed based on the tactical situation and the hairs on the back of your neck.

My rules are to be invisible and not attract attention. If the situation seems dangerous I appear to be a hard target. If they have the drop on me I appear to be nonthreatening. This allows me to pick my time to respond as they are not focused on me but others who they view as a greater threat.

It helps that I require two canes to walk.

Flexible is the watch word in any situation.
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Old April 14, 2012, 11:03 AM   #44
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Swearing is a psychological tool for the professional user which is used in certain situations with certain individuals to bring the situation under control quickly. This tool is used on a case by case basis with discretion. Experienced professionals will know when such situations dictate the so-called potty mouth
No offense my friend, but do you really believe this? This is the biggest fallacy in this thread. Nowhere will swearing give you an advantage. Swearing is a sign of a weak mind and an inadequate vocabulary. Show us a single certain situation that swearing at them would give advantage in any way.

I do not go around smiling like an idiot all the time. A half smile with nod is widely used. This is all simple body language mechanics and should be studied by all.

Learning to read the tells of people will let you know what is really going on and what emotional state the person is in. Most people are an open book, some have learned to lie with their body mechanics. But there's always a tell. You just have to pay close attention to see it.
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Old April 14, 2012, 11:40 AM   #45
Glenn E. Meyer
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Quote:
Swearing is a psychological tool
Having taken a great deal of civilian oriented SD courses, I have never heard one of those trainers recommend swearing.

Captain O - give us a link or reference to a significant number of trainers who recommend such.

Given the number of recording devices in the world, I would suggest you would look very bad if recorded in an ambiguous shoot.

Nor do I recall such in police texts on use of force. In fact, in classes run by LEOs, they didn't recommend such.

So cite some for us.

And to the contrary:

http://www.usacarry.com/pistol-cours...nity-firearms/
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Old April 14, 2012, 02:15 PM   #46
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Swearing?

Perhaps instead of taking a stand off stance with such language, it may be better to use verbal judo to encourage the person its not worth it. Dont think of a defensive situation as static, look at it as a fluid event which can flow this, or that way, and watch for changes, as well as try to direct a change for a peaceful outcome when possible.
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Old April 15, 2012, 03:39 PM   #47
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Well, it is taught in a lot of places and sometimes called Verbal Judo, Verbal Karate or Tactical Communications. I dont believe anyone teaches you exactly what to say word for word during those types of training courses. They give you a list of general ideals, but they dont tell you to swear or exactly what is to be said during encounters.

The reason why they dont tell you exactly what to say is because some people are more effective at saying certain words then others. Remember Back to the Future where George McFly goes "Take your damned hands off her?". Obviously, George wasnt too effective with those words whereas Biff might have been a lot more effective in his tactical communications with the same words. Another good example is the drill instructor at boot camp. He comes in looking mean, swearing and somehow he gets everyone to jump. Obviously, the instructors communications are effective.

I would say what you say depends upon who you are addressing, who you are in general and what you are trying to accomplish. Ever notice how "Gang Unit" officers always seem like these imposing types wearing paramilitary gear and their tactical communications is never all that nice? They seem to wear these permanent scowls and when they address their intended audience its never a friendly instructive speech. Same thing with correction officers. However, a court bailiff will have a much different tact being in a polished uniform and helping people around the court room smiling to everyone.

I would not say cursing and swearing is for every situation or for everyone in general. However, I would not rule it out entirely. Just like in George McFly's case, it will be very obvious when its effective and when its not. I do know there are some departments out there that have a specific rule to never swear. I do think there are situations where it can be used effectively whereas there are situations where it will not be effective and may even get you into trouble.

I dont want to post up any links to books because Im not here to advertise for anyone, but I think you can just type in Verbal Judo on Amazon and find a few good books.
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Old April 15, 2012, 04:01 PM   #48
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My signature line has been the same for a number of years.

"A" smile is a range of expressions. Smiles can range from intimidating to inviting. My mainstay is a sort of serene look combined with calm reactions that, if successful, communicates that I am comfortable whether they are belligerent or friendly but prefer neutrality. Some street rats seem as challenged by friendliness as by aggressiveness. Just my .02. Maybe I’m wrong and have just been lucky.
Not as big a smile as the Mona Lisa … preferably with a .44 spl. under my arm … and not usually in drag.
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Old April 15, 2012, 08:24 PM   #49
Glenn E. Meyer
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George McFly is certainly a convincing argument as compared to all the other courses, I've taken or the books I've read.

Thank you for giving me the clear example of a trainer recommending civilians curse.

Glenn
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Old April 15, 2012, 08:34 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn E. Meyer
George McFly is certainly a convincing argument as compared to all the other courses, I've taken or the books I've read...
Yup, it's tough to go wrong taking you cues from a fictional character who drives a tricked out DeLorean that can travel through time.
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