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Old August 14, 2005, 03:12 PM   #1
Soybomb
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Whats the proper thing to do?

I was in downtown St. Louis one afternoon, parked my car, got out, and a man approached me shortly after I fed the parking meter and began to walk away asking for money. I said I just put it all in the meter and he persisted talking relatively incoherently asking if I liked pancakes or something. I started walking away and he kept following me, our paces quickening, even following me across the street. He wasn't within arms reach and was keeping a little distance maybe 10-15 feet but clearly following. A few seconds later a group of people came around the corner and he veered off in a different direction.

I don't know what his intentions were now of course, but it put me on edge since he was clearly following me. How would you deal with this where you get the feeling something's up, but haven't been threatened directly yet?
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Old August 14, 2005, 03:17 PM   #2
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Just exactly like you did, walk away.
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Old August 14, 2005, 03:35 PM   #3
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If the people didn't round the corner and the guy veer off and he starts closing the distance then what?
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Old August 14, 2005, 04:16 PM   #4
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Just keep walking. If he actually made physical contact, you'd be justified to respond in kind, but certainly not a unholstering situation. It's situations such as this where pepper spray may well be an important tool.
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Old August 14, 2005, 04:28 PM   #5
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You don't say where you live. In some states physical contact is not necessary to establish imminent danger.

You did right in walking away, if you were not walking to a secluded spot out of view of the public ,not that the public will always help you.
Never ever let them decide where you will walk and always be aware of what and who is ahead of you.

If he closed the distance or caused you to actually fear immediate attack you may have to take an aggressive defensive posture. Pepper spray would work well in that case, I don't think that there is a brandishing law on that
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Old August 14, 2005, 04:48 PM   #6
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Well the only bad thing about waiting for physical contact would be this was a guy that could have wrung me like a wet towel

This was in missouri a couple years ago before they allowed concealed carry anyway, but its just something I was thinking about now as a what-if.
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Old August 14, 2005, 05:31 PM   #7
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Soybomb, I don't understand your point. Would your preference have been to shoot the guy because you had the feeling something was up? One must learn to accept that it's a big world and everybody in it is not your friend.
My question to you is what would you have done had not the group of people walked around the corner? I'm not flaming you, but you come across as a scared man. Myself, I'm not a particularly large man, but I'd never be wrung like a wet towel. The best advice I can offer you is to keep your world as small as possible.
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Old August 14, 2005, 05:42 PM   #8
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Old August 14, 2005, 06:51 PM   #9
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I don't know; my first thought would have been to use OC spray on him; but, from what you've said, he WAS minding his manners. Because he was careful to act non-threatening I would have, probably, tossed a couple of bucks at him - if for no other reason than I had errands to run and he knew what I was driving!
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Old August 14, 2005, 06:56 PM   #10
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Just what you did. Walk away until you can't walk away any longer. Then turn face them, and get loud. I mean top of your voice, bulhorn screaming loud. "Stop following me, and leave me alone". You want to draw attention of as many people as you can. If this doesn't work, yell FIRE!. If you are 5' 2", and the BG is 6' 4", and 400 lbs, once he closes to within 7 yards things change. Always try to find the peaceful non violent resolution.
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Old August 14, 2005, 06:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Soybomb, I don't understand your point. Would your preference have been to shoot the guy because you had the feeling something was up? One must learn to accept that it's a big world and everybody in it is not your friend. My question to you is what would you have done had not the group of people walked around the corner? I'm not flaming you, but you come across as a scared man. Myself, I'm not a particularly large man, but I'd never be wrung like a wet towel. The best advice I can offer you is to keep your world as small as possible.
No, I don't even carry actually, I'm just new to the site and trying to see how people react with carrying. Call it scared if you like, personally I think its a decent idea to have some idea of what you want to do if a scenario were to repeat itself somewhat differently. I think its also good to know your limits physically, a physical confrontation with him wouldn't have ended well for me, although that sort of thing seems unlikely anyway in this situation.

Had the group not come around I would have continued as I was, increasing speed to keep him from closing the gap. If he produced a gun I would have probably tossed my wallet and took off hoping he'd go for it. He may have just been a random nut case too and thats all there was to it. Its more of a what-if thing.

I was actually more curious how those that do carry would respond to something like this. At what point do you feel threatened enough to get a grip or draw without seeing that the other person is armed? Ever? Wait until they're on top of you? Never unless you see they're armed? Call it the new guy's curiosity to see how others would have responded I guess. Alot of people talk about how fast someone close distance, so how much do you worry about that?

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Old August 14, 2005, 07:34 PM   #12
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It is a gray area, and has been discussed before on other threads.

Let me say a few things on it though - First is that fear is the number one survival trait that has kept the human species from becoming extinct. Fear is not something to be ashamed of, it is something to be alert to - if you feel fear then pay attention because your strongest survival instinct is talking to you.

When to pull a gun on an apparently unarmed person is going to boil down to three things - circumstances, circumstances and circumstances. You can't pin down a scenario that someone else can't pull apart, from the safety of their chairs.

But when you get to a point where you are in a situation that causes you to be in fear of grievous bodily harm and/or for your life, then pull.
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Old August 14, 2005, 07:42 PM   #13
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Seems like sound logic butch. I probably shouldn't have even asked until I'd taken a carry course or two next month, but nothing betterto do on a slow afternoon.
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Old August 14, 2005, 07:43 PM   #14
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Ask away, then when you take the carry course you can ask even better questions, and more of them.
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Old August 14, 2005, 08:10 PM   #15
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He may have been a bum [nonPC for 'homeless'],criminal, on alcohol, drugs or mentally ill. Any of those can be a danger ! Get away from him quickly .Go toward people in a well lit area.Or at least put a car between you and him.
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Old August 14, 2005, 08:35 PM   #16
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I'd like to take the opportunity to suggest martial arts. I haven't spent much time on this forum so I'm not sure what kind of reaction this will get. See, most forums I've been on have a smattering of gun owners. Many of them are great guys and girls, just like anyone else. But occassionally I've come across the gun owners that balk and laugh at any mention of martial arts, using the argument that with their ability to carry firearms it's pointless and useless as a form of self defense.

From what I've seen on this forum, the people here seem to have quite a bit more common sense.

You said the guy could've easily taken you; change that. If you're physically unfit then do something about it and next time you won't be as worried. And unless you've lost the use of three or more limbs, physical disability is rarely an excuse. I've met a 70+ year old great grandmother fully capable of taking down full grown men...my last kung fu sigung was a small man in his late 40s, had suffered two strokes, was bound to a wheelchair the majority of the time, yet still managed to inflict some serious pain on any student of his choosing.

Pepper spray is a great idea and in an absolute worst case scenario you've got your sidearm but that's no reason not to start hitting a gym and getting yourself physically capable of taking down an aggressor. Tack on some useful hand to hand combat training (in other words, avoid pointless money making schemes such as self-teaching videos and books or any type of school teaching so-called "American Karate") and you'll be more confident in situations like these.


The best solution is still, like everyone said, to simply keep walking away. But the confidence you'll get from being in better shape and knowing that you can defend yourself unarmed will keep you calm and allow you to analyze the situation and choose a proper course of action.
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Old August 14, 2005, 08:54 PM   #17
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Meaning no disrespect to redworm and others of the same opinion, but not everyone has the funds, the physical health, the time, and the inclination to involve oneself in martial arts.

I am one of those. I have a bum ticker, a few bad joints, am 60 years old, and have mostly survived this long by the Lord's protection and choosing which fights I would persue, . . . and which ones I would not. I have more than once walked away or run away today, . . . so that I would be here tomorrow.

My usual carry piece is a 1911 that I have never had to pull, and certainly hope that I never will have to. But I absolutely refuse to allow myself to come into close enough proximity to someone 1/2 or 1/3 my age who is hell bent on doing me less than well.

For me, . . . pepper spray is not an option, . . . as well as martial arts. If I can't out hobble the bg, . . . out think him (go into a public building, . . . pull out my cell phone and start dialing 911, . . . get back into my car, . . . etc.) then when he closes the distance that I feel my well being is threatened, . . . he is going to get an up close and personal look at the front end of my 1911 barrel, barrel bushing, front sight, . . . and if his eyesight is good and the light is right, . . . he may even be able to see the 230 grain FMJ sitting in there with his initials on it if he pushes the issue any more.

I have all the intentions of being the most peaceable person on the street, . . . but one of the most important battle rules is if you want to win, . . . you have to get bad enough, quick enough. Bg's win if you don't.

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Old August 14, 2005, 09:10 PM   #18
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I'd keep walking, but alertly and ready to draw.
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Old August 14, 2005, 09:18 PM   #19
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Funds and time are understandable. A less than ideal physical condition is, in my opinion, even more of a reason to consider it. A bad heart, a few bad joints, and six decades won't allow you to take up Wing Tsung or Hung Gar but chen style Taijiquan is not only still an option but specifically suited to those kinds of variables. Many people think of Tai Chi as just wavy movements that people do as low impact excercise but most don't realize that the majority of techniques you learn from it are in fact very useful and very deadly.

The system is partially based on the principle of muscle training. If you learn how to move a certain way very slowly and practice it for years on end, the time can come when that particular motion can move an attackers arm out of the way while at the same time brining the back of your hand into his nose, shattering cartilage and forcing into his sinuses. There are other systems similar (though of course not as popular) that are also specifically tailored for either children, seniors, women, the disabled....hell, there's a system of kung fu, a very effective one by the way, that's designed to give the blind a fighting chance.


Sorry, I'm digressing. My point is that even without the martial arts, if he feels he's physically unable to defend himself then at the very least hitting a local gym or just buying a cheap weight set would do wonders. When you're in shape and know you can at the very least land a hard punch if you need to, it increases confidence which is absolutely essential in the decision making process when in any kind of threatening situation.

But that's just my two cents, I could be wrong.
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Old August 14, 2005, 09:32 PM   #20
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soybomb you might check your PMs. I sent you a little bit more info than I deem wise to put on a public forum. Good luck.
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Old August 15, 2005, 10:00 AM   #21
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Doggone it M&M, send us all a PM then!

Seriously, my first consideration is to not turn my back on someone I am unsure is a threat or not. To walk away, you must turn your back or walk backwards, both bad options.

This is really going to depend on where you are at. If you are outside a restaurant, just go inside and tell the proprietor there is a bum panhandling outside. If you are outside any business, do the same. Let them take care of the bum for us all. Business owners don't like bums outside harrassing potential customers, not even in New Orleans. The bum is counting on us to be in to big a hurry to deal with him effectively. He expects us to buy him off with a dollar or ten. Give him the time he deserves, and help the businesses improve their location.

On a side note, the wife and I went to a restaurant in separate cars. When I pulled in the lot and went to her car, a female crackhead had asked her for money. My wife, sweet and caring woman that she is, turned her back on the crackhead, leaned over into her car with her back to the crackhead and went digging in the console for spare change! Needless to say I was furious. I got between her and the crackhead and told her to back off. She started on her "What's it to you" routine, so I took my bumfuzzled wife by the arm, remotely locked her car doors, and backed inside the restaurant, all the time with my hand on the J frame in my pocket and a crackhead screaming. My mother in law was waiting for us there, and both she and my wife thought I was a little nuts, afterall, it was a good neighborhood right? Wrong. It was a business district. I alerted the maitre 'd of what was occuring in his parking lot. He collected a busboy and went outside to take care of his business. I ate on the house that night.

Another option in your situation is to simply return to your car, get inside, start the engine, turn on the AC, and get out your cell phone. Call the police and have the bum picked up. That may take a little while and be an inconvience though.

The most effective way of dealing with this kind of person is to not attract them. Do not make initial eye contact. Look through them. Look at their hands. Train yourself to look at hands. It will help you avoid an armed attack, but more importantly, it gives bums the distinct impression you are a cop. When you leave your car, do a 360 scan as you get out. It gives the same impression. If the bum bothers you anyway, draw him to the nearest business that cares about what happens outside their doors, and let the man in charge know what is going on outside. Be it a hotel, a restaurant, or an automotive parts house, none of them want bums driving off customers.

Karate? I never want an attorney to be able to ask "Why did you not disable my client's son with your karate skills rather than shooting him until he stopped advancing on you?" If I know no karate, then I am not ever going to be asked that question in front of a jury of Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee fans.
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Old August 15, 2005, 11:32 AM   #22
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LOL, you're as likely to be asked that in court as you are to be asked why you didn't just give him all your money instead of shooting him

It just makes sense to be able to defend yourself without a weapon if you have to. Not all states and cities allow people to carry. :P Funny line, though.
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Old August 15, 2005, 01:58 PM   #23
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I, personally, do not see martial arts as a solution, but in fact a problem, both during the incident, and potentially in the aftermath. Martial arts teach you how to joust with others who will do what you expect. It is great discipline, and a healthy activity. My argument against it is that it indoctrinates you on tournament fighting. I see this as dangerous. Tournaments have rules. Street fights do not. It goes back to the fact that in a crisis you fight the way you train. Do you want to fight with rules against an opponent who follows no rules? Just because you have training in martial arts does not mean you are prepared for a streetfight. Likewise, just because you have been in hundreds of streetfights does not mean you are ready for a martial arts tournament. They look similar, but don't fool yourself. As soon as a competitor picks up a brick and beans his opponent in the head with it in a tournament, he is disqualified. Do that in a streetfight, and you just may emerge the winner. In a tournament if two of your opponent's friends jump on the mat and wrestle you down while your opponent kicks you, you emerge the winner by disqualification. On the street you are lucky if you stay concious and alive, not if it happens, but when. Knowing how to prevent it, or when to cut and run is what will save you. Opponents fight one on one. Criminals travel in packs, and operate together.

Rather than begining an argument I will just post a link to this page about the differences between martial arts and street fighting. Peruse the many links to your heart's content. Enjoy. No Nonsense Self Defense.

Redworm, I respect your dedication to martial arts, but don't let your devotion blind you.
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Old August 15, 2005, 02:49 PM   #24
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"Martial arts teach you how to joust with others who will do what you expect."

And that's where you make your first mistake. You seem to believe that martial arts originated for the purpose of tournaments. Do the Army and Marine Corps teach tournament fighting skills to recruits during basic training? No, CQC training is based directly on a variety of proven martial arts systems. No true form of martial arts will ever, ever teach you to fight with people who will do what you expect. The whole point of it is to prepare you for as many different situations as possible and let you make the decision as to what technique will serve better.

Your reasoning against tournament style martial arts is exactly why I disagree with a variety of other martial artists that argue the applicability of many of the traditional styles. Most of them will claim that those styles which fail in MMA (mixed martial arts) tournaments will thusly fail in real life and they're painfully wrong. Most of the popular systems have been around for centuries and they have been for a reason; styles and techniques that fail do not get passed along to future generations.

As far as that site goes, I've read it before and it still doesn't fly. He makes some good points but most of them are just assumptions.

Quote:
First is I (Marc MacYoung) am not a martial artist.
Right then and there should tell you that you should take it with a grain of salt. It's like a guy who's never shot a gun telling you what kind of bullets are best to use in your particular weapon. I don't care how much research goes into it, without practical experience the argument doesn't hold water.

Your mistake is in believing that "martial arts" automatically refers to tournament style "karate". Like I said, the military doesn't prepare its' combatants for tournaments and CQC is a fine example of martial arts. Silat is still one of the most deadly arts in the world and it's almost never practiced in tournaments because nearly every technique is designed to kill or otherwise incapacitate. Sure, Tae Kwon Do (heh Take Yo Dough) is more a sport than anything else but that doesn't mean combat proven systems are ineffective.

Lastly, you're right that there's a difference between combat martial arts and street fighting. Street fighting is untrained, it's largely ineffective, and it relies more on luck and brute strength than anything else. Virtually all forms of martial arts originated from those who'd been through enough street fights that they learned what works and what doesn't. It greatly depends on the person putting it to use but it's hard to claim that it's more of a problem than a solution when many people have been successfully defending themselves against more powerful aggressors for centuries.



I'm sorry for starting such a huge argument on this subject and I certainly understand if people don't agree. I'm merely trying to inform people to the best of my ability. Remember, what you see on Ultimate Fighting Championship is NOT an example of martial arts.


edit: by the way, I don't mean to offend anyone or tread on any opinions, I'm just sharing my own. I've seen macyoung's work and he certainly knows how to fight; despite his own hypocrisy he is in fact a martial artist and on that same token he often does the exact same thing he condems others trying to make a buck off the general public

I'm not into the spiritual aspect of martial arts, never have been. But the same way that shooting benefits from training and technique, so does fighting. Going back to the original point of this thread, I'm not saying the guy should sign up for the first kung fu class he can find to beat the crap out of the next bum that crosses his path.

Just that if he's afraid of being "wrung like a wet towel" a little more confidence and physical fitness certainly wouldn't hurt.

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Old August 15, 2005, 03:15 PM   #25
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Join Marc's list and discuss the merits of martial arts with people who have studied martial arts for 40 and 50 years. Don't be so quick to discount an opinion. Marc forms his opinion from discussion with these folks and personal experience. Join the list! You will enjoy the discourse!
No need in arguing with a know nothing like me when you can argue with people who have practiced martial arts for half a century!
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