Pre-Attack Indicators

While we do post about the ridiculous on occassion, for the most part we try to keep things (semi) serious on this blog. Humor is necessary, but the reality is that working Security in any type of setting is dangerous. Add alcohol to the mix (no pun intended) and the potential for violence and danger increases. I’d like to touch on a subject that is often overlooked by many when discussing violence: the physical signs that an individual will exhibit prior to attacking.

If you look back through the various posts I have written Use of Force, the focus tends to be on what you as individual or your Staff should be doing to mitigate violent reactions. But how do you know whether or not an individual is about to be violent? Is there a way to tell? As a matter of fact, yes. But first you need to understand the “Why” of how a body under stress – in this case, adrenaline – works.

FIGHT OR FLIGHT

We’ve all heard the saying “fight or flight” and it is exactly what it sounds like. When your body is dumping adrenaline into your system, whether you are amped and want to attack (fight) or scared and want to run (flight), there are physiological changes that your body will experience:

  • Time Distortion — Time slows or speeds up.
  • Depth perception/Visual Distortion — Things appear closer or larger than they are.
  • Tunnel Vision — Peripheral vision will crop away and all you see is the perceived threat.
  • Auditory Exclusion — Partial or total loss of hearing.
  • Pain Tolerance — While damage may still be done, you won’t necessarily feel it. Many people die of their injuries AFTER a violent confrontation due to the fact that they don’t feel anything during the confrontation.
  • Speed and Strength Increase — Known as the “mother lifting the car off the baby” symptom. Yes, it is possible. But no one ever discusses the fact that there are usually physical injuries that accompany these acts. Remember pain tolerance?
  • Fine Motor Movement Decay — This is also known as loss of fine motor skills. You probably won’t be able to tie your shoes, much less dial a cell phone.
  • Changes in blood flow/heartbeat – This is due to the body wanting to divert blood where it is most needed to oxygenate your body.
  • Changes in respiratory rate — From fast, sharp inhales to hyperventilation, your body will do it.
  • Unconscious Muscle Tension — Clenching or relaxation of  muscles.
  • Mono-emotion/Emotional Detachment — Anger, Fear, Happiness, Sadness. One emotion will block out the others. It is possible that there will be NO emotion attached to what you are doing.
  • Bladder/Bowel Release — This is your body removing what it feels is “excess” in order for you to fight or run.

These effects will be seen in EVERYONE in some way, regardless of how experienced they are with working in an adrenal state. So how can we spot someone in an adrenal state, with violent intentions? Actually, it is pretty easy if you know what to look for in the moment.

The first thing to consider is what circumstances lead to this individual being angry or agitated? Did you just break up a fight? Has a couple been arguing loudly? Was a Patron just ejected from the bar? Is it the way you have been interacting with them? Any of these could lead to an angry action or reaction towards you.

PRE-ATTACK INDICATORS

Muscle Contraction: Remember that unconscious muscle tension? Well, this is where you will see it. Clenching of the jaw, baring of the teeth, clenching and unclenching of the fists, tensing of the neck muscles, puffing of the chest, even tightening or shrugging of the shoulders. All of these are possible indicators that the body is preparing for an assault.

Blinking eyes: Most people blink an average of about 20 times per minute, or every 3 seconds. However, under the effects of adrenaline this can leap to double or triple that rate (40 to 60 times per minute). Have you ever heard of the “thousand yard stare?” This can happen if the body takes the opposite adrenal approach and slows its blinking rate to 2-4 blinks per minute. It’s as if the individual is looking “through” you.

Blading: There are different names for this body movement: “the fighting stance,” “boxer’s stance”, “squaring up”, but they all indicate that an attack is imminent.  The stance is demonstrated by a shift in weight, with the strong side (or leg) usually place behind the aggressor. If you see this, prepare yourself for physical interaction.

Targeting:  Some people know this as “sizing up an opponent”. While the individual may indeed be checking what size you are, they are more than likely trying to decide which part of you to attack first. An individual preparing to attack will “target” a particular part of your body: chin, throat, eyes, etc.  If they are fixating on a part of your body – or on your weapon – be prepared.

Scanning: Scanning means the person in front of you is looking at everything but you. There is usually little to no direct eye contact. Why? Well, they are looking at their environment: scanning it for escape routes, witnesses, his buddies (or backup), or your co-workers. They are preparing to attack you and get out – or figuring out whether or not it is safe to do so.

Flanking: This is movement by multiple individuals in order to attain the best possible position for an attack. While you are distracted by the individual in front of you, his compatriots are coming around your side. Even more reason for you to be aware and to have back up!

One thing to keep in mind is that the majority of these displays are sub-conscious, meaning that the individual exhibiting them may not be aware of that fact that they are doing so. When dealing with an individual in an agitated state, keep your cool, keep you distance, call for back up, and PAY ATTENTION!   Buying yourself just a little time with an agitated individual may just keep you out of the hospital…or worse.

Until next time…

To Fight or Not To Fight?

Actually, the answer to this particular question is simple: you should never fight. I suppose some clarification is needed. If you as a Security Staffer instigate a fight or start a fight yourself, you’ve failed at your job. There is no reason why you should get a Patron so upset that they take a swing at you and vice-versa.

But this does raise an interesting conundrum: if you are never supposed to get into a fight, do you need really need to know HOW to fight?

There are two answers: Yes and No.

Now that you are thoroughly confused, let’s break things down a bit.

NO, YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW HOW TO FIGHT

We’ll start with the answer that most Security Staffers will scoff at. “That’s ridiculous!”, they’ll say, “If I can’t fight, what’s the point of working Security?” To begin with, if you are interested in working Nightclub Security to get into fights, you’re not a particularly smart individual. Fighting will not only get you and your workplace sued, but could result in serious injury to Patrons, and yes, you. Don’t believe me? Google “Bouncer arrested”  or “Bounder sued” and enjoy one of the millions of links that pops up.

Unfortunately, most Security Staffers have a fairly high opinion of themselves in regards to fighting. Guess what? You are neither Mohammed Ali nor Bruce Lee. You don’t have the strength of Mike Tyson or speed of Georges St. Pierre. And that is just a fact. Regardless of your “fighting skills” (insert eye-roll here), reality and the law of averages are continuously working against you in a fight. The person you are fighting could have friends, you could slip and fall, or surprise, surprise: you decide to pick a fight with a trained fighter.

I’ll take a moment to relay story. Several years ago, a BJJ brown belt entered a local bar. After a few drinks, he got into a war of words with another patron and they “took it outside”. Well, the brown belt took his adversary to the ground and applied a nice rear naked choke…only to be kicked in the head by his adversary’s three friends. He was then beaten unconscious and ended up in the hospital. So much for fighting skills. This story is not meant to disparage BJJ or even infer that the man fighting wasn’t well-trained. But it does illustrate that there are many other factors at work during a confrontation.

What will cover your behind 95% of the time as a Security Staffer will be your observational abilities, critical thinking, and non-violent conflict resolution skills. If you can’t notice an intoxicated Patron, decide if an individual needs to be asked to leave, or break up a fight in the initial stages, you need to bone up on your skills! First and foremost, spend more time with more senior Security Staffers. See how they relate to Patrons, ask them how they handle altercations, and have them critique you when you are on the job.

I highly recommend the book: ‘Verbal Judo: The GentleArt of Persuasion’ to anyone working Security. Dr. Thompson does a great job of breaking down how to remain calm in a tense situation, defusing anger from others, and give small tricks to “derail” angry individuals. A good read and incredibly helpful.

And finally, assess why you work in the field of Nightclub Security. IF you do it for the fights, I wish you luck, because it is going to run out sooner or later.

If you are a good talker, a good observer, and a good conflict resolver, there is a very good chance that you will  never have to raise a fist in anger or in defense. Any Nightclub Security Staffer worth his salt knows that avoiding conflict is the only way to get home in one piece.

YES, EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW HOW TO FIGHT…

On the other side of the coin is the reality of the Nightclub workplace. Patrons get intoxicated, tempers flare, and fights start. Alcohol’s effect on people is totally unpredictable. The two best friends who were doing shots together 30 minutes ago are suddenly punching each other. A girlfriend has gotten angry at her boyfriend and slapped him in the face. Someone has bumped someone else and fists start flying.  It happens and usually YOU are in the middle of it.

Everyone needs to know how to defend themselves. Period. Whether you are a 10 year school girl or an 80 year old man, you should know some basic defensive moves. In an earlier post we discussed the Best Martial Arts for Bouncers, and the conclusion was: choose what works for you. As my martial arts instructor once told me, “The best defense in a fight is a good pair of running shoes and an exit.”

No matter how good you are at talking, sooner or later you will have to insert yourself into an altercation. Whether breaking up a fight or separating two individuals who are about to throw down, you need to know how to physically intervene in these situations. More often than not, when a fight is broken up the combatants continue to swing and will turn on YOU. And it is a this point that your ability to protect yourself will come into play and could save your life.

Security Staffers do need to know how to defend themselves. Notice I said defend and not fight. Fighting involves two participants generally both agreeing to go toe to toe with one hoping for a victory. There is no reason for you as a Security Staffer to willingly enter (or start) a physical altercation. Even in cases where you need to break up a fight, you should be separating and restraining the combatants, not throwing blows. But you do need to protect yourself from the blows that may come your way. Just remember that the second you start swinging your fists, you become the aggressor and that is a problem.

So as you can see, there is no cut and dry answer to the question of whether or not one should know how to fight. In a perfect world, all conflicts and issues would be resolved with a calm demeanor and a little conversation. But the Nightclub environment with its mix of alcohol, adrenaline, intoxication, and testosterone can produce physical altercations. Know how to observe and talk, but be prepared to defend yourself at all times.

Until next time, stay safe.

Situational Awareness 3.0

In light of recent tragic events in Arizona, I thought it necessary to revisit Situational Awareness in regards to Personal and Nightclub Security. And while Security Staffers are not protecting government officials or acting in an Executive Protection capacity, it is important that we learn the skills of observation to keep ourselves and our patrons safe. And this counts for while in the club and while on the street in our “everyday lives”.

So a quick refresher:

Situational awareness is “…the process of recognizing a threat at an early stage and taking measures to avoid it.” While the term itself if most commonly used in law enforcement and military community, everyday people exercise situational awareness in their daily lives. Driving, walking down the street, watching your kids, all involve some form of situational awareness. For those in the field of security, having good situational awareness is not only extremely useful, it can quite possibly save a life. Maybe your own!

Contrary to popular belief, being observant of one’s surroundings and identifying potential threats and dangerous situations is more of an attitude or mindset than it is a skill. And because of this, it can be adopted and employed by anyone! With a little bit of practice, it becomes quite easy to spot potential threats (even minor ones) and react to them before they develop into dangerous situations.

GENERAL RULES TO DEVELOP SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

1) Be Observant – That means pay attention! Whether it is to the car that is parked next to yours  in a dark parking lot or the intoxicated Patron stumbling towards you in the nightclub: WATCH, LOOK, and LISTEN. Individuals that mean you harm are usually so fixated on doing you harm, that they are unaware of  the signals they are putting out. They will cross the street to confront you, reach for a bottle on the bar to hit you, or look around while talking to you to see if they are being observed. Always be aware of not only the perceived threat, but of any possible threats in the near vicinity. In a nightclub setting this means watching to see who is watching you!

2) Be assertive! That means walking tall, talking firmly, and being prepared to REACT. When walking down the street or through the club, keep your head up, eyes scanning, and walk with purpose. Telling a person who is a perceived threat to “Back off!” will oftentimes throw them for a loop because A) their actions have been perceived to be threatening and they are used to the element of surprise and B) an assertive individual is NOT a victim. Once you have asserted yourself, DO NOT capitulate. If you tell someone to back off and they don’t, you now know what you are dealing with: an assailant. Maintain your composure and don’t back down. As Gavin de Becker says, “No matter how many times you say ‘No’, it only takes one ‘Yes’ to fuel an antagonist!'”

3) When you notice unusual behavior, REACT. If the group of young men cross the street towards you or blocks the sidewalk, cross the street the opposite way or head towards a lighted, populated area. If the drunk at the bar is wobbling on their feet, head towards them to keep them from falling over. Two Patrons arguing at the bar? Call for back-up and head towards the problem. Don’t let the situation pass without some sort of reaction, in the hopes that it is probably nothing or will resolve itself.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to pay attention to your intuition! If a situation feels wrong, it probably is. It is far better to get your signals mixed up and have to apologize for being rude than it is to end up in the hospital…or worse. In a situation that you can’t handle in the club? Call for back up. (In this case, why were you in the situation without back up to begin with?). On the street and being followed (or think you are)? Confront the follower or head to safety. If it feels bad, uncomfortable, unusual, or unsafe, don’t think, “Oh it’s probably nothing.” Instead, think of how you can avoid the situation, call for help, or leave the area.

We must also draw the distinction between being aware and being paranoid. Paranoia a thought process heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs concerning a perceived threat towards oneself. Situational Awareness is being aware of your surroundings and avoiding trouble. IT IS NOT LOOKING FOR TROUBLE! When you place yourself in a position where everything that you see is perceived as a threat you begin to cultivate a paranoid view of the world, which besides being unhealthy, can lead to serious misjudgment and errors in action. Your line of thinking should be “Why is that individual standing in the shadows?”, NOT “That individual is standing in the shadows, therefore he/she is obviously out to get me!”

Any decisions that you make regarding your surroundings, the individuals within them, and your response to these individuals or circumstances should be based on observed behaviors instead of conjecture. Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of observation before you make any type of decision as to action.

Pay attention and stay safe.

Until next time…

The Best Martial Arts for Bouncers

Sorry for the delay in posting kids, but the last week was all about recovering from a weekend which consisted of many hours in a doorway conversing with individuals experiencing severely technical difficulties. In other words: dealing with drunks.

But on to the subject at hand…

Martial Arts for Bouncers

I have yet to work a job in Nightclub Security where the question, “So, where do you train?” didn’t rear its ugly head. Most bouncers know how to fight and the good ones (in terms of defending themselves) are either seasoned street fighters, have a background in martial arts or train regulary in some type of martial art. And as the testosterone flows, discussions of which style you train in and where you train inevitably crop up. For the record, I’m not an advocate of any style of martial art. If it gets you out of a sticky situation (which, had you been keeping cool and trying to defuse probably wouldn’t have occurred to begin with), I don’t care if you study Aikido or Break-A-Chair-Over-Your-Head-Fu. When self-defense comes into the equation, whatever works, works.

There are definite questions as to which type of self defense or martial arts training works best in a nightclub environment. And in turn, which type of self defense works best for you and your body type. Let’s take a look at the more prevalent styles and how they can ALL be beneficial (or detrimental) in some way or other. And for you blowhards out there who insist that your style is the best, try to open your minds a bit.

BOXING – Everyone should know how to box. And I mean everyone. Boxing teaches you footwork (which will get you out of the way), defense against head strikes (so you don’t get hit in the melon and fall down), and how to punch properly (which I hope you aren’t doing to Patrons unless it’s in self-defense.) Boxing is also great because you will get hit A LOT before you learn how not to get hit and believe it or not, this is EXTREMELY important.

Most people have never been hit in the head or body. When it happens for the first time, it can be such a shock that it will literally freeze them in their tracks. At which point they continue to get hit and well, lights out. Boxing will teach you how to take a shot, return a shot, or move away from the shot. The downside? A lot of people will try to tackle you when they are desperate or are losing a fight and boxing teaches you nothing about fighting on the ground.

BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU – Most bouncers these days are trained in BJJ, because it has become easily accessible and very popular over the past 10 years. It is also a component of most gyms that train in Mixed Martial Arts, which is where most bouncers train. Not only does BJJ help you think (it is a lot more mentally taxing than many people realize), it helps you defend against people trying to take you to the ground, or if you’re on the ground, gain the upper hand. And it works. It works great…

…until you are on the ground choking someone out and their friends decide to kick you in the head.

I call BJJ the best and worst martial art for Nightclubs. BJJ works wonders for controlling and submitting people, and much like Boxing, I think it ground fighting is a skill everyone should learn. But let’s face the facts: the ground is an INCREDIBLY dangerous place to be in an altercation. Not only are you exposed to whatever is on the ground (broken glass, dirt, whatever), but you are vulnerable to attack by anyone and everyone. By all means learn to defend yourself on the ground, but remember that once you are down there, you want to get up as quickly as possible.

KARATE/KUNG-FU – For years, Karate and Kung-Fu were the Holy Grails of martial arts. And in most places in the world they still are. Let’s face it, you don’t stick around as a martial art for several hundred (or thousands) or years without being effective in some way. And for the Boxers or BJJ practitioners who laugh at Karate or Kung-Fu, you’ve obviously never been kicked by a strong Kenpo practitioner or been hit multiple times by a Wing Chun specialist. Karatekas (yes, that is a word) are damn strong if trained correctly and an experienced Kung-Fu student’s hand are extremely sensitive and extremely fast.

That being said, these martial arts are no longer trained (at least in the United States) with the intensity and brutality that they once were. The sparring in Karate has turned into a sport system: one hit, one point, back to your corners, which trains you to hit once and back away…not good in a street fight. And the overblown mysticism and film portrayal of Kung-Fu has lead many a student to believe that they can take on multiple opponents with fancy moves.

The reality of street fights tends to be an adrenaline filled mess with little or no time to think of form or sweet moves. So while these arts ARE valid, you had better be training hard and realistically for them to work.

MUAY THAI KICKBOXING – The Art of Eight Limbs is DEVASTATING. It has an amazing defense system and will make you mobile. Offensively, a well-place elbow or knee shot is pretty much a fight ender. Muay Thai teaches you how to move and strike with brutal efficiency. If you can find a good Muay Thai gym, join it. But be prepared to be put through the ringer and come out the other side a solid fighter.

Unfortunately, Muay Thai has been extremely diluted in the U.S. and is mostly taught as cardio-kickboxing which will do nothing to help you in a fight. And much like its cousin Boxing, Muay Thai kickboxing does not help you on the ground. It is also really hard to kick someone on slippery, wet, muddy, or icy ground which puts you at a huge disadvantage in many places.

JEET KUNE DO – If you don’t  know, this is Bruce Lee’s fighting system/philosophy on fighting. Basically an all-encompassing approach to fighting that focuses on different ‘tools’ for different situations. And it allows its practitioners the ability to use  what works best for them and modify it to a fighting situation. Great because it teaches you how to fight in different ways and adapt to works best for you. Not great because it allows you to fight in different ways without focusing on one particular way. Many call it’s practitioners “Jacks of all trades, masters of none.”

JKD is great because it will give you a base knowledge of kicking, punching, grappling. The other bonus is its focus on realistic fighting and training scenarios. It is not so great because it you will not out-box a Boxer, out-kick a Kicker, or out-grapple a Grappler. And mostly because you are NOT Bruce Lee

ESKRIMA/KALI – The Filipino art of sticks, knives, and empty hand work. Efficient, brutal, deadly. It’s practitioners are dangerous people who know strange and unusual ways to kill you. Great system to learn how to defend against weapons, which makes it distinctly suitable for a bar environment. The issues? You can’t carry a stick with you everywhere and a knife should really only be used in a life or death situation. Another problem is that most people don’t train with weapons on a regular basis and the reality of a fight (either armed or unarmed) will often lock you up and help you to forget that you even have one.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS – First off, not a martial arts system, but a training methodology. Much like JKD, a solid way to learn how to defend yourself, move around, and get in good shots. Excellent cardio training and great for your brain. MMA’s biggest drawback is that fighters are trained for the ring, not the street. There are no bells, cornermen, or rules in a street fight. And you don’t want to find this out the hard way, which is what usually happens to MMA fighters in the real world.

MMA will get you into shape, but it won’t prepare you for a dark bar and some drunks.

KRAV MAGA – Deadly and efficient. There is a reason it is taught to soldiers and civilians alike: it works and works well. The pros: it is deadly and efficient. The cons: if someone grabs you by the collar, your first instinct should not be to rip out their throat. Krav Maga people tend to look at the world in black and white, and unfortunately the real world of self defense is one of gray. Amazing system of defense, but you have to train hard to learn how to scale back your violence level.

STREET FIGHTING – This is not a martial arts style. It is a life choice, and a stupid one at that. If you are a good street fighter, chances are you have a record of assault and battery charges or are just an idiot who likes to get into fights. Either way, there is nothing productive or positive about what you are doing. If you’re lucky you will end up the hospital. If you’re unlucky, you’ll end up dead or in prison. If you aren’t a street fighter, don’t aim to become one.

CONCLUSION – Everything works, except the street fighting part. Learn the basics: punch, kick, defend. Each style will teach you how to do all three. It is up to you to find the style that works for you and train it in as realistic a manner as possible. Realistic training means hard sparring and reality-based drills. If you aren’t working up a sweat, you aren’t training hard. But if you are training hard in any style, you will be able to defend yourself. Maybe not in every single one of a million different scenarios, but well enough to get you home in one piece.

When looking for a place to train, ask them what their training and sparring is like, watch a class, and take part in a class. Don’t worry about obtaining a belt. As it’s been said, “Belts are made to hold your pants up.” Your martial arts studio should be open to the public, teach people from any background, and hold seminars that cover a variety of subjects. They should be focusing on you learning how to defend yourself and fight, not on how quickly you are moving up in the belt rankings.  They should also be focusing on how to avoid fights when necessary and what techniques to use in less-than-lethal situations.

Again, the key word is DEFENSE. Not how cool you look in your uniform, not how tough you think you are, and certainly not how loud you can yell “Hiiiiiiiiii-ya!!!!”

Until next time…

Self Defense and Use of Force

Anytime I get involved in a conversation regarding nightclub security consulting, one question always comes up:

“So…you teach bouncers how to beat people up?” Then the person laughs and says, “Just kidding.”…and proceeds to ask a ton of questions about how to beat people up. Or how many fights I’ve been in. Or what is the worst fight I’ve ever seen.

The boring (and unfortunate) facts point in the other direction. It is our job as security bloggers and nightclub consulting folks to teach bouncers how to NOT beat anyone up. Why? Uhm, well for one, it’s illegal to beat people up. And for two, it is the bouncer’s job to prevent people from getting beat up, prevent people from beating on other people, and avoid getting beat up by people themselves.

Most security staffers are curious as to what they are allowed to do verbally or physically when involved in a hostile situation. The answer is both simple and complex. Here is the simple part: SELF DEFENSE. And here is the complex part: SELF DEFENSE. How can something be both simple and complex? Well, the words themselves are pretty straight forward, but it is the interpretation and application of the words that is complex.

So let’s begin with a definition:

IF A PERSON HAS A REASONABLE BELIEF THAT HE IS IN IMMINENT DANGER OF UNLAWFUL BODILY HARM, HE MAY USE THAT AMOUNT OF FORCE WHICH IS REASONABLY NECESSARY TO PREVENT SUCH HARM, UNLESS HE IS THE AGGRESSOR.

Pretty. Straight. Forward. You can protect yourself against unlawful bodily harm with a reasonable amount of force. That’s it.

In our first post, we discussed improper Use of Force. The improper Use of Force related to a bouncer applying a choke and throwing a patron. Let’s use the Use of Force model and apply it to Self Defense in a real world scenario:

You’re standing on the Dance Floor when a Patron bumps into you. Being the professional that you are, you apologize with a smile. The Patron says something rude about your mother’s bathing habits and shoves your shoulder.

What is the correct response?

A) You tell the Patron that shoving isn’t necessary and ask if everything is alright.

B) You call the Patron an asshat, shove them back, and walk away.

C) You grab the Patron by the arm, inform them that their prolonged attendance in your club is no longer desired, and escort them to the door.

D) You grab the nearest bottle, break it over their head, place them in a sleeper hold, and drag them out the door unconscious.

If you answered B or D, you need to find a new line of work and polish your conflict resolution skills. If you answered A or C you are at least on the right path. While B is an equal Use of Force, you have now continued to escalate the situation and are ignoring a potential threat by walking away. D is not only a ridiculous Use of Force, but will probably lead to Assault charges. Why? Because you did not defend yourself within the stated legal parameters. When physical touching has occurred, security may use necessary force to remove the Patron from the establishment, but may NEVER use excessive force. A shove does not dictate a chokehold.

And this is where the complexity of SELF DEFENSE rears its ugly head. If a situation arises in which you are forced to defend yourself physically, it is up to YOU to gauge your response. There may be witnesses or even videotape, but the burden of proof will come down to how YOU REACTED to the perceived threat. And in this day and age, we all know that even the most minor of improprieties can lead to lawsuits.

If a patron pushes you, that does not warrant a punch or choke. If they are coming at you with a broken bottle and screaming, “I’m going to kill you!” protecting yourself to the best of your abilities is the order of the day. IF your reaction would make a bystander react negatively, chances are it’s the wrong reaction. That means that you might need to get used to the idea of taking the occasional shove or even slap to the face.

The best form of Self Defense that you have is YOUR MOUTH. De-escalating a situation through the use of your verbal skills will not only prevent altercations but it will prevent lawsuits. Very rarely will you be sued for telling someone to settle down. However, punching someone in the face to keep them quiet will lead to litigation. Guaranteed. Think of this realistically: You are sober. They are drunk. Your reaction times and decision-making skills are (hopefully) superior to theirs. Use your brain and not your fists.

But hey, how’d you get yourself in this crazy situation in the first place?

Tune in next time for…SITUATIONAL AWARENESS!!!