Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Column 41 – "Reading violence"

Self defence is about being able to interpret, understand and protect ourselves from violence.

For too many, violence is used as their medium of communication. Like not being able to speak French we'd struggle in France; not understanding violence means that we'd miss vital pre-incident indicators that are present in all situations that lead to physical violence. Only when we understand violence can we see and comprehend the early warning signs.

You can detect what you have been trained to see. It's about knowing what is about to happen and being able to pre-empt it. Anyone can learn this language. Knowing it doesn't make you more violent. Without knowing how to interpret violence and the pre-cursors of violence, we can't accurately predict intentions of predators, which means that we can't act appropriately to stop it, either with the appropriate verbal or physical response.

So let me give you some insight now. If a predator is trying to change the environment: coerce you to go somewhere, physically drag you somewhere, or establish privacy such as shutting your curtains, these acts provide massive insight into their intentions. What is their intent? To take material items from you or is it to do with your being, such as physical or sexual assault? It's far likely to be the latter. When you can detect intent (prior to the physical violence) would that fuel your response? Of course. A honed response helps, blanket hope counts for nothing. This is just one aspect, but: never ever let the environment change.

Darcy Mellsop
Protect Self Defence NZ

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