But asocial violence is different. We’re not talking about bullies, but rather muggers, rapists and murderers. Violence is either a means to an end or, in the case of process predators, it is the goal itself. These predators are usually solitary because it is hard for antisocial people to band together for a common purpose for any length of time. There are generally no witnesses to the attack, or the person is playing to someone of a different social class where his actions make no logical sense. For example, an adult playing the “what are you looking at” game with a child or elderly person is not going to gain any status from the outcome, whatever it may be.
The answer to it is seeing what is coming and understanding both types of violence are similar but the best response is different. If somebody is setting you up for predatory violence and you apologize submissively and walk away, they are going to think you are a great victim. Rory has done a couple of podcasts on that recently at http://www.martial-secrets.com/. In Scaling Force, we recommend watching video. If you watch violence on You Tube with the sound off and pay attention to the body language, you can start to get a sense of when people are getting into an argument. Look for the change in energy. In a run up to violence there usually is some kind of an escalation process. For example, in a social situation, you might see the person puffing up, almost like beating their chest and getting louder. It could be verbal or it may be just in the mind, like running a checklist: “Isolated place? Person not paying attention? It is GO time!”
Either way, there is going to be some kind of escalation. It is usually a change in energy, not always something obvious. If it is a professional, you may or may not see a ton of little subtle things: he is getting quieter, breathing low and slow, more abdominal breathing.
You might see straightening of the spine. You might see a witness check, looking away, looking around. You might see little subtle things like dilation of the eyes, flaring of the nostrils. But the biggest thing is that something is different; watch for something that was not there before. A change in energy tells you to start paying attention. You can watch for those signs on You Tube.
If you can spend some money to really experience it, there are reality-based self-defense instructors who will do simulation classes. It can all be filmed, and is done in a controlled environment so that it is safe. At the high end, you have simulation gear, you have training weapons and woofers who play the bad guys.
eJournal: You’ll learn much more from professional role players because when students play against each other, it becomes a contest where everyone will do anything—no matter how unrealistic—to win.
Kane: Exactly. Woofers will do stuff you ordinarily wouldn’t. For example, if you are African American and someone drops the “N” word, you are really going to get upset. In fact, you don’t even have to be African American to get upset by that word. Woofers aren’t afraid to do that to get you into an emotional state so you can experience what it really feels like. When the emotional factor is there, you can very easily over-respond and you don’t even realize you are doing it until someone points it out. In these classes, you can figure out the right level of response. You can learn the difference between a dangerous weapon and a deadly weapon and the differences between right and wrong responses in any given situation.
eJournal: Are there other ways to learn to recognize violence getting ready to flare up?