One of the most important elements in self-protection is the use of verbal de-escalation tactics, particularly for security and law enforcement professionals. Our first response should always be to resolve situations without the use of force.
The Purpose of Verbal De-escalation
There are many reasons for both police and private citizens to use force only as a last resort, (liability, paperwork, etc) but the most important one is safety. If you can avoid using physical skills to defend yourself, you’re much less likely to get injured.
Verbal de-escalation tactics mix a number of skills and require practice just like physical techniques. You need to remain calm under stressful conditions and walk the fine line of assertiveness that runs just between passive and aggressive when responding to a potentially hostile situation.
If you act passively, your potential attacker may see you as prey, which can motivate him to press forward with his assault. However, if you respond with aggression, may escalate to violence in his response in order to save face. (more…)
One of the issues that comes up with training in martial arts for the purposes of self-defense is that classes tend to focus on the physical skills you use once you’re in an altercation. There’s generally, at best, a passing reference to avoidance tactics, reading the situation, and running away.
This isn’t meant as a criticism, as not everyone takes up a martial art for self-defense purposes. Plenty of people just want to do something active, have fun, or meet new people. One of the big benefits of teaching with Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu is that I’ve had the opportunity to assist and teach purely self-defense classes that cover more about awareness, de-escalation tactics, and conflict avoidance. The amount that I have picked up and incorporated into my life, however, did not become apparent until I re-entered the security field a couple of months ago.
There is a common theme about preparedness and awareness stories amongst security and law enforcement professionals when dealing with someone who is potentially violent. I don’t know how many times I’ve read and heard from police the cautionary tale about how an officer didn’t react to someone threatening violence because the body language didn’t support it. (more…)
A pressure point from the Police Pressure Point System as established by Professor Georges Sylvain, the mandibular angle is a nerve pressure point (as opposed to a nerve motor point) that can cause great pain to the recipient, yet causes no injury. Read Nerve Motor Points vs. Nerve Pressure Points to understand the differences. This makes it useful for controlling a person when you wish to limit the amount of force used, like when you’re extricating a non-compliant but non-assaultive subject. Not everyone is sensitive to this pressure point though, and subjects that are pain-resistant because they’re extremely drunk or high may not even feel the pain so it may not be a good choice if the stakes are high. (more…)