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Author Topic: Being Prepared without Being Paranoid  (Read 5205 times)
David
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« on: June 15, 2008, 03:58:34 AM »

(Woof All:  I've renamed the thread with what I think is a better name)


This thread is the continuation of a tangent from the Knife for Self Defense thread:

Quote
Maija wrote: I think it is an interesting balance you talk about between expecting danger at any moment, and not thinking it will ever happen .... how do you live a relaxed and happy life and at the same time keep prepared for the unexpected?

Edited: I've removed my first comments here since they had too much to do with the previous thread.

David
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 11:10:55 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged

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maija
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008, 08:37:45 PM »

I've taken a quote from Tony Torre from another thread to post here:
"........I think staying out of danger is largely a matter of knowing the "rules" and being aware.  With practice and experience I believe one can stay pretty relaxed because of their confidence in their ability to see trouble brewing.  It really is kind of rare to find truly spontaneous crime.  I know what you mean about out of balance people I've met many of them.  Funny thing is that these people because of their paranoia tend to attract the very things they claim to be trying to avoid.  I guess all that psychic energy being spent on day dreaming about boogy men blinds them to the real ones.  Another thing is that usually their body language screams out victim!"

How you grew up is obviously a big influence on how you view the world, as is your job and general life experience. So also is what, how and in what atmosphere you train.
Training can change you in adult life and can mitigate the effects of the other influences, though I guess it can go in both directions. The question of how to train is what personally interests me here because it can have such an effect.
I was very lucky to have a phenomenal teacher Maestro Sonny Umpad, a highly skilled eskrimador who believed that students learned best when their minds were open and therefore relaxed. He taught at a high level of intensity but with humor, and though I'm not sure how he did it, managed to instill in his students a tremendous sense of respect for the blade and it's lethal potential along with a real joy of playing eskrima. ( I love that you "play" eskrima cool).
I would be very interested to hear any other thought/comments you guys might have regarding the role of martial training in the context of this thread.

David, I grew up in Europe also and am a huge believer in the power of humor and wit to create a peaceful society grin
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peregrine
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2008, 10:40:29 PM »

With that i personally carry something 90% of the time i'm outside of my house. I'm the tinfoil hat wearing type.
Will i need it? statistically no.
I'd rather carry it than not, it is my right, but more importantly my duty to my family and friends. Do i enjoy myself and have time to smell the roses? sure...life is good that is why i value it enough to protect myself and family. CCW is not an option where i live though i do carry a fixed knife, a folder or two and a flashlight. All fit nicely on my fanny bag, with my fixed knife deployable in it's target in less than a second.
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David
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 03:13:22 AM »

The chances of facing a serious assault are extremely low if you avoid doing stupid things with stupid people in stupid places, as Crafty has stated previously.  I very much agree with Tony about the rarity of "truly spontaneous crime".  Basic awareness and maintaining a safe distance will also take care of a great deal.  Additionally, I feel that de-escalating situations, or not allowing them to escalate in the first place, with kindness, goes a long way.  At least for a man, I largely disagree with yelling "get away", "back off", etc.  Many aggressive people will see this as an opportunity to escalate the situation...seeing that you are also somewhat aggressive.  I think this ties in to Tony saying:

Quote
Funny thing is that these people because of their paranoia tend to attract the very things they claim to be trying to avoid.

In my experience, trusting your senses (being naturally aware and open to your instincts) while at the same time having a relaxed and friendly attitude, will deflect many potentially aggressive situations.  I've also met my share of "out of balance people", and I do agree that their attitude helps to attract trouble.

I lead a relaxed and happy life by not obsessing about being attacked, imagining that I might walk into a mall shooting, a terrorist attack, etc.  If I do find myself in such a situation, the best bet is to escape anyway.  If I can't escape, the secondary benefit of my training will kick in.  The primary benefit is health and enjoyment.

Maija, from what I've read about Maestro Sonny Umpad, he sounds like a relaxed and nice guy.  I think that's very important in training and I agree with you that the way you train can/will have a large effect on your life.  I came in contact with hundreds of people when I was teaching full time, from all different walks of life and previous training experience.  I had the "kung fu types" (no disrespect to "kung fu") with the long hair and Chinese outfits, to the camo wearing terrorist fighter types, and everything in between.  The funny thing to me about the later is that they were always so much more gung ho than the real military people I taught.  I've taught a number of guys from various branches of the military, and not a single one of them carried a weapon or obsessed about being attacked, etc.  It was always the civilians or private contractors who were completely over the top.  Especially when you train with weapons, I think it's very important to have a training environment that's not too serious. 

Peregrine:  No disrespect here...but it is also my right to carry a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, etc., yet I don't do so.  Probably, you're more likely to need a first aid kit or fire extinguisher than 3 knives.  I can't see how it's your "duty" to your family to carry weapons, but not a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, rope, etc.  I also know the impact of criminal elements being around as a child, and I don't feel they're good...good meaning that they're more likely to lead a person toward happiness.  I wonder how much NICER it would be for you and your family if you didn't have a "fixed knife deployable in it's target in less than a second".  (I used to carry a gun, knife, baton, and pepper spray, so I know where you may be coming from.  I feel far better now carrying no weapons.  Maybe you would too.  Maybe not.)

David
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 08:58:33 AM »

Woof David:

May I ask where/in what kind of area do you live?
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David
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 09:51:12 AM »

Crafty,

I lived in New Orleans up until the beginning of 2007.  In New Orleans I lived in a "decent" area, but like many areas in N.O. there were a great deal of very bad areas just a few blocks away.  I lost my MA business due to Katrina, but tried to stay in the city nonetheless.  For the first 6 months there was nearly no crime...but also nearly no electricity or phone, etc..  Anyway, about a year after the crime got very bad.  There were two shootings in front of my house in the last few months I lived there.  My wife and I sold our house and don't live anywhere now for more than 6 months.  We spend a bit less than half the year in Vienna, Austria (where she's from) some time in other EU countries, some time in S.E. Asia, and some time back in New Orleans.  Why do you ask?

David
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 09:58:57 AM by David » Logged

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peregrine
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 12:32:04 AM »

For some reason i suspect you interpret being prepared and carrying a weapon as not being happy or having a fullfilled life.
Is it because you chose to carry a firearm based on your fear of your previous experience? Your deleted comments did bear merit in this thread.

My choice to carry is a proactive approach to my reality not on fear percieved or realized. It just is.

I know numerous service members and many do carry. Being a member of the military does not equate to readiness. The majority may have been trained to use a rifle, but that is not their primary role, it is likely logistics. Meat eaters in general do carry.
 
Let me put it this way...
ask yourself how many combat veterans have you trained? those that were on the ground?


I carry a fixed knife, and it's primary purpose is that of a weapon. I do carry 2 other knives that are used as tools a leatherman and a 2.75"folder, and if i needed could be secondary or tertiary weapons(unlikely as i'd just grab an improv tool). All these are carried in a fanny bag along with my flashlight, cell phone and wallet.

My life is quite fullfilling and i do not feel the need or whim to lose my tools that i choose to carry. I am neither military nor a civilian. My job does require i carry a knife and it has been deployed succesfully for use as a tool in numerous emergency situations to endless menial tasks.  I am a realist that believes in self preservation and preparation. The Boy Scouts motto comes to mind- 'Be prepared' this means mentally, physically, and logistically.
I am fully aware of what i am capable of with regards to emergency med and aside from quikclot i could improv enough to survive the golden hour to the surgeons table if my or another injury was anything but mortal.

For you carrying the weapon seems a burden. A weight that must be hefted, adjusted, maintained. Removing the weapon you claim to feel much happier and nicer. For myself it is a part of my life and a network of safety valves that may be necessary one day and often used for menial tasks.

In an npe then I am satisfied by carrying a flashlight.



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peregrine
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2008, 12:39:38 AM »

From your other thread on knife.
Tony
...3 right turns ....LOL!!'
I think you're right about the connection between practice and experience, and being relaxed. I hope you don't mind but I thought I'd transfer your ideas to the other thread: 'Relaxed vs Prepared'


This sentnece seems to construe that the two oppose each other, it is quite possible to be relaxed and prepared. As Tony mentioned it is being unprepared that makes one tense.
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David
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2008, 03:31:35 AM »

Peregrine,

I do not equate being prepared with being unhappy or unfulfilled at all.  I consider myself prepared, yet also happy and fulfilled.  I also don't necessarily equate carrying a weapon with being "unhappy" or "unfulfilled".  At this point in my life I generally do not carry a weapon...nearly never when I'm outside of the US.  But when I did carry in the past I was certainly still happy, etc.  There will certainly be times when I carry again, and I'm sure I'll be happy then too.

However, I do feel "better" not carrying a weapon.  Having a weapon does suggest the possibility of having to use it, and you do need to be aware of your weapon.  My decision to stop carrying coincided with the aftermath of Katrina when New Orleans became a very safe place for a short period.  Although this period was terrible due to the physical situation in the city, it was also nice as we spent evening after evening out on the street talking to the few people who were back in the first few months.  I started carrying again as the crime worsened.  You may be right to some degree...it is possible that my association with carrying a weapon and "discomfort" is related to those circumstances...the fact that whenever I carried I did so because there was a significant chance of being involved in some crime.  When alone, this was not nearly as uncomfortable as when I was with my wife.

You ask, regarding my feeling about weapons/preparedness: "Is it because you chose to carry a firearm based on your fear of your previous experience?"  (I deleted the comments in the first post because I thought they related too much to the knife thread, and were a bit long for someone coming to this thread straight away.)  I had many, many "experiences" with crime in New Orleans.  I wouldn't say that I personally "feared" it, but the more I traveled to very safe places, the more I liked not having to be prepared in the way I was in N.O., 24/7.  In the time I lived there, there were 2 shootings directly in front of my last house, 1 in front of another I lived in.  My wife and I would hear gunshots probably every other night, whenever we didn't have the AC on.  We'd hear automatic weapon fire probably once a month.  Often you could guess who won and who lost.  We had bullet holes in our roof on two occasions, we found shotgun shells in our backyard, there were several fights in front of our house, shootings down the street, a brothel two blocks away for a while, etc., etc...not to mention the bank robbery I wrote about and other family members being attacked...my sister was forced naked and robbed at gunpoint in her apartment, my mom was beaten and carjacked, etc.  I could go on and on.  My wife and I were prepared.  I carried weapons; I had several stashed around the house; we had motion sensor lights, a motion activated camera, burglar bars, an alarm, and a dog.  I wouldn't say I was in "fear", exactly because I was prepared.  I was also happy.  But, I must say that the crime and being prepared to prevent/deal with it put a filter in front of all else. 

I hadn't thought about it that much to be honest with you.  Like I said, I definitely don't associate being prepared with being unhappy, but there is a connection for me between carrying a weapon and being in an unsafe environment.  Possibly that is why I feel "nicer" not carrying a weapon.  I know this is hypothetical since everyone can't get up and move...but doesn't carrying a weapon suggest the possibility of attack?  Would you not feel better living in a place where the odds are extraordinarily high that you will never be attacked?  I certainly do...not even so much for myself but for my family.

Other points:  I'm not sure what you mean by "meat eaters" carrying.  I only know two vegetarians...most meat eaters I know do not carry.

I don't know how many people I've trained who were "on the ground", but there were several.  I carried more than anyone I taught, and the military guys with the exception of two who were cops, didn't carry. 

Finally, I didn't mean to suggest that you are not happy or fulfilled...but that you might feel a bit better if you didn't carry, or better put, if you didn't NEED to carry.

David
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maija
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2008, 08:29:45 AM »

Peregrine -
The name of the thread is better this way as you are right, being relaxed AND prepared is the key.
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Miyamoto Musashi.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2008, 10:24:03 AM »

"you might feel a bit better if you didn't , , , NEED to carry."

This seems to be the essence of the point you are making.
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David
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2008, 10:28:17 AM »

Probably so.

DO you need to carry is another question that I also think is worth consideration, along with WHAT you carry if you choose to.  That was the point of the knife thread.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2008, 02:40:43 PM »

From a point made on the Bouncer thread on the DBMA Assn forum:

It is a REALLY good idea to have some sort of a medical kit and to have some training in what to do with it.  The Emergency Medicine thread on this forum can be a good place to get started.

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G M
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2008, 05:01:40 PM »

16% of law enforcement officers killed every year are killed while off duty.

You may not be seeking out violence, that doesn't mean it isn't seeking you.
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peregrine
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2008, 06:35:58 AM »

"you might feel a bit better if you didn't , , , NEED to carry."

This seems to be the essence of the point you are making.


Something that did stick out with me is the next quote.


I lead a relaxed and happy life by not obsessing about being attacked, i
magining that I might walk into a mall shooting, a terrorist attack, etc.  If I do find myself in such a situation, the best bet is to escape anyway.  If I can't escape, the secondary benefit of my training will kick in. The primary benefit is health and enjoyment.

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G M
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2008, 10:15:15 AM »

http://www.ignatius-piazza-front-sight.com/2008/06/30/two-strong-reasons-why-you-should-buy-a-gun-get-training-and-secure-a-concealed-weapon-permit/

**Note: The above blog is marketing a firearms training school. I've been a line coach and a student at the school and they do good work, still it is marketing. I post it here because there is value in the material.**
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David
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2008, 11:20:26 AM »

Peregrine: The reason I first began training myself, and teaching, was primarily for self-defense.  Over time I enjoyed training so much, that although I felt I could defend myself and didn't need to teach and practice as much as I did, I liked it, and it was healthy.  Now that I'm no longer living in New Orleans, or in a dangerous area, I practice for enjoyment. 

Watching the video GM just posted though does take me back to the kinds of people I lived around in New Orleans.  On one occasion I watched a neighbor shoot at his uncle (who was younger than himself...17 and 18 I think), over a silly argument that had just sprung up.  Shortly after, they were together again.  As the video demonstrates, many of these people have no regard for life at all.  I remember when the brother of the kid who was shot at was murdered.  He was shot and then set on fire in his car.  I told him I was sorry his brother had been killed, and he reacted as if he couldn't care less.  Amazing. 

I think Crafty was right in pointing out that my position is more that you shouldn't NEED to carry.  If you should, then you should.  I certainly have no problem with that.  I'm very fortunate that I don't at the moment...
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peregrine
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« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2008, 03:21:36 PM »

David, is it fair to say at this point in your life your martial arts training is done to a maintenance level? With that the primary benefit is exercise and maintaining those skill sets.
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David
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« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2008, 03:35:18 PM »

Peregrine,

Yes.  I taught private classes and a few small groups full time for nearly 10 years, until Katrina, and part time for years before that.  I never had less than 20 hours of training a week.  Unfortunately, now I only practice alone a couple of hours a week, occasionally practicing with my wife and a "student" here in Vienna.  I'm hoping to increase practice again, but now that I'm not doing it for a living it's more difficult.  It's also difficult not being in any one place for more than 6 months...and here and there at that.  My additional problem is that the schools here either focus on MMA or traditional styles.  I don't have anything against either, but I always trained/taught with a self-defense emphasis...similar to JKDU from what I understand.  I'm on the verge of having a couple of regular guys here though, so that will be good.  Why do you ask?
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peregrine
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« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2008, 02:54:38 PM »

Peregrine,  Why do you ask?

I asked because your posts have sounded like you were maintaining your ma skills, but not highly focused on growth. There's a time for everything and at times i enjoy putting things on maintenace while i go and focus on learning new skills or another of my goals.
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Tony Torre
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« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2008, 09:06:05 PM »

It's all about preparation.  Check out this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DHUTcXYuQw

Tony Torre
Miami Arnis Group
www.miamiarnisgroup.com
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maija
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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2008, 07:51:49 PM »

Wasn't sure whether to put this in the 'pre-emption ...' or the 'video clips' thread ..... Anyway perhaps it works here.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrZieC3ysyk

Apparently this guy trained Nelson Mandela's bodyguards. This is a 5 minute spot on an Australian morning TV show, so not exactly 'in depth', but I think he illustrates some good, basic principles of self defense.
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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.
maija
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« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2008, 11:06:39 AM »

Bob Spour's DVD "No Doubt No Fear"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOL1tmI-Fsg

This is the 2nd of 3 excerpts. The other 2 are interesting (and funny) also.
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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.
maija
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« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2008, 01:58:12 PM »

OK, so I couldn't resist checking out some of the related clips from the previous one. This one would have perhaps been better in the 'Pre emption and sucker punches' thread, but here it is anyway:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shPj5xidsQo&feature=related
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It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.
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