Judgement Calls

Scenario #1

Marilyn is a college freshman. She has an apartment away from home for the first time. The creep next door wants Marilyn to go out with him, and thinks it is fun to tease her. He often jumps out of the bushes and grabs her from behind, or tries to steal kisses at the laundry room.

Women and undersized children are often harassed by larger, stronger individuals who see them as easy prey. The solution to this problem is basically psychological. The way to stop annoying behavior is to remove the gratification the antagonist receives from his actions. Refuse to go along with the game. Maintain a confident, assertive attitude. Avoid nervous giggling, whining, etc. Physical aggression can be checked by effortlessly breaking away from the harasser’s grasp. This simple action can unnerve the aggressor to the degree that he will leave.

Scenario #2

Roger is a top-notch karate black belt who expects- and generally receives- easy victories at the tournaments he attends. His friends wish he would lose now and then so he wouldn’t be so egotistical. One day Roger gets into a bar fight and kicks the drunk in the head. The man dies and Roger is arraigned on murder charges.

Scenario #3

Hank is 20 years old and athletic. He studied judo when he was a kid and has confidence that he can take care of himself. When confronted one day by a robber with a knife, he attacks the man and barely survives after emergency surgery.

Scenarios #2 and #3 could have been avoided. They are prime examples of errors in judgment. Swallow pride and walk away. Knowing when to use self-defense techniques is more important than the techniques that are actually used. Techniques for the self-defense can, and should, result in injury to an attacker. However, they should only be used in situations that seriously threaten life or well being.