The Nature of Violence
by Dave Sauer, Suarez International Tier One Instructor
When we talk about the “warrior” mind set, we talk about being willing, able and ready; but what do we mean by “willing”? Willing to do what exactly? I hope what I am about to outline causes you to think differently about the nature of violence and what your mind set must be when someone means to do you harm. As a frame of reference, the illustration below represents the circle of accepted social behaviors we humans learn for getting along with one another. Many make the mistake in thinking that those who would inflict violence upon another, particularly on a cop, live and function within the circle, but the fact is they do not. They use the circle against us. Think about this, knowing what you know about getting along with others, what would it take for a normal person (you) to physically attack another for a reason other than self-defense? It doesn’t happen. Normal people go out of their way to avoid violence. Violence occurs outside the circle not inside it. This is an important distinction, because it will keep us from making the mistake of thinking that we can deal with violence from inside the circle.
The predators of society are sociopaths. Devoid of normal conscience, they travel in and out of the circle without remorse, motivated only to get what they want, right now. The consequences of their behavior, more often than not, is not a factor in their decision making process. Predators use what they know of the circle to gain our trust, to get close enough to attack, and to try to get what they want. If, however, their inside the circle tactics fail to get them what they want, they have no problem stepping outside the circle. We find victims who have not understood the nature of violence say things like, “He seemed like such a nice guy, but as soon as I said ‘no’ he hit me.”
“It happened so fast. One second he was acting like he knew me and the next, wham!”
“That dude is psycho! He jokes around then he’s in your face!”
“All I was doing was walking my dog and this guy comes up all tough wanting some change. I told him I didn’t have any and he punched me, knocked me down and took my wallet and phone. It wasn’t until after he was gone I realized he must have stabbed me.”
These are just a few of the many examples of violence; out of the circle sociopath behavior. Notice I did not write, “Anti-social behavior.” I make a distinction between the two. Anti-social behavior is found on the edges of the circle, but still part of it. Examples of anti-social behavior is the person we all know that when you say “Hi” to them, you don’t know which person you’re going to get a response from, the social, pleasant, “Hi” in return, or the cold shoulder like you ate their last cookie. Or the person purposely making a scene at the customer service desk because she knows if she makes a big enough scene, a manager will come out and tell the employee to “Just give them what they want so they’ll go away.” There are people like this that go out to eat, order $100 worth of food, eat it, then complain and cause a scene knowing they’ll get part or all of their meal comped. And they do this every time, every place they go! These kind of people use the fringe of the circle to get what they want because they have learned most people are very uncomfortable at the fringe and want to avoid it. Some of these people are willing to step outside the circle, but most are not, that’s how you tell the true sociopath, by their willingness to step outside the circle. Expert anti-socialists are very adept at pushing right up to the edge, knowing most will back away from the edge. When someone comes along who is willing to step over the edge and pushes back (calls their bluff) the anti-socialist backs down and tries to use a variety of tactics to diffuse the situation and save face. One who understands this can use this knowledge to diffuse the situation by giving the person an easy way out.
When we understand the nature of violence, and where it lives, we understand where we need to go to win against it. We need to be willing to step outside the circle. Alas, many are not. They falsely believe they can reason with someone who is outside the circle from inside of it. This false belief leads to an unwillingness to act when when action is needed; deadly delays that give up initiative; lack of speed, lack of surprise, lack of aggressiveness, lack of a ferocious forward attack that controls the tempo and forces our opponent to react. When it is time to step outside the circle the time for talking is over. Our entire energy needs to be directed to delivering a ruthless, immediate, overwhelming, focused attack intended to debilitate our attacker and render him unable to carry out his intentions. This is what our Zero to Five Feet Pistol Fighting course is all about. Learning how to effectively step outside the circle, to be confident there, so that when that is where we need to go we will be Willing, Able and Ready.