Monday, February 13, 2006



"A Study of the Parameters, Dynamics and Results of 1,000 Acts of Violence "
This is a really good read, and important for all us civilians, and law enforcement alike. Sam and I were talking about training for the most likely situations, and this may help you figure out what the most likely scenarios are.

The author, James LaFond, bills this as "A Study of the Parameters, Dynamics and Results of 1,000 Acts of Violence." Not being familiar with polling or study methodology, I can't vouch for the "scientific" validity of the results, but I remember reading several of his articles in Black Belt several years ago, and it was great information, regardless.

The opening:

Case No. 46-05: night, minutes, first-person defender.
Duncan, a 6-foot-4-inch 240-pound bouncer, had just ejected a short, stocky PCP freak by putting him in a full nelson and opening the door with his face. A friend of the freak’s then pushed Duncan out onto the sidewalk, unhitched a chain he was wearing as a belt and began swinging it. As Duncan, standing between the two, turned toward the chain man, Gordan, a 6-foot-6-inch 300-pound friend of Duncan’s, stopped his car, rushed over and began a minute-long disposal of the “twerp with the chain.” At that point, the freak charged Duncan.

Duncan hit him in the face with a straight right and grabbed the shorter man’s shirt with his left hand.

He then shoulder-butted the freak in the chest, picked him up and threw him to the pavement, then kicked him when he rose to charge.

This sequence of events was repeated at least 10 times until Duncan became tired—which, he said, is unusual for him because he enjoys fighting and feels no stress under such circumstances. Besides, most of his battles are decided in less than five seconds.

Duncan and the freak clinched again. When Duncan “got low” to gain leverage for a throw, the freak bit into his left shoulder and began to tear off a piece. Duncan was stunned but quickly regained his composure. As the freak munched away, Duncan placed his left ear between his teeth and ripped it off.

Then the police pulled up, saw the blood and took them to the hospital.

... [these stories] are included here not to shock but to show martial artists how complex and unpredictable real fights can be.

Key statistics:
• 60 percent were described as attacks (as opposed to mutual combat)
• 59 percent occurred outside
• 59 percent occurred after dark
• 53 percent involved alcohol or drug use
• 17 percent actually occurred on the street.

With respect to the action that took place during the altercations, the statistics were:
• 57 percent of the aggressors were successful (32 percent by KO)
• 13 percent of the defenders were successful (50 percent by KO)
• 30 percent of the altercations had no clear winner
• 28 percent of the defenders required medical care
• 7 percent of the aggressors required medical care
• 28 percent of the fights were reported to the police
• 16 percent resulted in an arrest, criminal charge or civil suit.

Duration of Combat:
Few of the subjects I interviewed could assign a duration to any struggle that was not resolved instantly. Time perception seems to warp under stress. Usually, when they would say one minute, they would mean 10 seconds. However, by breaking down the incidents act by act and calculating interventions, it became possible to place fights into three broad categories:

63 percent were resolved in less than 10 seconds. Most were highly successful attacks decided within five seconds. The balance involved indecisive third-party interventions, defenders successfully drawing and brandishing a weapon before contact, and trained fighters countering or intercepting untrained attackers, often resulting in a KO.

25 percent lasted 10 seconds to one minute. They were most often successful defenses. The second most common type of mid-duration events were successful attacks against a group, usually by a lone aggressor.

13 percent lasted more than one minute. Most were acts of extreme violence in which the attacker gained the crucial advantage within seconds.

For Women Only
The survey revealed a treasure trove of facts that can aid any female martial artist interested in self-defense:
• 11 percent of the situations involved a female aggressor
• 17 percent of the defenders were—or included—a female
• 3 percent of the female defenders were trained fighters.

Of those encounters that involved women committing acts of violence on other women,
• 67 percent involved alcohol or drug use
• 33 percent went to the floor
• 20 percent were related to traffic
• 43 percent were indecisive.

When the fight took place between a man and a woman,
• 46 percent involved women attacking men
• 45 percent of female-onmale attacks were successful.

Female defenders were five times more likely than their male counterparts to be unarmed.

Women are just as likely as men to be attacked with a weapon.

Perhaps the most important finding was that female students of self-defense with no previous fighting experience successfully defended themselves 75 percent of the time. It seems that martial arts training really does pay off.

Going to the Ground
Thirty-eight percent of the encounters involved or resulted in grappling. That figure includes clinches (both parties standing), throws (one party down) and floor fights (both down). Almost one quarter included the use of weapons.

Only 15 percent of the floor fights studied took place between sober men.

My conclusions:

  1. The most fundamental tenet of self-defense is true - you can't be a vicim if you're not there. Stay out of, or leave any situation which may become dangerous to you or your family.
  2. Drunks are idiots ("53 percent involved alcohol or drug use "). If you're hanging out where people are getting drunk or high, you're increasing your risk. Common sense?
  3. You can't play defense ("57 percent of the aggressors were successful"). If you think you're in danger, don't wait - get out of the situation. Also, if you think an attack is imminent, strike first, strike hard, and get out of there. Do whatever it takes, no more, but certainly no less.
  4. Don't pace yourself ("63 percent were resolved in less than 10 seconds"). I have never seen a real fight that went 12 rounds. If you beat your opponent to the punch, you will probably survive. Have you ever watched the toughman contests they had on Spike TV? They most closely resembled a real fight, in that the fighter who lands the best punch first will win. Now, I would change that to say that, if you can grapple, it gives you other options, but don't wait around to figure them out!
  5. If you don't have a weapon, get one. That means OC spray (pepper), a firearm, or anything that's handy.

I welcome comments. Stay safe.

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