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JKD UnderGround >> Parking lot encounter


12/15/10 6:54 PM
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WidespreadPanic
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 My female friend and I had a parking lot encounter, fortunately at a low level, but it illustrates how one can be taken off guard.

We walked out to the car, it was night and drizzling. A skinny guy in a loose shirt came up to us and appeared to be asking for directions. I had the shopping cart and my friend was about 3-5 paces behind me.

He got to about 3 feet from her, I had stopped and started to turn the cart around. He asked her for money because he had "a terrible cough and wanted money to buy an inhaler and just got out of the military".

Our mistakes.
1. My friend should have J-hooked over behind me and gotten the cart and me between the guy and her;
2. I should have wheeled the cart between us and prevented him from getting so close to her and told him to shove off.

BUT, being nice and naturally helpful, we thought we'd give directions (that's a classic come-on to get you off guard). Nobody wants to be rude at Christmas time and we'd never been panhandled in a Lowe's parking lot.

He could have EASILY gotten the drop on her, grabbed her from behind and pulled out a weapon. It was only because we were lucky that this did not happen.

I think it's good to 'debrief' in situations like this. In the future my friend knows now to J-hook behind me. I had discussed this with her and explained how it's important to:

1. Get behind your partner, and
2. Put one hand on his hip so he knows where you are and you can easily stay behind him.
3. Assume that anyone approaching you in a parking lot is not asking directions and be rude as you need to be. You can always apologize later.

Hope this is helpful. 
12/16/10 11:18 AM
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WidespreadPanic
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Not to ttt my own post but it occurs to me that this situation points out one of the key aspects of SD.

How do you go from normal (green) to yellow status appropriately? The person who confronted us did not appear to be a threat. He was skinny and frail looking and seemed to be asking for directions. There was a large truck with the headlights on next to where we were and we both -assumed- it was his truck. (I don't think it was).

The biggest barrier, I think is the desire not to be rude to our fellow man, especially in times of someone's distress. We've all been lost a time or two and needed directions. But how many people get out of their truck to ask - they usually will drive by and roll down the window. But we were side tracked by our preconceptions. It's -easy- to analyze in retrospect. The successful perp is one who will not arouse suspicions until he has gained position and the upper hand.

So, we will be doing a little drilling of this in the future. I'll hollar 'J-hook' unexpectedly and she'll see how smoothly she can get behind me and link up. (she suggested this)


12/16/10 12:56 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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I've been wondering some of the same.

My wife is a prime example of someone who often "should know better". She has placed herself in some potentially scary situations because her awareness is off. (It's not her fault--her dad is the opposite end of the spectrum: always paranoid, tried to teach her to be the same. She rejected that worldview but swung a bit far in the opposite direction)

In real life, we've been around each other long enough to be able to communicate quickly, and often nonverbally. We've had situations in parking lots like what you described above, and we find that we can direct each other with a look and a shift of the body, which is cool.

She and I actually have a couple "official" gestures that we only use with each other, for things like "I have to tell you something, but not in present company"...you know, convenient "couple" communication.

I wonder if we should have something like that for "red alert" situations...or maybe even just "yellow alert". :)

By the by, Roy Harris has long advocated distributing plastic (picnicware) knives to your friends and giving them permission to try to shank you anytime you get together. I love it.
12/16/10 3:12 PM
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WidespreadPanic
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Thanks TTCT, for the input.

Actually props to Crafty Dog for this being on his DLO video, where he describes how a bf/gf team needs to partner up, in that case using handguns.

We're getting out CCP in a few days and we also discussed how we would deal with the situation if we were both carrying. Obviously, I would not want her to unholster and sweep me with her firearm. One way might be for her to put one hand on my hip and one on her gun but leave it in the holster unless it was needed and then, possibly back me up somehow. 

If anyone has any ideas on how two partners should operate in this kind of situation, both armed it would make for interesting discussion, so chime in.


12/27/10 3:59 AM
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Lord Kancho
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You sound crazy.
12/27/10 4:08 AM
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Lord Kancho
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I drank to much caffeine and can't sleep, so I decided to come back and tell you why I think you're crazy.



It was only because we were lucky that this did not happen.


No, it was because it's really rare that someone would get the drop on your girlfriend, seize her and pull out a weapon.

What you should have done was look around to see who else was there, look at the guy, put a non-threatening expression on your face and say, "Hey!" to get his attention. Then you motion with your finger for him to come towards you (so he's no longer in communication with the girl) and say, "What can I help you with?" It's called controlling the interaction. It's this amazing thing that works gracefully in social situations and just as effective in security situations. And it lets you lead a normal life.

This j-hook, buttonhook, parrying-with-the-grocery-cart shit is more than a little bizarre and probably just gives you some kind of weird gratification since you clearly spend so much time thinking about this stuff.
12/28/10 12:45 PM
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Stickgrappler
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Richard Dmitri's Senshido has a color coded system of awareness... basically it's green if you are home or familiar surroundings... not super-aware/alert... yellow is if you are out, perhaps out with unfamiliar people ... you are alert/aware... red is if you know you are in dangerous places... you are on full alert.

Or the standard Jeff Cooper's color codes of awareness... do not be in code white, train to be in code orange all the time

Predators prey on good citizens' goodwill and their feeling to not appear rude... Gavin DeBecker covered this in his book, The Gift of Fear... BE RUDE... apologize later. Southnarc aka Craig Douglas as part of his MUC (Managing Unknown Contacts) teaches to have you forcefully request the UC to stay where he is... if he doesn't comply, you know something is up... Guro Marc Denny covers this too in his Die Less Often 3 - Kali Fence dvd.

Always get in the habit of scanning environment. You can be rude up to a point, laugh it off while explaining to the UC you just wanted to be safe rather than sorry, if they have no ill intent, they should understand.

Glad you and your female friend faced no harm and were safe!
12/29/10 12:17 PM
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GaryG
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Edited: 12/29/10 12:18 PM
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I really hate the edit function on this website
12/29/10 12:27 PM
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GaryG
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Lord Kancho - I drank to much caffeine and can't sleep, so I decided to come back and tell you why I think you're crazy.



It was only because we were lucky that this did not happen.


No, it was because it's really rare that someone would get the drop on your girlfriend, seize her and pull out a weapon.

What you should have done was look around to see who else was there, look at the guy, put a non-threatening expression on your face and say, "Hey!" to get his attention. Then you motion with your finger for him to come towards you (so he's no longer in communication with the girl) and say, "What can I help you with?" It's called controlling the interaction. It's this amazing thing that works gracefully in social situations and just as effective in security situations. And it lets you lead a normal life.

This j-hook, buttonhook, parrying-with-the-grocery-cart shit is more than a little bizarre and probably just gives you some kind of weird gratification since you clearly spend so much time thinking about this stuff.


2nd try

You sound very niave, as well as rude.

12/29/10 12:51 PM
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GaryG
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3rd try

To Kancho

What do you do when the person you're addressing doesn't comply and is now next to your girlfriend?

You don't get to control anyones actions except your own.
12/29/10 2:44 PM
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Lord Kancho
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GaryG - 3rd try

To Kancho

What do you do when the person you're addressing doesn't comply and is now next to your girlfriend?

You don't get to control anyones actions except your own.


That's ridiculous. People are easy to control... no, let's reword that. People are easy to evoke responses from. And their responses tell you everything. A guy who wants something from you voluntarily is going to be careful not to offend you, hence he'll give you his attention. A guy who wants something from you involuntarily isn't going to give a fuck about whether or not you look favorably on him and that tells you everything you need to know.

Being safe is interacting with people. You're interacting ALWAYS, whether your walking across the street from them or talking to them face-to-face.

Are you training yourself to handle life or are you structuring your life around dipsy-doodle shopping cart tactics for that once-in-a-lifetime occurence when someone will be out to harm you and you may actually need to fight like a demon?
12/29/10 3:42 PM
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GaryG
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Are you trying to manipulate me:)

You didn't answer the question, the guy is now next to your girlfriend. you did nothing to prevent that. Now what do you do?

You raise some good points. I still struggle as to what an appropriate reaction is in potentially dangerous situations. In some I've come out OK not because what I did was right. I was just lucky.

Thats why I appreciate WSP creating this thread and initiating a discussion.

P.S. I think you used to post pic's of your wife. She's beautiful, you should protect her better (I keed, I keed)
12/30/10 11:58 PM
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keseki
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Edited: 08/21/11 7:51 AM
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1/2/11 4:44 AM
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WidespreadPanic
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Thanks for the input, guy, even 'Lord' Kancho.

Yes this is a goofy scenario, BUT it really happened, we were really caught off guard (we're in a low crime town), and I did use this scenario as a way to raise our awareness as a couple. I was NOT scared, nor was she, but when these things happen, it's good to do a 'what if' just to re-orient your awareness.

If she had moved to behind me at the same time I moved towards her, like a chess game, we'd have been protected from any contact in a matter of a second or two. We were not armed, no pepper spray so movement was the only option. As in a gun fight, 'seek cover' first.

THEN, after moving to a better tactical situation, we could have used voice commands for the guy to take off. As it was, I did say 'no, let's go' and he moved off. But it could have been bad - we'd been separated, he was closer to her than me, and it's just dumb to be in that position, threat or not.

To the Lord, I do think about this a lot - when I'm posting in the JKD forum. Otherwise, I think about SD surprisingly little and have posted many times that doing MA is not for the purpose of SD - it's exercise and enjoyment. However, when you get to be 60 years old and maybe lose a step you might think differently - it's all about not putting yourself in an exposed position and it's good to share real-life situations to illustrate how even athletic, well-trained people can get 'caught' asleep at the switch. This kind of thing won't happen to us again, thanks to this thankfully low-key event.

$0.02


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