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DantheWolfMan UnderGround >> Some thoughts on a bus scenario


10/4/04 8:44 AM
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Hab
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Edited: 04-Oct-04
Member Since: 05/27/2003
Posts: 157
 
Hi, I'm not TCMS, but I enjoy the material very much. Reading is of course optional, and I appreciate any feedback. A recent event in local media brought up the subject of self defense while using collective transportation (subway, bus etc). So this received some attention, and we decided to break it down a bit and see if we could produce some relevant scenario training. Here is what my current thoughts are on the subject. Any thoughts? : First of all, normal traffic safety is of course the objectively biggest hazard. Wear seat belts, note exits etc. For self defence purposes one needs to appreciate what aspects are actually changed. The "correct" answer is probably "nothing has changed", but you have some elevated concerns, IMO. You have less control of your immediate surroundings, you have less mobility, and most people are actively dulling their instincts and desire to react upon intrusion of private space. This may not be the case with TCMS instructors, but it is a reality of the scene and is relevant for people planning to commit crimes on board. What healthy habits should you incorporate in order to decrease your risk profile? I think the main bad guy is probably one of three categories. * People responding to being in this proximity with other people. Having cultural, mental or social problems. * People who are bored looking sadistically for recreation. School yard bully revived by the social setting. * People who have a criminal agenda and has picked the scene because it offers better chances. Crimes planned onboard collective transportation probably presume: * People in "bus trance" not responding until it's over (snatch bag and jump out the door as it closes). * People not aware of their immediate surroundings and/or people bumping into each other (stabbing, pickpocketing). * People being isolated (walking through the train outside rush hours and mug people). You cannot be 100% safe against all these threats. You cannot decide not to let people near you on the bus. But you can proactive, and pose as a undesirable or unavailable prey. There is an important element which I wont mention during the course until I have put someone through the following drill: Subject sits in a double seat with an instructor (subject sitting by the aisle), instructor no 2 demands that instructor no 1 opens the window which he refuses. The subject being caught in the middle of this conflict escalating until instructor no 2 draws a knife. This one is a wicked. Perhaps one of the most important aspects is "being/helping the third person being caught in the crossfire". Scenarios may include: Someone demanding the bus driver make a "personal" drop off to save a short walk. Someone glaring at you during the ride and looking to rough shoulder (or stab) you on the way out. Or he (maybe just to make you uncomfy) moves to the seat behind you. You see a pickpocket. Someone else fights. Someone demanding someone else's ticket because there is a ticket control. You can be sort of proactive looking to see if someone seems to have an agenda apart from riding the bus (do people disappear into "bus trance" when the fare has been paid or are they scoping for something?). You can be careful not to position yourself so you're passed hurriedly and intimately by people leaving the bus. You can find a seat inaccessible from behind, or sit with back against the window. You can do drills from a bus seat. You can free spar in a bus. You can work on flinch response from a bus seat. Sorry for the long posts. I can't help but braindump. They just get this long.
10/5/04 8:59 AM
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JDDynamic
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Edited: 05-Oct-04
Member Since: 03/26/2003
Posts: 31
Hab, Out of curiosity, what was the recent event that brought these examinations about? Yes, traffic safety is a large hazard, but I've yet to see seat belts on any public transportation in any of the countries I've visited. But on to the reply... I disagree in theory with the comment "...one needs to appreciate what aspects are actually changed. The "correct" answer is probably "nothing has changed", but you have some elevated concerns." In reality, the only thing that probably hasn't changed is your own impression of how you are feeling, thinking, and potential response-ability on any given day based on huge amounts of factors. What changes in public transportation is the entire internal environment of whatever vehicle you are in. The other people on the bus, train, etc. Unless you are lucky enough to rise the exact same train, with the exact same people at the exact same time and that everyone has the exact same behavior every day, every day and even passengers you ride with every day and "know" are going to be different and present a new host of potential problems. The kicker is trying to identify which behaviors and actions are "normal" and non-threatening. Yes, you have somewhat less control of your immediate surroundings, less mobility (in terms of potential escape routes, but not necessarily reactions -- remember most fights happen in the space of a phone booth). The active dulling of senses you refer to comes predominantly as a result of the 1) "familiarity" of the ride and things associated with it; and 2) a general desire, and unfortunate result of our social systems, to just not think about or pay attention to what is happening around us. We, as a populace / race, just don't want to be involved with events around us in these environments. We all look down, rather than meet someone's eyes. It is a natural behavioral fact, even for TCMS instructors. As you point out, it is indeed a factor that criminals count on while they plan to commit crimes. You asked, "What healthy habits should you incorporate in order to decrease your risk profile?" This is a simple, yet tough answer. Be aware, but not paranoidly looking around. Look for behavioral clues. Try to identify what is normal, accurately explainable behavior, and what is not. Trust your instincts, intelligence, and intuition. True story. I was on a metro in a European city that I travel to for work frequently. Had been there for two weeks and had taken the metro every morning. This morning there was an older couple on the train with a guide book and map out, and speaking English(signalling their unfamiliarity with the area and that they were tourists), cameras over their shoulders, and shoulder bags sitting in both their laps. Can you picture this? I looked at them briefly and then looked around. I saw another individual looking at them intently, paying attention to their cameras and their bags. After a minute of watching him, it just didn't feel right. So I got up and took a free seat next to the couple; watching the face of the man I had noticed. I introduced myself and told them I was familiar with the city and where it sounded like they wanted to go. Then I also politely, in the same tone of voice, suggested that they place their cameras in their bags and zip them up a little tighter because there was someone who was paying attention to their equipment. I described the man to them and when they looked up, he was still looking at them. They put their cameras in their bags and the individual in question got off at the next stop. Now, could it have been coincidence? Sure. But I'd like to think that I had actually spotted something in progress and was able to defuse it prior to it taking place. ...continued
10/5/04 9:00 AM
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JDDynamic
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Edited: 05-Oct-04
Member Since: 03/26/2003
Posts: 32
....continuation of above All the factors you mentioned about the bad guys are accurate: * People responding to being in this proximity with other people. Having cultural, mental or social problems. * People who are bored looking sadistically for recreation. School yard bully revived by the social setting. * People who have a criminal agenda and has picked the scene because it offers better chances. Crimes planned onboard collective transportation probably presume: * People in "bus trance" not responding until it's over (snatch bag and jump out the door as it closes). * People not aware of their immediate surroundings and/or people bumping into each other (stabbing, pickpocketing). * People being isolated (walking through the train outside rush hours and mug people). You are correct that none of us can be 100% safe against all threats. That we can't decide not to let people near us. And you are certainly correct that we can proactive, and pose as a undesirable or unavailable prey as possible. How we do that though is an individual decision. I knew a very sharp and tough individual who pretended to talk to himself everytime he was on a train. That was his prefered method. The other scenarios you mentioned: being caught in the middle of an event, caught in the crossfire"; Someone demanding a "personal" drop off; Someone glaring at you during the ride; moving to the seat behind you; seeing a pickpocket; a fight; demanding someone's ticket; etc. are all potential scenarios we could face. Conducting drills from a "bus seat", in short, replicating the environment you face, doing what we term Ballistic Micro-Fights, is one aspect of what TCMS is about. Prepare for reality by training in as much of a real-life environment as you can. Work through all stages of the potential altercations, see what works, and perhaps more importantly, what doesn't. Hope all this helps. Jason Dury
10/6/04 3:46 AM
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Hab
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Edited: 15-Oct-04 02:12 AM
Member Since: 05/27/2003
Posts: 159
Thank you for your reply. The events were three independant events:  * An institution escapee stabbing the bus driver through the curtains behind.  * A mentally unstable person went amoc in a bus. Killing one, wounding several.  * A passenger in a small Dornier tried to down her during landing. Used an axe on the pilots and grabbed the stick. The pilots levelled her at about 30 meters. We have seat belts in most express buses here in Norway. And of course in airplanes (but there the biggest hazards are related to the beverages served on international flights). Regarding: The "correct" answer is probably "nothing has changed", etc. There are two approaches when considering differences between scenarios (even just slightly): * Nothing has changed. Implicitly referring to principles, axioms, concepts (SPEAR), goals, priorities, motivations, state management. Call them strategies. * Everything has changed. Referring to immediate openings, stance, axes, states, energies, momentum, techniques. In short: tactical implementation and how each unique execution responds/unfolds. Even if nothing changes, it is still a different execution. On this board people are generally not presuming to have the information to tell you what to do in category no 2, which is understandable both when one considers the media (Internet) as well as the generic nature of the TB concepts. This is great if you watch TCMS tapes and want to find if terms taught in one setting are applicable in others, but it's hard to trigger a brainstorm on ideas on how to produce learning experiences with the students. Awareness is the numero uno, obviously. Do people scope for anything but a place to sit? Even though not everybody locks onto the 1000 yard stare, you still can pick up on behaviour like the one in your story. Is awkward behaviour a response to the social discomfort, work stress etc or is "something going down"? These are mostly things which will have a theoretical nature during the course, and should be appreciated before the scenario training, but can only really be honed by doing "home work" whenever you ride a bus. Thank you for the kind words on my analysis.
12/3/04 7:16 PM
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ironmongoose
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Edited: 03-Dec-04
Member Since: 04/17/2002
Posts: 1901
Hab, very nice! A good troubleshooting analysis in the spirit of Blauer's work! I was in Norway a couple months back. You have very nice busses, very big and comfy. But unfortunately like everything else there they are insanely expensive. Also, I like the water up in Norway. I don't know where to find Imsdahl in my home of Edmonton, Canada. :(

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