On The Right to Self-Protection Blog
Think – Because Survival Isn't a Sport

Understanding Self-Protection Part 1: Understanding Criminal/Asocial Violence v. Social/Anti-Social Violence


The very essence of self-protection is the understanding of the parameters under which is to be implemented.  When most people think of violence they think most often of:

1.      ego-based bar fights where two or more people puff out their chests and try to defend against a perceived wrong or offence,

2.      someone trying to out-testosterone a competitor to be viewed favorably by a female they are looking to be with

3.      competitors in a boxing or MMA match or such trying to compete for bragging rights or

4.      persons who are looking to vent and make someone else feel less-then so they can feel better about themselves.

All of these have one thing in common; they are a type of violence that is socially-based and constrained, at some level, by social rules of interaction.  At some point in each of these events, there is a socially acceptable way of preventing violence from occurring.  Deferring to another to let him seem dominant, apologizing and leaving the scene when you are the source of a perceived wrong, finding another person of interest to focus attention on.  Each allows us to make a choice to engage in an act of violence or not.

And because we are social animals, we understand and accept the societal connotations of behavioral codes of conduct, believing that we are relatively safe as long as we follow the social constraints of the game.  Once we choose violence in a social setting it is conducted outside of the “proper” rules of social conduct and we venture in anti-social behavior.  This means that while we are going to engage in violence, that violence is more competitive in its nature, trying to ascertain the proper social status to be assigned to each participant as determined by the outcome of the contest.

But this is still in the realm of social violence.  Anti-social simply means the behavior is not preferred as a way of settling disputes but it is understood and assigned value by the members of the society who witness it.  The winner of the fight is assigned higher prestige and status than the guy who skulks off or is bested.

Now the nature of criminal asocial violence is that is cannot be understood in terms of social dynamics in the manner of establishing status.  It is not intended to do so.  Asocial criminal violence functions completely without regard for societal rules of any sort.  It uses these rules to hamstring the intended victim, making it easier to initiate force against them and succeed because most people want to talk or plead or avoid violence, and that is the edge the criminal or terrorist counts on.  While we are busy trying to go through the list of socially acceptable supplication rituals to avoid violence we are premium targets, getting beaten, stabbed, shot, raped, robbed or suffering whatever other fate the perpetrator intends to deliver unto us.

Violence for the asocial predator  is a tool used to gain a particular goal by the person employing it and it is not about competing with someone.  It is about inflicting enough damage to the person that has been targeted to render them incapable of resisting compliance with the demands of the perpetrator.  This is not about tapping out or making someone comply, it is about brutalizing them into abject submission.

There is no choice in the matter as to whether you will be part of an asocially violent event once you have been targeted – you will be.  The entirety of the nature of that event is that you will assume one of two roles – the person who did violence unto another and physically disabled them or you will be the person disabled by the violence.  You will be the victim or the perpetrator of violence.

The problem with the social programming is that because we understand criminal violence in terms of an anti-social behavior rather than an asocial event.  As I said before, while we are busy trying to go through the list of socially acceptable supplication rituals to avoid violence we being the perfect victims, receiving 100% of the physical damage during the event and being broken so we cannot resist or defend ourselves or our loved ones.  Our reaction to employ brutal, unyielding force on another human being carries a social stigma that many cannot overcome.  Most people look differently at someone they know has used true violence on another human being with the clear intent to cause debilitating harm, even if they used it in self-defense.  You should have called 911.  They wouldn’t hurt you if…, and the list goes on.  I have even seen a police officer chastise one of my former students for her attack on a man as he knocked her to the ground and tried to rape her.  She broke his ankle, ruptured his testicle which had to be surgically removed and broke his clavicles and jaw.  The officer was debating having her charged for excessive force because he felt she should have gotten to the emergency phone near her to call 911 rather than be a “vigilante”.  I am not kidding on this, you couldn’t make this kind of social idiocy up.  Needless to say the pending charge was over-ruled and the officer sent to another area by a senior officer on scene who saw the discussion unfold.

There are arguments about not sinking to the level of the criminal and other attempts by members of the social order to re-institute the supremacy of the social dictates on proper behavior and they are rooted, not in the welfare of the person who might have to or did survive an asocially violent event, but rather in making the other members of that social enclave feel better about avoiding the thought it could have been them.

Once we recognize that criminal asocial violence has a particular nature and that its nature places outside the constraints of societal functioning, we can begin to address how to protect ourselves.  The answer to that is so simple, once the social stigmas and doctrines are removed that it is amazing we can’t see it with crystalline clarity from the very outset – we must respond with asocial violence.

To respond to asocial events asocially is to choose to protect not defend.  Self-protection means to have fear of imminent threat upon your person and act proactively in asserting your right to not be a victim.  It means to decide to make the criminal a victim and not stop until you believe that you can leave that scene safely.  It means to be the giver of violence – 100% of the violence being inflicted is being done by you.  To defend means to try and stop the violence being delivered unto you – an untenable position if survival is your goal.  Eventually, if you are defensive, your capacity to defend will be eroded as your body absorbs punishment until you are no longer defensible.  And then it is simply you absorbing as much damage as he chooses to inflict upon you – up to and including the possibility of him killing you.

This is where the study of combatives comes in and the study of boxing, kickboxing, martial arts and mixed martial arts goes out.  Combatives is about delivering 100% of the damage to the target you have to engage – just as the criminal would do to you.  It is about inflicting serious damage not to compete with an assailant to see who is best but rather to structurally incapacitate that assailant so they can no longer function to present a viable threat.

IT IS NOT TO: “teach him a lesson” or “use his energy against him” or “submit him with pain compliance”.

IT IS TO: break joints, rupture organs, testicles and tear the scrotum off, to blind him, to cause structural damage that stops him from being able to move, and if necessary to crush the pericardial sac or windpipes, sever cervical ganglion and brainstem, or stomp on the skull until you rupture the skull’s protective framework and crush the brain.

We can ramp down as soon as the person cannot pose a threat to us again, but the reality is that in asocial violence if you aim to compete you are preparing for a role as victim.  Since there are only two roles, victim and victor, you must choose to make him a victim first.  It is ugly, and it is unpleasant.  You will hear noises and pleadings that are guttural and would break your heart in a social setting.  And if you are in an asocially violent encounter it is it the only way you can even the playing field and hope to survive.

Understand that if the event is asocial you have no choice.  If the event is asocial there is no guilt that can be assigned to you that is morally viable if society is cogent of the rights of an individual not to be victimized.  The twisted logic of those who would defend criminals is exactly that, twisted.  It is neither functional nor proper and the ethos of those who espouse it is to destroy individual rights and individual responsibility and replace it with social dependence, allowing individuals to be sacrificed to the asocial criminal elements so long as it structures society to keep them empowered through dependence on law devoid of justice.

The act of individual self-protection was a fundamental lynch-pin in the constructs of this nation.  We have convoluted the conditions under which we may claim the right to action in our own defense or in the defense of those we love so badly that we are at risk of losing it altogether if we do not assert it decisively and force the court and law enforcement systems to once again embrace it as a central tenet of our social structure.

Never feel guilty for defending yourself when you are given no other option than to become the victim.

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One Response to “Understanding Self-Protection Part 1: Understanding Criminal/Asocial Violence v. Social/Anti-Social Violence”

  1. Great article and Spot on Steve. Society today has been conditioned violence is not the answer, but as you so clearly state this conditioning is detrimental to survival. I am glad to see someone bringing this knowledge to the folks who just may need it. Great Blog!!!


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