Archive for August, 2010

When to Fight? Why is this a Question?

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Self-defense
22 Aug 2010

Reading blogs and comments I think the question of when to fight or run can be a bit confusing to those who have never faced this decision. I mean if someone confronts you behind a bar on the way to your car – what do you do? Your best choices are to diffuse, acquiesce, frighten, flight or fight normally but most do not see all of these choices.

  • Diffuse = talk your way out of a confrontation – maybe offer other outcomes the attacker likes
  • Acquiesce = I mean take the lesser of two evils… give up your wallet if you can do it safely… I would not suggest giving up your life
  • Frighten = if he pulls a little knife on you  – You pull out a bigger knife, gun, or pepper spray
  • Flight = this is if you have a reasonable chance at success – you can get away
  • Fight = if there are are no other reasonable choices – you are left with fighting for your life – note this makes sense even if you think you have no chance at success – you might just get a momentary advantage and run away

Disclaimer – I am not really talking about how reasonable it is to just give up. There are some discussions about taking acquiescence to the next level – let the attacker have their way and hope they will let you go. While it is my opinion that this not a safe choice as you leave the power of your life in your attackers hands – a person you already know has no regard for your safety. So that being said if giving up your purse or wallet does not sasify the attacker – you have to make the best decision for you – and (hopefully) live with the consequences.

Most have heard of the fight or flight response where the body prepares for action when stressed but what of the actual decision? How does one decide the proper course of action? While I’ll touch on the different choices above, the main point of this post is how and when you make the decision to fight!

In this post I will try to help the reader see the decision making process that one goes through if confronted with a fight or flight response in a trained fighter. The reason I am speaking of the “trained fighter” is I am not going to deal with how unprepared people deal with attacks – I think that is understood… they use the more simplistic fight or flight response and depends on the body for formulate a split-second plan. While that might just work – there is not guarantee that not any forethought will allow someone to mount a successful escape or defense! Take a quick look at the fight or flight response in this video.



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Under: martial arts
8 Aug 2010


How many times have you witnessed heated arguements between normally reasonable people but due to a political, religious or moral view – the discussion digressed into name calling? Whatever the point that started the discussion was lost as soon as they stopped listening to the opposing point of view. How about people treating others disrespectfully leading to undignified actions?


Does this apparent lack of civility, dignity and respect contribute to the apparent willingness of people to commit crimes? I mean if people have no apparent ethics or morals that enforce a code of reasonable behavior, how far behind is raping, plundering and murder?


People are a mixed bag. There are no all good people or all bad people. We all have our demons to wrestle – come to terms with if you will so we can get along well in life. Sometimes good people are tested by the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, growing up in a bad part of town,  or growing up with no real ethical standards. Some think music, video games, movies, and such contribute to this but I do not. What I think does contribute to how a person will react to situations are their own personal strength and their examples around them.


So in this post I am going to try and make the argument that good behaviour starts from within and is contagious. If we all try to work towards civility, dignity and respect of everyone around us – others around us will be more apt to see how this positive behaviour can help them communicate more effectively with those around them. I also think that people will be less apt to do bad things if they work on common civility and we will all have a better community. Here is what one city is trying to do. 




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