4 posts / 0 new
Last post
HawaiianBrian's picture
Methods for De-Escalation and the Psychology of Violence

Hey everyone.

I am not aware that a topic has been started in regards to de-escalation and the psychology of violence, so I thought I'd start it here.

The question is this; what do you do, or rather, what do you think are good drills to train and teach de-escalation and to prepare psychologically for violent confrontations?  I think the old "What you lookin' at, bitch?" or "Why you lookin' at mah girlfriend?!" as set ups gets a little old, redundant, and don't reflect the true dynamics of violent confrontations.

Also, what are good drills to manage adrenaline dump and other associated feelings?  What about incorporating the symptoms of tunnel vision?  How about countering freeze-ups and the likes?  I feel these drills are absolutely necessary for any self defense curriculum.

shoshinkanuk's picture

One of the biggest tools I learn't was there are 3 basic reactions to potential violence - fight, flight or the one that doesn't often get talked about freeze.

In terms of de-esculation I teach a basic outline of keeping out of tactile range, keeping a passive fence in place, verbal de-esculation to exit.

If exit is not possible then understand the basic methods of assault and practice whats it's like to have those done upon you.

Theres a whole bunch of other things I teach, but thats a starting point for the topic.

BRITON55's picture

 I personally love this topic and thanks for sparking it off.....

Hi all, with reference to this subject there is a good book called "Verbal Judo" amongst others, dealing with such issues.

Having taught in HMP and Forensic Hospitals for many years; de-escalation of violent verbal episodes which were normally the precurser to violent physical episodes. For my job it was important to learn the skills needed in voice- tone,words used and body language to prevent or minimise the level of escalation.

These techniques when learnt became useful for in my courses on "Dealing with violence and aggression in the workplace" for Government bodies and stewards of Premiership football clubs.

Iains statements about MA and context of use are never more apparent than when encountered in daily life and not just the dojo. We in "Complete Combat" use similar methods to "The pavement arena studies" with Geoffe Thompson and co:

Very few clubs allocate time in training to cover the verbal side of aggression, for many reasons....vulgar language use when there are children present,training location [sports halls], and alarming students who may never had verbal abuse and intimidation hurled at them one to one [is he joking or does he mean it?].

Calm and gentlemanly behaviour is the order of the day in dojos' all over.........but in real conflict well if youve never been there no good me trying to explain what it feels like.....but i am forever grateful for learning verbal de-escalation skills it reduced my need to resort to my combat training to save the day.

Any tips to enhance these techniques would be gratefully appreciated

Peace and Harmony Pyung Ahn

Yours in Budo

Steve cool


Andrew Carr-Locke
Andrew Carr-Locke's picture

All of our training came in through a place called the crisis-prevention institiute. they may have stuff you can order, their courses were pretty through too. More aimed at Security and Hospital staff who had to deal with the subject, rather than having the option to not-respond and disengage completely (walk away- isn't that what your mother taught you? LOL)