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Living Miscellany

Tuesday night, my dojo secretary called to say she'd be in late because police had blocked off her street, big-city media was clogging everyone's driveway, and a helicopter was circling overhead while a forensics team and cadaver-sniffing dogs stood by waiting to excavate a neighbor's yard in an effort to find the body of a woman who'd disappeared years ago.

Yeah, pretty unique excuse for being late.

Well, as of yesterday, that neighbor confessed to strangling that woman (his girlfriend at the time) and burying her in his backyard. For this town of population 18,000--where the majority of the 40-something population went to high school with this guy--it's been quite a shock.

With my women's class last night more than a little thrown by the whole thing, I opted to work with them on what to do if someone is trying to choke you. The short version: don't waste time trying to pry their hands from your neck. Go for the eyeballs first, kick knees or groin next, and if those fail and/or are out of reach, rip off the fucker's pinky finger. Longer version: you'll have to come to class for that.

This is the weekend for editing and nitpicking, which is a good thing. Were this the weekend for spending money, I'd be out of luck. That said, I've just enough my pocket for Dev and I to see Guardians of the Galaxy, and I deeply and truly need to see a badass raccoon today.

And right now, I'm writing this while looking out my living room window--I just washed them inside and out, so it's worth looking out of now--at a stunning blue sky, dark green trees and bright green fields, and there's a touch of white cloud just peeking over the treetops. Really beautiful. I should wash my windows more often.

I suppose I could stretch that into some life-defining metaphor but, really, who has the time for that?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 1st, 2014 11:53 pm (UTC)
I've heard that "faint" works well when you're being held -- make the guy carry full weight. Would it work for strangling? Assuming your standing.
Aug. 2nd, 2014 02:40 am (UTC)
I personally wouldn't teach a fake faint as a strategy for any but the most extreme situation where nothing else has worked. Some attackers will take the seeming passivity as an invitation to do more. The more focused the attacker, the most likely he will have a plan to restrain as soon as his victim is subdued.

And if a guy is trying to drag me away, I don't need to manufacture a reason to drop my body weight in order to make that dragging difficult.

I definitely wouldn't use it in a chocking situation because you really don't have much time. By the time the attacker believed the fake faint, you could be truly unconscious! And if standing, buckling one's own legs would serve to make the attacker's chore even more effective.

(As an aside, I find the school of self-defense that feels the need to mask purposeful self-defense with passivity to be an odd thing, as if even when under attack the victim should take care not to appear too possessed of self. I'm not saying that's what *you* are doing, mind. It's just a philosophy that gets floated every so often.)
Aug. 2nd, 2014 03:23 am (UTC)
The point is not that he believes it but that he's suddenly burdened with dead weight
Aug. 2nd, 2014 03:50 pm (UTC)
I do understand -- and becoming dead weight when someone is trying to drag you off is one of many GOOD strategies. I just don't think the pretend-faint is a good way to become dead weight. To me, it implies going silent and limp, and those are the two things opportunistic attackers WANT and HOPE for and PLAN for. What they don't want (and usually don't plan for) is a target who becomes dead weight while kicking and slapping and scratching and--if possible--screaming.

Based on what two women have shared with me about their own abduction experiences, wasting any time being quiet and limp during an abduction increases the risk of being forcibly taken to places where no one will hear you or help you.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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