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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Worth dying for?

First, go read this short article:


Tragic: Lana Rosas was knocked unconscious and fell to the ground after an alleged altercation with Oscar Fuller over a parking space in New York's East Village

So many things wrong with this entire situation. One woman in a coma, one man in jail. Let’s not completely waste all the damage that has happened here, let’s learn from their mistakes.

First you can clearly see two people stuck in their monkey brain (if you don’t know what that is, read “Monkey Braining”). Both are very emotional, both want to be right. Bad start. Tempers fly, bad mood escalate. This usually ends up with a shove, a push, an overhand loop unless someone comes and breaks them apart or one of them back away. Sometimes things get worse and end up very poorly. This is one of them.

Here we have a small woman thinking she could take on the world because she was right. She had been saving that spot, she had taken her time to save an already too hard to come by parking spot for her boyfriend. She earned it, she deserved to keep it. This young man comes along, sees the vacant spot and only a tiny woman standing in his way. He wants it. He figures there are no cars parked in it; first come, first serve. He comes out and tries to bully the woman into moving out. But no, she is tough and doesn’t take any crap, she stands her ground. When things get ugly she hits him. He hits back.

Technically here she assaulted him. It’s not self defense if he is only fighting with words and threats. She did not have to hit to defend herself, she could have walked away. He may have had intent, means and opportunity but there was no preclusion. Granted it would have been extremely frustrating and upsetting, the only thing damaged at that point would have been her feelings. Being right means very little when you are dead. And like Marc MacYoung so vividly describes it, you can’t use a self defense argument by saying “It started when he hit me back”

He gets hit and he reacts. How many people train to defend themselves with punches and kicks. Guess what, when the caca hits the fan that is how you are going to react. You will not take time to think, you will do what you have done hundreds of times before. You hit back. You never rise to the level of your expectations, you ALWAYS fall to the level of your training. Only this time it happened to be someone half his size. The punch threw her up in the air and she landed poorly and hit her head (learning how to fall properly could have possibly saved her here). Instant brain swelling, coma.

I don’t think that parking spot was worth her being in a coma, do you?

This is another reason why I never advocate “being a bitch” as a legitimate self defense technique. Being assertive is a totally different story. Being a bitch means you are emotional, you are most likely stuck in your monkey brain. You will have a very limited scope of perception. Being assertive (bold or confident) is different. You are still in control. And you will know when you are about to lose control of the situation and take the appropriate steps, hopefully they will be steps walking away from the whole thing. Am I advocating walking away from every argument? No. But are your life, health, and well being worth the price? Sometimes being the “bigger” person IS winning an argument. If nothing else, make a game of it. Take a tip from Sheldon (Big Bang Theory)


If your life is truly in danger then you do need to unleash the fury but it’s hard to make that decision when you are stuck in your money brain. If you are not so preoccupied at screaming how right you are, you may have time to see a punch coming in your direction, if it ever gets to that level.

This is why I advocate threat assessment before anything else.

Be smart, stay safe

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