Self-defence during military-service

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Madao13, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Madao13

    Madao13 Valued Member

    A friend of mine is doing his obligatory military service in the army.
    He's been in some special force unit for the last couple of months.

    The thing is that he doesn't fit in there, a problem he knew he would probably have to face.

    People there, usually are right wing extremists, not so well educated and
    prone to violence. At least this is the case in my country.
    Guys in his unit are very young in their majority, around 18 years old
    and ready to pick up a fight.

    Someone like that, yesterday, for the first time threatened to hit my pal, because apparently he wasn't respectful enough when he talked to him. :rolleyes:
    A direct insult and provocation!

    So I am wondering, what the members here think would be an appropriate reaction to a
    bully in an environment like that?

    My friend just made clear, as politely as possible, that he didn't have any ill intentions and he didn't mean to be disrespectful.
    My advice when he told me what happened, was to ignore him and keep doing that if the other guy continues to be provocative to him, but
    I can't help but think that this can be perceived as weakness that could lead to another incident like that.

    Responding with some posturing and shoving might had been better long term?

    What do you think? What would be the best course of action to avoid a physical altercation?
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  2. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    It's a thin line when shoving is involved.

    Shoving someone is a control measure and chances are the 18 year old is angry because of his background and upbringing.

    Shoving him can trigger a physical response and you do have to be ready to back up your aggressive stance.

    It can and does work when backed up with a positive shout of back off, but as I've said be ready to go again.

    If you friend has the confidence he can offer what Janno calls a golden bridge.

    The other way to do it is to put a doubt in his mind.

    Take him to one side and tell him that he'll go back in front of the aggressor's friends and shake his hand, but if he kicks off again he'll ram his head where the sun doesn't shine.

    So in other words the aggressor gets to save face in front of his friends, but he knows he will get owned should he step out of line.

    Maybe during PT he encourages or even helps the other guy.

    Gentle approach first, then put a doubt in his mind, then it may go physical.
    axelb likes this.
  3. Madao13

    Madao13 Valued Member

    Thanks for the immediate reply, Simon!
    He could definetely use some of these tactics!

    Interestingly enough, the guys in his unit who have quarrelled with others, have very similar body language.
    They come really close to each other, hands down, until they touch their foreheads and exchange threats. At this point some third party separates them and this is the end of it.

    I would not feel very safe letting the other individual come so close to me, but if he shoves him, things might escalate. As you said it's a thin line.

    If he just put his hands up in a non threatening way, it might be considered as a sign of fear.

    So in that case, although it's not the usual practise, maybe it would better to follow the same ritual?

    My friend is a very capable and well conditioned martial artist, mainly trained and competed in full contact sports, but he is very polite and peaceful by nature, so he can't
    handle well this initial "intimidation" part of an aggressive, real-life face-off.

    He's afraid that if things come to this, next time he will attack the other guy, something that would result in the loss of furloughs that are vital to him and possibly making enemies.

    I guess this is where Sim days come handy!
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  4. Anwolf

    Anwolf Valued Member

    In an environment like this you have to prove yourself, backing down will only make you look weak. Like you said, when other guys have quarrelled they get all up in each others face but someone breaks them apart.

    If he shows he is not scared of confrontation and is ready to fight he will be less likely to be targeted in future. Obviously this doesn't mean instigate a fight if someone does act aggressive towards you, just be ready to fight if necessary.

    If a fight does break out it is unlikely to be particularly dangerous, just a small scuffle before other people break it up, since neither of the fighters really want to hurt each other they're just trying to establish a hierarchy in the group.
  5. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I personally wouldn't let anyone get this close, but the hands down is a sign of all mouth and no trousers.

    That's not to say these idiots won't kick off, but they're obviously not as skilled as they think.

    Remember not every idiot needs a punch in the face, as there are many other techniques that work equally well without looking so aggressive.

    My guess is this lad is scared.

    He's out of his comfort zone and is just venting on your friends because he's in the wrong place at the right time.

    Your friend is just a manifestation of everything that's wrong in this lad's life, be that being ill educated, coming from a bullying home and so on.

    I find that these people can be dealt with using non physical methods, but you have to stand tall.

    Edit. I should add that I don't have a military background, so rules for dealing with this kind of thing may differ from the outside world.
  6. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Saw this all the time during my stint in the army. Best outcome for the bullying victim (your mate in this case) is to waltz on in to the other guy's room and smash him. A good hiding when no one is around always sorted our the "hard men" who picked on others. Make sure your mate has a buddy or two willing to lie on record to provide him with an alibi.
  7. Sandy

    Sandy Valued Member

    Good advice from Anwolf

    I have some experience in the army and think this is good advice. Unfortunately, Van Zandt is right.

    This is aggressive physical intimidation and, unfortunately, the only response may be a preemptive strike. This is an environment with 18 year-old guys who you described as prone to violence. It's not a civilian environment. You can't let someone touch heads with you whenever they wish; that's asking for more trouble, bullying or worse.

    I've been in a similar situation to your friend when I was young, during an arctic warfare course. I was forced to use a very physical response against an aggressor. After that, I never had any trouble again.

    If your friend can read English, then I recommend The Fence by Geoff Thompson.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  8. Madao13

    Madao13 Valued Member

    Thanks for all the responses guys!

    My friend doesn't have any mates there. He talks with everyone, but he's basically on his own.
    Plus his commander of the unit doesn't like him one bit!

    He effectively lives in a claustrophobic environment, with not enough sleep.
    He has a bad time there and he only thinks of when his next furlough would come.

    So from what I gathered he feels vulnerable at the moment and wants to avoid any conflict,
    but according to what you say he might have to become more proactive here.
  9. AussieGirl

    AussieGirl Valued Member

    I'm surprised that this is happening in a special forces unit. I was in the military for 15 years and the special forces guys in my country were the most level-headed, un-flappable guys you've ever met. Extremely disciplined. They could also kill you without you even seeing them coming. We don't recruit directly into that environment, though... you have to have many years in regular units before you can even apply.

    My advice to your friend - He needs to find a buddy. It's impossible to survive that kind of environment with your sanity intact without having a mate to lean on (and him, you). My military friends are the closest friends I'll ever have. Something about going through hell together forms bonds that I've never experienced in the civilian world. Heck, I even married one of the guys I did my training with. :)
  10. neems

    neems Valued Member

    So a special forces (candidate?) guy's getting bullied by some 18 year olds?
    I think there must be some mistranslation there.

    I'd say he should focus on being good at his job,and not getting in any trouble or drawing too much attention to himself,when he's got a good reputation with the hierarchy offer the next person to act disrespectful a square go/straightener.

    Smash him and from then on be far more assertive and don't allow anyone who doesn't outrank him to show disrespect unchallenged again,even senior bods.

    Though reading between the lines,could it be he's messing up regularly and bringing collective punishments onto his platoon/company?
    That'll certainly make you unpopular.
  11. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    I'd be curious to know how this thing has played out.
  12. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Is your friend also 18?
    Are the other people also doing national service?

    When you say special forces, what do you exactly mean?
  13. vaysh

    vaysh Banned Banned

    I’m flabbergasted I’m hoping he means paratroopers or naval infantry of some sort.
    If that’s how candidates on a special forces selection / acquaint / training course are acting they all need a good talking to and crayons.

Share This Page