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Bad advice


If you like to bleed, then use the following bad advice that I am sure you have heard before from parents, teachers, friends, and others. This is the type of advice you will hear from people who think that, after millions of years of human warfare, they have the solution to world peace.

Bad advice

  • Just be nice to people who bully you and they will be nice to you. Did this ever work on the playground? We all know how useful this information is. Try telling the little bunny to be nice to the hungry fox; the kindness will be tasty. When you are nice to bullies, they will interpret your niceness as weakness and naivety and either terminate you just for the fun of it or use you in ways you never intended to be used. Nice is the best way to get along with strangers, but once they establish their bad intentions, nice is a waste of time
  • Just ignore bullies and they will leave you alone. Tell the bunny just to ignore the fox and the fox will forget he is hungry and leave the bunny alone. Sure! That will work. Any show of weakness just encourages a bully. If you exude confidence, predators easily can determine whether you are a victim or a warrior in disguise by testing you. They move into your space, crowd you, make conversation to put you at ease so they may get close enough to grab you or they may approach you from your blind spot. Most martial artists spar with opponents who are directly in front of them; they are not trained to be aware of people approaching from behind or from a blind spot.

    So, if being nice and ignoring them do not work, what does? You scope them. Scoping is not glaring or sneering, which will antagonize. Scoping is a look that says, "I see you. I know your game and I can handle it." Then you look away. If you look down to break eye contact, you lose. Slide your eyes sideways and scope the rest of the room.

    After you scope the antagonist and decide that he or she does not look that bad, then either leave or hang around and keep him or her in your peripheral vision since it processes movement quickly. Watch without looking. Martial artists call it "looking at nothing and to see everything." By using a soft-focus, you can increase your peripheral (side) vision up to about 200 degrees. In the movie Little Big Man, while Dustin Hoffman's sister is teaching him to be a gunfighter, she tells him to make snake eyes. This is a way to soft focus and increase your peripheral acuity.

    If the antagonist leaves just as you are getting up to leave, either wait until you are sure he or she is gone or leave by another exit or be prepared when leaving. Acting unaware may bring an attack, and paying too much attention may draw too much attention you. 
  • Stand up to a bully and he will run from you. This reasoning works on the assumption that bullies are looking for victims, not a fight. Bullies practice their art every day and they are used to fights. How often do you practice standing up to a bully? A dedicated bully knows his or her trade and has no scruples about fairness. Just because a bully is a jerk does not mean he or she is stupid. Also, many bullies have had some martial arts training.

    Even if you outclass the antagonist, he or she may have a weapon, steel-toed shoes, or friends. If you do take on a jerk, win, or lose, remember that it will not end there. If you lose, it hurts, and the antagonist now knows he or she can win and will continue to make your life miserable. If you win, the bully will be back again, this time with a weapon or with friends.

    Even considering all this, standing up to a bully may still be the best thing to do, but not because the bully will back down. If the bully learns that every time he or she messes with you that, even if he or she wins, you will not submit to the bullying, the bully may decide to move on to a weaker target.
  • Stand up to or beat the leader of the group and the others will run. If the bunny beats the alpha fox, the others will have an easy meal since the bunny will be weakened by the fight and will be easier to overcome. Any group with a leader has at least one member who thinks he or she should be the leader. If the leader is taken out, this person will take over. Most deaths in fights are not caused by weapons but by a group stomp on a person who has gone down. This is real-life not a movie, in a real fight, the entire gang will attack you, not just one at a time.
  • Only cowards run. The reason everyone knows this is because only running cowards are alive to report the fact. The brave ones are dead. Most times it is best to escape a confrontation, whenever you can. However, sometimes you must stay and fight, especially when you would be leaving a friend to fend on his or her own. Just remember, never run home! When the bad guys know where you live, things just get worse.
  • Police are there to protect you. The police are there to protect the public but can do little to help any one person. The police primarily respond to crimes after they have been committed, not one in the process of being committed. For intimidation by bullies, use the police when you can, but they can do little to protect you from threats, other than threaten the offender. They are unable to do much until the bully takes some action against you.
  • Always back up a buddy, even if the buddy is wrong. It depends on what you call back up. If the friend is the aggressor, then leave. If the friend is the victim, then back him or her up. If the friend is drunk, try to get him or her to leave. If he or she will not leave, then it is up to you whether to stay or leave.
  • It is a free country; I can do what I want. Other ways of saying this are: "If you believe in yourself you can go anywhere and do anything," and "trust your feelings and just go with them." This is the way it should be, but this is not the way it is. Sometimes confidence may overpower reason. To be a survivor, sometimes you must give way. If always being right is worth dying for, then go for it. Also, sometimes your feelings are wrong. Go with reason, not feelings.
  • A berserk fighter will beat anyone. A berserk fighter just flails and does not use solid techniques. A fighter who controls his or her emotions and adrenaline may achieve two things a berserk fighter cannot. Controlled fighters can pace themselves to conserve energy and they think about what to do as the situation changes.
  • No one has the right to disrespect you or tell you what to do. Unless you enjoy fighting, you need to pick your battles. Some things are just not worth the effort or the potential for injury, criminal charges, or civil lawsuits.
  • Buddies do not rip off buddies. You do not trust your enemies, so they are at a disadvantage. Friends know what you have and where you hid it, and since you trust them, they are the last ones you suspect. However, they are usually the culprit.
  • If someone calls you out, and you go, it is a consensual fight and not an assault, so you are free to do what you want. As far as criminal law is concerned, you are limited as to what you may do before a consensual fight becomes an assault. As far as civil law is concerned, you may be sued for anything you do. If you cannot deal with the aftermath of a fight, do not enter a fight.
  • I am safe if I "look street.” If you look street, you are considered street and are fair game for other street people who would not normally attack a civilian. Wannabes are victims looking to be attacked.
  • A firearm is an equalizer on the street. If you carry a firearm illegally, you are no different than any other lawbreaker. If you carry a legal firearm that is not readily accessible, it is useless. If you do not know how to use it, it is practically useless. If you allow the other person to take it from you, then the other person is armed. Firearms may give people a false sense of confidence that may lead to trouble.


  • Truscott, T. (2004). [Online]. [Online]. Available:  [2004, May 15].
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