Thursday, August 11, 2011

London Riots, post 3: What to do?

My first two article commentaries on the London riots--the psychology of looting and defenders to vigilantes--drew many questions. For those who asked about parental control of the younger looters, expecting the mothers to control their children is an expectation in vain; these mothers discussed what they prefer their children bring home from the shops.  Electronics, not clothes, apparently.  

In that post, Lara asked what a good, law abiding mother should tell her children about the riots.  Her eldest, like mine, noticed that the police afforded little protection.  (Christopher Robin stopped interrupting me typing once he knew that I was calling for sterner police action.  He was very disturbed by the police watching the mayhem and wanted me to give them a piece of my mind.)  My advice to Lara, (which didn't post on her blog for some reason) and everyone else, will sound harsh to a society that still debated water canons on the 4th night of violence.  That society, however, teeters on the brink of breakdown.  Whishy-washy soft sentiment is done.  So what is a concerned mother to do?

First, we need to tell the children that they must always be prepared to rely upon themselves.  Regardless of good intentions, one cannot depend upon the state.  Sometimes the state fails, and individuals must be prepared to feed and protect themselves.  Second, we must begin giving them the tools to do so. That means, in the main, raising them focused on what kind of person and citizen they will be at 35 rather than transient things like what university they will attend at 18.  In the details, this means we must teach them to be self-sufficient and responsible.  

Part of that involves teaching them proper self defense, as the riots demonstrated.  For most Brits, that will entail teaching themselves first.  

I recommend the Little Black Book of Violence to start.  (h/t Instapundit.  I'm sure I got the book from a link there.  It is the sort of thing he'd highlight.) It is an excellent resource on self defense.  STRATFOR is a good online resource for situational awareness how-to.  

Before anyone gets into too much of a twist over my book recommendation, I suggest researching it first.  This is not a book on how to get your Rambo on.  The book focuses first on recognizing and avoiding violence, the only sure means of self defense and only gets to the ins and outs of fighting after a fight has become inevitable, which we have seen is sometimes the case.  From one of the reviews on Amazon:
The book is divided into three sections, essentially corresponding to the three stages of violence.

Section 1, Before Violence Occurs, details the best methods for avoiding conflict before it begins. This section includes chapters on everything from general awareness to peer pressure, and is probably the most important part of the work. If this were mandatory reading in high school health classes, I think we'd all be better off for it.

Section 2, During a Violent Encounter, contains many no-nonsense self-defense tips and techniques. You won't find instructions for doing a flying scissors kick here, but you will find practical advice that might help you get out of a violent conflict alive. There's not much more I could say about this section except that the techniques are grounded in reality, and in the authors' experience as martial artists and security professionals.

Section 3, Aftermath of Violence, is a vital part of the book, and a topic that really deserves an entire book of its own. Kane and Wilder manage a very useful and usable section on feuds, and overall this section maintains the strength present in the other two. 
Think of it as sex ed for violence.  Of course abstinence is the only sure fire way to avoid disease or pregnancy, but as the Left constantly reminds us, one needs to be realistic about primal urges and accept that teens will have sex, hence condom lessons.   Only a naive fool would rely upon abstinence-only education.  Well, one also needs to accept that teens will fight, hence self defense lessons.  Only a naive fool would rely only upon the good in Man.  


edgeofthesandbox said...

Thank you for book recommendation. I fear that our children will live in a more violent (and poor) world. They need instruction in self-defense.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention, in addition to scorpions, black widows, snakes and coyotes, we have also taught human predators. Started martial arts few years ago. All the Southern grannies from long ago are rolling, I'm sure. At first I was shocked, I tell you shocked, watching younger learn grappling and sparring. Very unusual to see women on offense rather than defense. Seemed like I had started early training for jello and mud pits. Now, I wish I had these skills. Will look into the book, too. Hope your transition starts to smooth out...the Way out Westerners

AHLondon said...

@Sandbox, glad to help. @Maverick, hey Way out West, you know you have a nickname around these parts? See Go Cry in the Shower for one of your entries. I didn't use your real one, but one that evoked similar sentiment. Jello and mud pits? Why am I not surprised. You and Little Mav, or just Little Mav? I want to take some again. Its been years. The book is excellent. And, yeah, being back in critter land is a bit of a shock.