Intuition and Instincts a self defence tool:
by Paul J. Youngman – May 2017
Out for a dog walk with our visiting large breed type of dog, a Berner (Bernese Mountain Dog), a friendly giant of a dog who was visiting while our daughter was travelling to another country on business. My wife, her sister and me, wondering aimlessly around our quiet and peaceful suburban community. Living in the burbs you seldom think about violence, a fairly safe place where one does not need to worry about thugs. Generally speaking they don’t hang around the suburbs.
Coming to the final stretch of our long three or four kilometre walk we were approached by a maniacal looking individual who seemed to be tripping on some mind altering drug. We were walking on the sidewalk of one of the busier streets in the hood on a gorgeous spring day. Feeling laid back, peaceful and full of goodwill towards the universe. I noticed in the distance a dark skinned individual who appeared to be taking up the whole sidewalk, swinging his arms wildly and holding them bowed out to make himself appear very hulk like. I had a strong sense that this guy was angry and that he could present a danger. I was wearing sunglasses, I removed them and placed them in my pocket, I had a spring jacket on and I did it up so as not to restrict any movement, I also checked my belt and buckle briefly just to make sure I was wearing one.
As the individual was taking giant hulk like strides he was upon us fairly quickly. In a nonchalant manner I attempted to interact with this guy to diffuse some of this intimidating manner of his. He was singing rap style along with whatever was going on in his head, he had white Dr. Dre style headphones on, something about capping someone with his 38 and then carving them up with his machete. I thought adding a bit of percussion to this would lighten things up a bit. I clapped to some arbitrary rap like rhythm and drummed syncopated style on my legs a couple of bars, he didn’t seem to notice. I on the other hand paid very close attention to him and noticed a completely blank look, a thousand mile stare. At about two strides past me he whirled around abruptly flailing his arms more in a defensive manner than an aggressive one.
Regardless of his intentions my body went into high alert as if an electrical signal passed through my body, lighting up all my senses. In one calming intake of breath I was in a fighting stance moving towards him, my hands held mid height and at the ready for anything. As I moved into range I said, “ It’s cool man, be calm, no problem every things cool.” He muttered back at me something that sounded like, “Yea, I thought so. That’s right.” He turned back around and continued on his angry way. What I noticed most of all when he turned on me was that he was not looking at me, he was staring off into space and to my right. There was nothing there and I don’t think anybody was home. I relaxed somewhat and looked at my group who were looking concerned, shocked and down right amazed. The dog had ignored the whole encounter and was still foraging for food.
I kept an eye on the hulk as he stomped on down the way, I was now concerned for the two women who were coming towards us and would be meeting up with this guy who I had just antagonized. The women gave the guy plenty of room and ignored him as he passed them by still chanting about hacking things up, but seemingly paying them no attention.
As the women passed by, a middle aged mother and her teen daughter, The woman looked at us collectively and announced, “We avoided eye contact with him and he left us alone.” I think she was implying I should have done the same. She’s probably got a point. What do you think?
I think this shows that instincts and intuition as well as intention all play a role in how we deal with self defence issues. It would be obvious to any one that this person was angry and was acting out in an intimidating fashion. My first impression was he was a crack head. Subsequently I have come to believe he is psychologically troubled.
So instinctively you should be prepared to do something. The best thing would be to give him space and not to antagonize or encourage him to take his anger out on something tangible, like a human being who gets in his way. Whether through intuition or intention, I had a feeling that something was going to happen with this individual. More likely it was intention as I readied myself pre-confrontation. If he had pulled a knife on me I knew my belt and hefty buckle would be a decent counter to a knife. Taking the glasses off and doing up my jacket helped to make sure my movements would not be obstructed. These actions may be construed as intention, although preparedness is my motto. Always be prepared.