In self defense, bad language can be pretty fucking relevant

Seems Greg Ellifritz got some people wound up over some salty language:

Last week I posted a book review on the site. In the review, I quoted the author. The author said the words “shit” and “fuck.” That apparently spun quite a few of you up. I received several email complaints, a few negative comments, and had the largest mass exodus from my email subscription list that I’ve seen in the entire existence of the website.

I get it. A lot of you don’t like foul language.

But have you ever truly thought how your conscious avoidance of swear words might create some unintended negative consequences when it comes to a self defense situation?

Indeed. Because criminals still speak The King’s English, right?

I would postulate that if reading such language in a book (or hearing it on TV or in movies) makes you uncomfortable, you will have serious difficulties when the criminal you face uses the same language against you in a threatening manner. Harsh language is a teaching tool. It adds emphasis in a manner that more moderate words cannot convey. Besides that, it desensitizes the people exposed to it. Such desensitization is an absolute necessity in order to successfully avoid being intimidated by the criminals who WILL use harsh language when they attack you.

You don’t have to use or like foul language in your personal life, but language you find objectionable and that you would never utter is still language that is out there and in use by people – especially people willing to do harm unto you. You need to accept it and not flinch in the face of it.

“Street talk” is the language of criminals. They will use it, even if they aren’t wielding it, and if hearing “fuck” or “shit” causes you to flinch in some way, that allows them to get into your head. This becomes detrimental to you regarding your ability to defend yourself.

Really, hearing “fuck” or “shit” or “goddamncocksuckingmotherfuckercunt” should just go in one ear and out the other.

Realize as well that such language can be used by you as well. You don’t need to use it, but again, if this is their language, speaking to them “on their terms” may allow your attacker to understand you a bit better.

Suppose you start with a polite “Hey man, can you back up?”. They don’t back up so you escalate to a loud and firm “Back up!”. They still don’t back up so you really crank it up with a “BACK THE FUCK UP!”. Now tell me that doesn’t add emphasis. Sure you could just say “BACK UP!”, but the reality is the “FUCK” adds an emphasis that people understand. Even those offended by the word understand the added weight in that message.

But you must be mindful in the use of such language, because saying something like “BACK UP, MOTHERFUCKER!” is quite different. Now you’ve insulted him, and it’s taken things to quite a different level — it may even incite him and the situation gets worse. Worse is not what we want.

Foul language is a fact of life. To use it yourself is a personal choice; if you do choose to use it, use it wisely. Realize you will hear it, and the best thing you can do with it is let it go in one ear and out the other.

I’ll leave you with Greg’s closing comments:

Criminals use language as a tool to manipulate their victims.  They KNOW their language will make “good” people uncomfortable.  They count on the shock factor to give them an advantage.  It’s your job to ensure that the criminals don’t win.  You cannot allow language of ANY type to phase you in the least bit if you want to win a street confrontation.

You can start your practice by refusing to be “offended” when adults use adult language in books and on the internet.

2 thoughts on “In self defense, bad language can be pretty fucking relevant

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