Saturday, 30 May 2020

29 - (VIDEO) Secondary impacts from objects / environment

The unintended (or perhaps intended...) consequences of a strike.
The video shows a a big running punch making contact with the escaping guy's head.
This sends him face first into and through a brick wall effectively providing a secondary impact with potentially even greater damage being inflicted.
In this case it's a wall but the secondary trauma can also be caused by the subject then falling and hitting their head on:
objects on the way down - edges of tables, low walls etc
the floor - a common cause of devasting and potentially fatal head injuries.
The environment is capable of multiplying the damage done to someone in untold ways - unlike the safe mats of a dojo.
Tactics which illicit one result in training may have hugely different results in the real world.
Take downs
Kicks etc
What starts as a fight can end in unintended tragedy.

(I've experienced this once when I hit a guy with a straight punch and he went backwards and bounced his head off a wall, luckily I didn't fracture his skull or kill him).

Think of the firearms advice of always being aware of what is behind your target as it can also be hit, here it's the opposite as what's behind the target can be a greater risk to the target.

If your ukemi practice doesn't factor these issues as well it is ......falling short
(owch, bad joke ..)

Thursday, 28 May 2020

28 - Solo stick fighting drills - part two

28 - Solo stick fighting drills - part two: 2 hands (dos manos)

Jethro Randolph/ 2020

For single hand drills and explanation of the x pattern, please refer to part one:

Drill 7: Strike X's as before but this time holding the stick in both hands (either
Hook with Left and / or Right end from 2 o clock.
Hook with Left and / or Right end from 10 o clock.

Drill 8; move your feet as before while striking, use intention, visualise an

Drill 9: Practice standing, kneeling and on your back.
Cycle through these positions as you did with the Get Up drill for reps or time to
create a combative work out.

Drill 10: If you have a weight vest or a rucksack – add some weighted resistance to
your practice.

Be careful – if you smash the living room, crush your cat or throw your back out …
As always - It's Your Fault!

27 - Solo stick fighting drills - part one

Solo stick fighting drills - part one: one hand

Jethro Randolph/ 2020

You will need a Escrima stick (google it!), ax handle or any stick appx 28” /71 cm.

If you can't get a rattan stick make your own from PVC pipe, old broomstick etc**

Drill 1: Stand in a generic “fighting ready position” , hold your stick in front in
your dominant hand, same side foot forward.

Practice two diagonal hooking slash strikes with the stick. These are :
Forehand diagonal slash from 2 o clock down.
Backhand diagonal slash from 10 o clock down.
You are now striking a “X” in front of you.

Repeat and practice. Use intention don't just go through the motions.

Drill 2: Do the same with your Non Dominant hand.

Drill 3: Alternate constantly between both hands.

Drill 4: Practice with one foot forward, then feet neutral (side by side) , then one
foot back.

Drill 5: Start to move your feet as in sparring while striking X's with the stick,
alternating hands and changing feet positions.
Visualise an attacker in front of you.

Drill 6: Practice standing, kneeling and on your back.
Cycle through these positions as you did with the Get Up* drill for reps or time to
create a combative work out.

*Please see updates 02 and 03 for the get up drills.

** Please note, you can safely use any appropriate length stick for solo pactice (flow drills etc) - but please NEVER USE non appropriate substitutes for impact work or partner practice!

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

26 - (Video) When low kicks become high kicks...

Here we see the military strategy of occupying the high ground play out to detriment of the would be assailant...

The video below shows two examples of technically low licks delivered from higher postions that have the effect of high kicks:

The first example is a kick thrown from the top of stairs having the effect of a high kick to the chest.

The second is actually a kick thrown horizontally from the ground which achieves a knockout headshot.

The efficacy of training kicks from grounded "Stop 6" positions (other than the high percentage bicyle kicking that even untrained persons can effectively deliver) can clearly be seen.

Think of possibilities - position, terrain change things as do numbers, weapons, justification...

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

25 - Video: Fighting bigger people

 Larger people / Impact weapon / Evasion skills / Notes on weapons.

Some observations on this video:

You need to outwork them: A larger person's gait will cover more ground in a single step than yours - you will be backing up fast - when you can - and doing more footwork than them just to stay out of range.

That workload increases massively if there's more than one attacker.

Any time spent working on your kicking skills will now be ...time well spent.

The guy in the video is continuously encroaching - this tells you that they are going to attack you as they're not just hanging back, mouthing off and trying to get you to fight them.

The guy defending in the video is smart -  he's moving fast backwards, using feints/ direction changes to evade, looking around for other threats (and opportunities) and doesn't take his eyes of the attacker.

This encroachment and evasion (and on camera) will show that you we were actively trying to leave as safely as possible. This will help with self defence arguments in court.

His use of a chair will have some defence in that the threat posed to him by the larger man may be perceived by a possible jury as greater than his ability to defend unarmed.

He is not using a weapon that he was carrying and therefore not showing prior intent but rather uses an object from his environment.

24 - Thought for the day...

Courtesy of BoomDogSaint:

 "Motivation & Passion are great 👍 assets, but common sense helps you grow old."

Sunday, 17 May 2020

23 - Male group violence against a single victim (female)

Following on from the last post:
(This post has some tactics viewpoints regarding facing a threat from multiple people).

Here is an example of violent mass assault by a male group on a lone female who is 15 years old.

This was reported as violent robbery (which indeed it is) but it's important to remember that this is not always the main motivator and that the robbery can be opportunistic in nature - one crime leads to the possibility to commit another.

eg: While assaulting someone for fun, there is the opportunity for the attacker to rob them as well.

eg Robbery is successful, no one is around so the attacker rapes his victim and then the possibility is that murder can follow.
A series of crimes on a single victim during the same encounter.

In this case, the group assault gives the opportunity to steal shoes.

Dominant position assault by kicking and stamping.

The scumbag running away with her shoes has been identified as being 14.
Another has been subsequently murdered in a separate incident (it's unknown so far if it was related in any way to this incident).

The girl was lucky to survive this ordeal.

Jethro Randolph / May 2020

22 - Female group violence against a single victim (female)

1:1 - Female group violence.

A difficult watch – group victimisation and bullying (Video below).
As with a lot of found footage, often the important background story is missing and we can only speculate and draw what we can in terms of positive learning from the incident.

A female friend of mine was attacked, slapped and dragged by her hair and then followed before she got away while on the tube in London.
The attackers were all female and there was no initial contact – just calling her “Bitch” etc. Perhaps from jealousy or the victim represented a partcular type of woman that the group hated. 
I saw a young Jewish boy being slapped and abused by a group of girls on a bus who mocked his sidelocks and tried to steal his hat. He's weak, alone and a boy and they have the numbers. 
Lone female vs male violence is very rare in my experience, it's nearly always enabled by the perceived security (and cowardice) of being in a group.

Assault is sometimes just for the excitement of doing it:

Yeah, the fighting, you do buzz, especially when you’re winning, do you know what I mean. I don’tknow what it is, before a fight, I feel invincible. I do. I just feel like no one can take me on. “[Silk]*

Sometimes a prior conflict is the rational behind violence:

People make me flip so often. . .one girl at New Year, seen her in town, had an argument, called mea slag yeah. I was from one side of town, she was at other. I can’t remember, I got to work and I broke her nose yeah, then I stamped on her then another girl, yeah, she said something with this lad, yeah,and she was like at top of stairs, and I ran up to her, got hold of her throat, got her to the bottom of thestairs, started stamping on her head. And stuff like that.” [Tanya]**

*/** - Quotes from offender interviews conducted by Centre for Criminology SW.

A group that stay static and issues threats are usually trying to get a reaction to start aggression ie get you to say something that is then used as justification for attacking you.
Say nothing and keep walking – that is what witnesses will recall as well.
Get as far away as possible as quickly as possible.

A group issuing threats and following closely is a high likelihood of imminent assault.
They are trying to catch up with you and preparing themselves mentally (threats etc) to attack as they do so.
Do not turn your back.
You are now looking at a high probability of being assaulted.
Facing them and backing away is about all you can do to control space if you cannot run.
If you do run – will they catch you?
Can you put other people, obstacles between you and them?

Attempting to funnel them is tactically sound but is extremely difficult to do especially in a crowded space, you can be easily outflanked.

One against 2 persons is a really bad situation, 3 or more is extremely hard if not impossible to deal with.
Be realistic – run or seek some advantage ie using chairs, objects defensively.

In terms of group tactics, you'll see in the video that the first female attacks the back of the victim and seeks to ground her so that the group beating can ensue.

Common takedowns are hair pulling, shoves/pulls and strikes.

The assault is being filmed, presumably by one of the gang and may possibly be shared on social media to bolster street reputation, humiliate the victim or taunt another group that she may belong to, which in turn can lead to further retaliation.

Jethro Randolph/ May 2020

Friday, 15 May 2020

21 - Understanding Psychopaths: Psychopaths Among Us

(Jeth - Please see also on this blog):

By Robert Hercz

"Psychopath! psychopath!"
I'm alone in my living room and I'm yelling at my TV. "Forget rehabilitation -- that guy is a psychopath."
Ever since I visited Dr. Robert Hare in Vancouver, I can see them, the psychopaths. It's pretty easy, once you know how to look. I'm watching a documentary about an American prison trying to rehabilitate teen murderers. They're using an emotionally intense kind of group therapy, and I can see, as plain as day, that one of the inmates is a psychopath. He tries, but he can't muster a convincing breakdown, can't fake any feeling for his dead victims. He's learned the words, as Bob Hare would put it, but not the music.
The incredible thing, the reason I'm yelling, is that no one in this documentary -- the therapists, the warden, the omniscient narrator -- seems to know the word "psychopath." It is never uttered, yet it changes everything. A psychopath can never be made to feel the horror of murder. Weeks of intense therapy, which are producing real breakthroughs in the other youths, will probably make a psychopath more likely to reoffend. Psychopaths are not like the rest of us, and everyone who studies them agrees they should not be treated as if they were.
I think of Bob Hare, who's in New Orleans receiving yet another award, and wonder if he's watching the same show in his hotel room and feeling the same frustration. A lifetime spent looking into the heads of psychopaths has made the slight, slightly anxious emeritus professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia the world's best-known expert on the species. Hare hasn't merely changed our understanding of psychopaths. It would be more accurate to say he has created it.
The condition itself has been recognized for centuries, wearing evocative labels such as "madness without delirium" and "moral insanity" until the late 1800s, when "psychopath" was coined by a German clinician. But the term (and its 1930s synonym, sociopath) had always been a sort of catch-all, widely and loosely applied to criminals who seemed violent and unstable. Even into the mid-1970s, almost 80 percent of convicted felons in the United States were being diagnosed as sociopaths. In 1980, Hare created a diagnostic tool called the Psychopathy Checklist, which, revised five years later, became known as the PCL-R. Popularly called "the Hare," the PCL-R measures psychopathy on a forty-point scale. Once it emerged, it was the first time in history that everyone who said "psychopath" was saying the same thing. For research in the field, it was like a starting gun.
But for Hare, it has turned out to be a Pandora's box. Recently retired from teaching, his very last Ph.D. student about to leave the nest, Hare, sixty-eight, should be basking in professional accolades and enjoying his well-earned rest. But he isn't.
The PCL-R has slipped the confines of academe, and is being used and misused in ways that Hare never intended. In some of the places where it could do some good -- such as the prison in the TV documentary I was yelling at -- the idea of psychopathy goes unacknowledged, usually because it's politically incorrect to declare someone to be beyond rehabilitation. At the opposite extreme, there are cases in which Hare's work has been overloaded with political baggage of another sort, such as in the United States, where a high PCL-R score is used to support death-penalty arguments, and in England, where a debate is underway about whether some individuals with personality disorders (such as psychopaths) should be detained even if they haven't committed a crime.
So, after decades of labour in peaceful obscurity, Bob Hare has become a man with a suitcase, a passport, and a PowerPoint presentation, a reluctant celebrity at gatherings of judges, attorneys, prison administrators, psychologists, and police. His post-retirement mission is to be a good shepherd to his Psychopathy Checklist.
"I'm protecting it from erosion, from distortion. It could easily be compromised," he says. "I'm a scientist; I should just be doing basic research, but I'm being called on all the time to intervene and mediate."
And it's really just beginning. Psychopathy may prove to be as important a construct in this century as IQ was in the last (and just as susceptible to abuse), because, thanks to Hare, we now understand that the great majority of psychopaths are not violent criminals and never will be. Hundreds of thousands of psychopaths live and work and prey among us. Your boss, your boyfriend, your mother could be what Hare calls a "subclinical" psychopath, someone who leaves a path of destruction and pain without a single pang of conscience. Even more worrisome is the fact that, at this stage, no one -- not even Bob Hare -- is quite sure what to do about it.
Bob hare has to meet me in the lobby of the UBC psychology building, since he's not listed in the directory. He's had threats, by e-mail and in person. An ex-con showed up one day, angry that a friend of his had been declared a dangerous offender thanks to Hare's checklist. Other characters have appeared in his lab doorway, looking in and saying nothing.
We immediately find ourselves discussing the criminal du jour, the jet-setting French con man Christophe Rocancourt, notorious for passing himself off as a member of the Rockefeller family, who has just been arrested in Victoria.
"I'd sure as hell like to have a close look at him," Hare muses.
Like every scientist, Hare likes a good puzzle, and that was reason enough to make a career out of psychopaths. "These were particularly interesting human beings," he says. "Everything about them seemed to be paradoxical. They could do things that a lot of other people could not do" -- lie, steal, rape, murder -- "but they looked perfectly normal, and when you talked to them they seemed okay. It was a puzzle. I thought I'd try and unravel it."
Hare arrived at UBC in 1963, intending to follow up his doctoral research on punishment. Certain prisoners, it was rumoured, didn't respond to punishment, and Hare went to the federal penitentiary in New Westminster, British Columbia, to find these extreme cases. (He found plenty. In his chilling 1993 book on psychopathy, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, he quotes one specimen's memories: "[M]y mother, the most beautiful person in the world. She was strong, she worked hard to take care of four kids. A beautiful person. I started stealing her jewellery when I was in the fifth grade. You know, I never really knew the bitch -- we went our separate ways.")
For his first paper, now a classic, Hare had his subjects watch a countdown timer. When it reached zero, they got a "harmless but painful" electric shock while an electrode taped to their fingers measured perspiration. Normal people would start sweating as the countdown proceeded, nervously anticipating the shock. Psychopaths didn't sweat. They didn't fear punishment -- which, presumably, also holds true outside the laboratory. In Without Conscience, he quotes a psychopathic rapist explaining why he finds it hard to empathize with his victims: "They are frightened, right? But, you see, I don't really understand it. I've been frightened myself, and it wasn't unpleasant."
In another Hare study, groups of letters were flashed to volunteers. Some of them were nonsense, some formed real words. The subject's job was to press a button whenever he recognized a real word, while Hare recorded response time and brain activity. Non-psychopaths respond faster and display more brain activity when processing emotionally loaded words such as "rape" or "cancer" than when they see neutral words such as "tree." With psychopaths, Hare found no difference. To them, "rape" and "tree" have the same emotional impact -- none.
Hare made another intriguing discovery by observing the hand gestures (called beats) people make while speaking. Research has shown that such gestures do more than add visual emphasis to our words (many people gesture while they're on the telephone, for example); it seems they actually help our brains find words. That's why the frequency of beats increases when someone is having trouble finding words, or is speaking a second language instead of his or her mother tongue. In a 1991 paper, Hare and his colleagues reported that psychopaths, especially when talking about things they should find emotional, such as their families, produce a higher frequency of beats than normal people. It's as if emotional language is a second language -- a foreign language, in effect -- to the psychopath.
Three decades of these studies, by Hare and others, has confirmed that psychopaths' brains work differently from ours, especially when processing emotion and language. Hare once illustrated this for Nicole Kidman, who had invited him to Hollywood to help her prepare for a role as a psychopath in Malice. How, she wondered, could she show the audience there was something fundamentally wrong with her character?
"I said, 'Here's a scene that you can use,' " Hare says. " 'You're walking down a street and there's an accident. A car has hit a child in the crosswalk. A crowd of people gather round. You walk up, the child's lying on the ground and there's blood running all over the place. You get a little blood on your shoes and you look down and say, "Oh shit." You look over at the child, kind of interested, but you're not repelled or horrified. You're just interested. Then you look at the mother, and you're really fascinated by the mother, who's emoting, crying out, doing all these different things. After a few minutes you turn away and go back to your house. You go into the bathroom and practice mimicking the facial expressions of the mother.' " He then pauses and says, "That's the psychopath: somebody who doesn't understand what's going on emotionally, but understands that something important has happened."
Hare's research upset a lot of people. Until the psychopath came into focus, it was possible to believe that bad people were just good people with bad parents or childhood trauma and that, with care, you could talk them back into being good. Hare's research suggested that some people behaved badly even when there had been no early trauma. Moreover, since psychopaths' brains were in fundamental ways different from ours, talking them into being like us might not be easy. Indeed, to this day, no one has found a way to do so.
"Some of the things he was saying about these individuals, it was unheard of," says Dr. Steven Stein, a psychologist and ceo of Multi-Health Systems in Toronto, the publisher of the Psychopathy Checklist. "Nobody believed him thirty years ago, but Bob hasn't wavered, and now everyone's where he is. Everyone's come full circle, except a small group who believe it's bad upbringing, family poverty, those kinds of factors, even though scientific evidence has shown that's not the case. There are wealthy psychopaths who've done horrendous things, and they were brought up in wonderful families."
"There's still a lot of opposition -- some criminologists, sociologists, and psychologists don't like psychopathy at all," Hare says. "I can spend the entire day going through the literature -- it's overwhelming, and unless you're semi-brain-dead you're stunned by it -- but a lot of people come out of there and say, 'So what? Psychopathy is a mythological construct.' They have political and social agendas: 'People are inherently good,' they say. 'Just give them a hug, a puppy dog, and a musical instrument and they're all going to be okay.' "
If Hare sounds a little bitter, it's because a decade ago, Correctional Service of Canada asked him to design a treatment program for psychopaths, but just after he submitted the plan in 1992, there were personnel changes at the top of CSC. The new team had a different agenda, which Hare summarizes as, "We don't believe in the badness of people." His plan sank without a trace.
By the late 1970s, after fifteen years in the business, Bob Hare knew what he was looking for when it came to psychopaths. They exhibit a cluster of distinctive personality traits, the most significant of which is an utter lack of conscience. They also have huge egos, short tempers, and an appetite for excitement -- a dangerous mix. In a typical prison population, about 20 percent of the inmates satisfy the Hare definition of a psychopath, but they are responsible for over half of all violent crime.
The research community, Hare realized, lacked a standard definition. "I found that we were all talking a different language, we were on different diagnostic pages, and I decided that we had to have some common instrument," he says. "The PCL-R was really designed to make it easier to publish articles and to let journal editors and reviewers know what I meant by psychopathy."
The Psychopathy Checklist consists of a set of forms and a manual that describes in detail how to score a subject in twenty categories that define psychopathy. Is he (or, more rarely, she) glib and superficially charming, callous and without empathy? Does he have a grandiose sense of self worth, shallow emotions, a lack of remorse or guilt? Is he impulsive, irresponsible, promiscuous? Did he have behavioural problems early in life? The information for each category must be carefully drawn from documents such as court transcripts, police reports, psychologists' reports, and victim-impact statements, and not solely from an interview, since psychopaths are superb liars ("pathological lying" and "conning/manipulative" are PCL-R categories). A prisoner may claim to love his family, for example, while his records show no visits or phone calls.
For each item, assessors -- psychologists or psychiatrists -- assign a score of zero (the item doesn't apply), one (the item applies in some respects), or two (the item applies in most respects). The maximum possible score is forty, and the boundary for clinical psychopathy hovers around thirty. Last year, the average score for all incarcerated male offenders in North America was 23.3. Hare guesses his own score would be about four or five.
In 1980, Hare's initial checklist began circulating in the research community, and it quickly became the standard. At last count nearly 500 papers and 150 doctoral dissertations had been based on it.
It's also found practical applications in police-squad rooms. Soon after he delivered a keynote speech at a conference for homicide detectives and prosecuting attorneys in Seattle three years ago, Hare got a letter thanking him for helping solve a series of homicides. The police had a suspect nailed for a couple of murders, but believed he was responsible for others. They were using the usual strategy to get a confession, telling him, 'Think how much better you'll feel, think of the families left behind,' and so on. After they'd heard Hare speak they realized they were dealing with a psychopath, someone who could feel neither guilt nor sorrow. They changed their interrogation tactic to, "So you murdered a couple of prostitutes. That's minor-league compared to Bundy or Gacy." The appeal to the psychopath's grandiosity worked. He didn't just confess to his other crimes, he bragged about them.
The most startling finding to emerge from Hare's work is that the popular image of the psychopath as a remorseless, smiling killer -- Paul Bernardo, Clifford Olson, John Wayne Gacy -- while not wrong, is incomplete. Yes, almost all serial killers, and most of Canada's dangerous offenders, are psychopaths, but violent criminals are just a tiny fraction of the psychopaths around us. Hare estimates that 1 percent of the population -- 300,000 people in Canada -- are psychopaths.
He calls them "subclinical" psychopaths. They're the charming predators who, unable to form real emotional bonds, find and use vulnerable women for sex and money (and inevitably abandon them). They're the con men like Christophe Rocancourt, and they're the stockbrokers and promoters who caused Forbes magazine to call the Vancouver Stock Exchange (now part of the Canadian Venture Exchange) the scam capital of the world. (Hare has said that if he couldn't study psychopaths in prisons, the Vancouver Stock Exchange would have been his second choice.) A significant proportion of persistent wife beaters, and people who have unprotected sex despite carrying the AIDS virus, are psychopaths. Psychopaths can be found in legislatures, hospitals, and used-car lots. They're your neighbour, your boss, and your blind date. Because they have no conscience, they're natural predators. If you didn't have a conscience, you'd be one too.
Psychopaths love chaos and hate rules, so they're comfortable in the fast-moving modern corporation. Dr. Paul Babiak, an industrial-organizational psychologist based near New York City, is in the process of writing a book with Bob Hare called When Psychopaths Go to Work: Cons, Bullies and the Puppetmaster. The subtitle refers to the three broad classes of psychopaths Babiak has encountered in the workplace.
"The con man works one-on-one," says Babiak. "They'll go after a woman, marry her, take her money, then move on and marry someone else. The puppet master would manipulate somebody to get at someone else. This type is more powerful because they're hidden." Babiak says psychopaths have three motivations: thrill-seeking, the pathological desire to win, and the inclination to hurt people. "They'll jump on any opportunity that allows them to do those things," he says. "If something better comes along, they'll drop you and move on."
How can you tell if your boss is a psychopath? It's not easy, says Babiak. "They have traits similar to ideal leaders. You would expect an ideal leader to be narcissistic, self-centred, dominant, very assertive, maybe to the point of being aggressive. Those things can easily be mistaken for the aggression and bullying that a psychopath would demonstrate. The ability to get people to follow you is a leadership trait, but being charismatic to the point of manipulating people is a psychopathic trait. They can sometimes be confused."
Once inside a company, psychopaths can be hard to excise. Babiak tells of a salesperson and psychopath -- call him John -- who was performing badly but not suffering for it. John was managing his boss -- flattering him, taking him out for drinks, flying to his side when he was in trouble. In return, his boss covered for him by hiding John's poor performance. The arrangement lasted until John's boss was moved. When his replacement called John to task for his abysmal sales numbers, John was a step ahead.
He'd already gone to the company president with a set of facts he used to argue that his new boss, and not he, should be fired. But he made a crucial mistake. "It was actually stolen data," Babiak says. "The only way [John] could have obtained it would be for him to have gone into a file into which no one was supposed to go. That seemed to be enough, and he was fired rather than the boss. Even so, in the end, he walked out with a company car, a bag of money, and a good reference."
"A lot of white-collar criminals are psychopaths," says Bob Hare. "But they flourish because the characteristics that define the disorder are actually valued. When they get caught, what happens? A slap on the wrist, a six-month ban from trading, and don't give us the $100 million back. I've always looked at white-collar crime as being as bad or worse than some of the physically violent crimes that are committed."
The best way to protect the workplace is not to hire psychopaths in the first place. That means training interviewers so they're less likely to be manipulated and conned. It means checking resumés for lies and distortions, and it means following up references.
Paul Babiak says he's "not comfortable" with one researcher's estimate that one in ten executives is a psychopath, but he has noticed that they are attracted to positions of power. When he describes employees such as John to other executives, they know exactly whom he's talking about. "I was talking to a group of human-resources executives yesterday," says Babiak, "and every one of them said, you know, I think I've got somebody like that."
By now, you're probably thinking the same thing. The number of psychopaths in society is about the same as the number of schizophrenics, but unlike schizophrenics, psychopaths aren't loners. That means most of us have met or will meet one. Hare gets dozens of letters and e-mail messages every month from people who say they recognize someone they know while reading Without Conscience. They go on to describe a brother, a sister, a husband. " 'Please help my seventeen-year-old son. . . .' " Hare reads aloud from one such missive. "It's a heart-rending letter, but what can I do? I'm not a clinician. I have hundreds of these things, and some of them are thirty or forty pages long."
Hare's book opened my eyes, too. Reading it, I realized that I might have known a psychopath, Jonathan, at the computer company where I worked in London, England, over twenty years ago. He was charming and confident, and from the moment he arrived he was on excellent terms with the executive inner circle. Jonathan had big plans and promised me that I was a big part of them. One night when I was alone in the office, Jonathan appeared, accompanied by what anyone should have recognized as two prostitutes. "These are two high-ranking staff from the Ministry of Defence," he said without missing a beat. "We're going over the details of a contract, which I'm afraid is classified top secret. You'll have to leave the building." His voice and eyes were absolutely persuasive and I complied. A few weeks later Jonathan was arrested. He had embezzled tens of thousands of pounds from the small firm, used the company as a mailing address for a marijuana importing business he was running on the side, and robbed the apartment of the company's owner, who was letting him stay there temporarily.
Like everyone who has been suckered by a psychopath -- and Bob Hare includes himself and many of his graduate students (who have been trained to spot them) in that list -- I'm ashamed that I fell for Jonathan. But he was brilliant, charismatic, and audacious. He radiated money and power (though in fact he had neither), while his real self -- manipulative, lying, parasitic, and irresponsible -- was just far enough under his surface to be invisible. Or was it? Maybe I didn't know how to look, or maybe I didn't really want to.
I saw his name in the news again recently. "A con man tricked top sports car makers Lotus into lending him a Ł70,000 model . . . then stole it and drove 6,000 miles across Europe, a court heard," the story began.
Knowing Jonathan is probably a psychopath makes me feel better. It's an explanation.
But away from the workplace, back in the world of the criminally violent psychopath, Hare's checklist has become broadly known, so broadly known, in fact, that it is now a constant source of concern for him. "People are misusing it, and they're misusing it in really strange ways," Hare says. "There are lots of clinicians who don't even have a manual. All they've seen is an article with the twenty items -- promiscuity, impulsiveness, and so forth -- listed."
In court, assessments of the same person done by defence and prosecution "experts" have varied by as much as twenty points. Such drastic differences are almost certainly the result of bias or incompetence, since research on the PCL-R itself has shown it has high "inter-rater reliability" (consistent results when a subject is assessed by more than one qualified assessor). In one court case, it was used to label a thirteen-year-old a psychopath, even though the PCL-R test is only meant to be used to rate adults with criminal histories. The test should be administered only by mental-health professionals (like all such psychological instruments, it is only for sale to those with credentials), but a social worker once used the PCL-R in testimony in a death-penalty case -- not because she was qualified but because she thought it was "interesting."
It shouldn't be used in death-penalty cases at all, Hare says, but U.S. Federal District Courts have ruled it admissible because it meets scientific standards.
"Bob and others like myself are saying it doesn't meet the ethical standards," says Dr. Henry Richards, a psychopathy researcher at the University of Washington. "A psychological instrument and diagnosis should not be a determinant of whether someone gets the death sentence. That's more of an ethical and political decision."
And into the ethical and political realm -- the realm of extrapolation, of speculation, of opinion -- Hare will not step. He's been asked to be a guest on Oprah (twice), 60 Minutes, and Larry King Live. Oprah wanted him alongside a psychopath and his victim. "I said, 'This is a circus,' " Hare says. "I couldn't do that." 60 Minutes also wanted to "make it sexy" by throwing real live psychopaths into the mix. Larry King Live phoned him at home while O. J. Simpson was rolling down the freeway in his white Bronco. Hare says no every time (while his publisher gently weeps).
Even in his particular area, Hare is unfailingly circumspect. Asked if he thinks there will ever be a cure for psychopathy -- a drug, an operation -- Hare steps back and examines the question. "The psychopath will say 'A cure for what?' I don't feel comfortable calling it a disease. Much of their behaviour, even the neurobiological patterns we observe, could be because they're using different strategies to get around the world. These strategies don't have to involve faulty wiring, just different wiring."
Are these people qualitatively different from us? "I would think yes," says Hare. "Do they form a discrete taxon or category? I would say probably -- the evidence is suggesting that. But does this mean that's because they have a broken motor? I don't know. It could be a natural variation." True saints, completely selfless individuals, are rare and unnatural too, he points out, but we don't talk about their being diseased.
Psychopathy research is raising more questions than it can answer, and many of them are leading to moral and ethical quagmires. For example: the PCL-R has turned out to be the best single predictor of recidivism that has ever existed; an offender with a high PCL-R score is three or four times more likely to reoffend than someone with a low score. Should a high PCL-R score, then, be sufficient grounds for denying parole? Or perhaps a psychopathy test could be used to prevent crime by screening individuals or groups at high risk -- for example, when police get a frantic "My boyfriend says he'll kill me" call, or when a teacher reports a student threatening to commit violence. Should society institutionalize psychopaths, even if they haven't broken the law?
The United Kingdom, partly in response to the 1993 abduction and murder of two-year-old James Bulger by two ten-year-olds, and partly in response to PCL-R data, is in the process of creating a new legal classification called Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD). As it stands, the government proposes to allow authorities to detain people declared DSPD, even if they have not committed a crime. (Sample text from one of the Web sites that have sprung up in response: "I was diagnosed with an untreatable personality disorder by a doctor who saw me for ten minutes, he later claimed I was a psychopath. . . . Please don't let them do this to me; don't let them do it to anybody. I'm not a danger to the public, nor are most mentally ill people.")
Hare is a consultant on the DSPD project, and finds the potential for abuse of power horrifying. So do scientists such as Dr. Richard Tees, head of psychology at UBC, a colleague of Hare's since 1965. "I am concerned about our political masters deciding that the PCL-R is the silver bullet that's going to fix everything," he says. "We'll let people out [of prison] on the basis of scores on this, and we'll put them in. And we'll take children who do badly on some version of this and segregate them or something. It wasn't designed to do any of these things. The problems that politicians are trying to solve are fundamentally more complicated than the one that Bob has solved."
So many of these awkward questions would vanish if only there were a functioning treatment program for psychopathy. But there isn't. In fact, several studies have shown that existing treatment makes criminal psychopaths worse. In one, psychopaths who underwent social-skills and anger-management training before release had an 82 percent reconviction rate. Psychopaths who didn't take the program had a 59 percent reconviction rate. Conventional psychotherapy starts with the assumption that a patient wants to change, but psychopaths are usually perfectly happy as they are. They enrol in such programs to improve their chances of parole. "These guys learn the words but not the music," Hare says. "They can repeat all the psychiatric jargon -- 'I feel remorse,' they talk about the offence cycle -- but these are words, hollow words."
Hare has co-developed a new treatment program specifically for violent psychopaths, using what he knows about the psychopathic personality. The idea is to encourage them to be better by appealing not to their (non-existent) altruism but to their (abundant) self-interest.
"It's not designed to change personality, but to modify behaviour by, among other things, convincing them that there are ways they can get what they want without harming others," Hare explains. The program will try to make them understand that violence is bad, not for society, but for the psychopath himself. (Look where it got you: jail.) A similar program will soon be put in place for psychopathic offenders in the UK.
"The irony is that Canada could have had this all set up and they could have been leaders in the world. But they dropped the ball completely," Hare says, referring to his decade-old treatment proposal, sitting on a shelf somewhere within Corrections Canada.
Even if Hare's treatment program works, it will only address the violent minority of psychopaths. What about the majority, the subclinical psychopaths milling all around us? At the moment, the only thing Hare and his colleagues can offer is self-protection through self-education. Know your own weaknesses, they advise, because the psychopath will find and use them. Learn to recognize the psychopath, they tell us, before adding that even experts are regularly taken in.
After thirty-five years of work, Bob Hare has brought us to the stage where we know what psychopathy is, how much damage psychopaths do, and even how to identify them. But we don't know how to treat them or protect the population from them. The real work is just beginning. Solving the puzzle of the psychopath is an invigorating prospect -- if you're a scientist. Perhaps the rest of us can be forgiven for our impatience to see the whole thing come to an end.


20 - Understanding Psychopaths: Violent or Successful?

Not all psychopaths are violent. A new study may explain why some are ‘successful’ instead.

By Brian McNeill – Virginia Commonwealth University

 While these examples may indeed enjoy better "career trajectories or outcomes" one must consider how they achieve this, perhaps at the expense of others.
Please also refer to my other post which contains a Hale checklist of psychopathic traits as background material for this article
:  )

Psychopathy is widely recognized as a risk factor for violent behavior, but many psychopathic individuals refrain from antisocial or criminal acts. Understanding what leads these psychopaths to be “successful” has been a mystery.

A new study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University sheds light on the mechanisms underlying the formation of this “successful” phenotype.
Psychopathic individuals are very prone to engaging in antisocial behaviors but what our findings suggest is that some may actually be better able to inhibit these impulses than others,” said lead author Emily Lasko, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences. “Although we don’t know exactly what precipitates this increase in conscientious impulse control over time, we do know that this does occur for individuals high in certain psychopathy traits who have been relatively more ‘successful’ than their peers.”
The study, “What Makes a ‘Successful’ Psychopath? Longitudinal Trajectories of Offenders’ Antisocial Behavior and Impulse Control as a Function of Psychopathy,” will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment.

When describing certain psychopathic individuals as “successful” versus “unsuccessful,” the researchers are referring to life trajectories or outcomes. A “successful” psychopath, for example, might be a CEO or lawyer high in psychopathic traits, whereas an “unsuccessful” psychopath might have those same traits but is incarcerated.

The study tests a compensatory model of “successful” psychopathy, which theorizes that relatively  “successful” psychopathic individuals develop greater conscientious traits that serve to inhibit their heightened antisocial impulses.
The compensatory model posits that people higher in certain psychopathic traits (such as grandiosity and manipulation) are able to compensate for and overcome, to some extent, their antisocial impulses via increases in trait conscientiousness, specifically impulse control,” Lasko said.

To test this model, the researchers studied data collected about 1,354 serious juvenile offenders who were adjudicated in court systems in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Although these participants are not objectively ‘successful,’ this was an ideal sample to test our hypotheses for two main reasons,” the researchers write. “First, adolescents are in a prime developmental phase for the improvement of impulse control. Allowing us the longitudinal variability we would need to test our compensatory model. Second, offenders are prone to antisocial acts, by definition, and their rates of recidivism provided a real-world index of ‘successful’ versus ‘unsuccessful’ psychopathy phenotypes.”

The study found that higher initial psychopathy was associated with steeper increases in general inhibitory control and the inhibition of aggression over time. That effect was magnified among “successful” offenders, or those who reoffended less.
Its findings lend support to the compensatory model of “successful” psychopathy, Lasko said.
Our findings support a novel model of psychopathy that we propose, which runs contradictory to the other existing models of psychopathy in that it focuses more on the strengths or ‘surpluses’ associated with psychopathy rather than just deficits,” she said. “Psychopathy is not a personality trait simply composed of deficits — there are many forms that it can take.”

Lasko is a researcher in VCU’s Social Psychology and Neuroscience Lab, which seeks to understand why people try to harm one another.David Chester, Ph.D., director of the lab and an assistant professor of psychology, is co-author of the study.

The study’s findings could be useful in clinical and forensic settings, Lasko said, particularly for developing effective prevention and early intervention strategies in that it could help identify strengths that psychopathic individuals possess that could deter future antisocial behavior.


Thursday, 14 May 2020

19 - Understanding Psychopaths: The Hare Psychopathy Checklist

Here's a revised version of the Hare Psychopathy checklist presented as background understanding of personality disorders.

Here's also a link to a podcast explaining the checklist:

Sunday, 10 May 2020

18 - Street Violence Is Kicking Off During Lockdown. This Is Why

The dark side of social media in lockdown. Interesting article from Vice:

There has been an explosion in the number of street stabbings and shootings in England since the beginning of lockdown, despite police claiming the measures have driven down serious violence.
Earlier this month, West Midlands police said there had been a 40 percent drop in knife crime in the area during the first week of lockdown, compared to the same week in 2019. London's Met Police said the measures had resulted in a 25 percent fall in knife crime in the capital since January.
However, the relative peace has not lasted long, according to analysis by VICE. A study of reported serious street violence found 35 gang-style street attacks nationwide since the 26th of March, including seven homicides and 11 shootings. Of the 35 attacks, 20 involved teenagers as either victims or suspects, with half of the incidents occurring in either Birmingham or London."

Read the rest of the article here:

17 - Are you the right person in the wrong room?


As reported in the UK press from a US site: This is a child's maths test marked by a teacher.

You'll note that despite getting these two answers correct the child has been marked down for reaching the correct answer by a slightly different route than the one that the curriculum dictates .

What message does this approach teach the child?

While it's understandable that a tutor may wish to see the process that arrives at the answer, is it possible that being continually taught like this will produce an adult who, when faced with a problem, will resort and defer to default responses rather than their own thinking?

Indeed, is it possible that they may even ignore their own solution and discount it as it isn't accepted dogma?

In training I refer to this as “Cut and paste thinking”.

This is not understanding.

This is merely parroting.

This is the opposite of empowerment.

It is teaching reliance on a script rather than self reliance.

Some may speculate that this is the goal and I wouldn't be the person to know about such things but what kind of society would this produce?

The image was posted on social media and received almost three million views.
There aren't enough curse words in the English language for me to express how I feel about this.”, said one comment.

What does this have to do with learning self defence?

Are you encouraged to question your training?

Does everything you are taught actually make sense for your personal “training mission” or circumstances ?

If you are taught only scripted responses to threats and self created solutions or questioning are not encouraged as they don't conform to a style, is it possible that you may create trainees with limited capabilities in a moment of crisis?

If everybody’s thinking alike, somebody isn’t thinking”
George S Patton

Somehow, it's unlikely he was directly quoting E. H. Krehbiel – Pun intended: “but at least the thought was there...”

Jethro Randolph / May 2020

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

16 - Controlling space /pre-emption/ knock out

Subject left:
Good control of space - checking hand.
Second encroachment, balled fists and issued threat triggers pre-emptive strike.

Subject right:
Issuing tough guy threats and posturing with hands down is not a good idea...

Saturday, 2 May 2020

15 - Unarmed vs knife / stabbing / 2 on 1 (GRAPHIC/18+)

Location: Public transport
We don't have the full video/ circumstances so complete understanding is not possible.
Argument between 3 men (2 vs 1)
The usual dynamic in 2 on 1 is the single person being attacked and outnumbered, here this is not seemingly the case.
2 guys on left seem to be trying to keep guy on right back (leg kick to repel) and are not encroaching or moving forward.
The right guy seems to be issuing challenges with his hands - classic "come on, let's go" etc.

Leaving now would possibly have changed what is coming. on a moving vehicle, backing away "I'm leaving"...get far back and close to an exit for possible escape.


Guy on right is repelled back after trying to attack the guys on the left..

At this point he makes a(nother) very big mistake - removing coat and jacket to prepare for what perhaps he assumes will be a straight fist fight.

Author's note -  I had one friend who was knocked out for many minutes for being this stupid. He woke up in the street - everyone else had left!

He puts his fists up in to a would be sport/ boxing/ MMA guard and goes in.
He's kicked again - the other guy is braced and supported by the bars.
He is still fixated attempting to close distance and punch, push and grapple seemingly unaware that he is now being repeatedly stabbed in the left abdomen - possible access to his heart.

He is fighting one man and cannot perceive the stabbing coming from BEHIND from that man from a friend.

Never fight people.

Whatever they say insults wise - it doesn't mean anything.

It's not worth the physical and legal risk.

Stupidity comes with a high price.

59 - Mindset - On winning

  - quote from Bob Knight. It's always great to get mail from a trainee that has the dedication to train on their own and really commit ...