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Thread: How to React to "What are you looking at?"

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    I know a guy who's response to 'what are you looking at' was "WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT!" acompanied with a very agressive stance and most of the time served him very well. He was no martial artist but could handle himself and had the confidence to take that stance. I think it mainly worked as the people who start those kinds of fights are looking for a weak member of the herd to pray on and realise they're out of their depth when confronted by someone who doesnt shy away.

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    When asked "what are you looking at?", has anyone thought to point over the guys shoulder and stutter "g g grizzly bear!"?

    Just a thought
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    Quote Originally Posted by perception2 View Post
    Avoiding Conflicts is very important

    The "what are you looking at" tough guy wanna be reaction. I have delt with these low self esteem , poorly educated , attention seeking imbeciles on numerous occasions. They want to intimidate me, they want me to be shaking.

    I have always noticed, the best way to respond to direct threat to myself is to ignore it and it will go away. I never respond and escalate the situation. I have been trained to defuse the situation and to try and calm the other person down.
    Verbally insulting the threat will essentially cause more problems.

    As you can see by my photo, I am not a big guy, but if you know simple psychology 101 then you will be fine.

    There are some individuals that will try every technique they know to get you to react.

    I have been in many situations where a simple conversation will get the other persons mind thinking in a direction that is favourable to me.

    Justice will prevail over hatred, bigotry and intolerance.



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    Soft skills (avoidance, awareness etc) play a big part. If they don't work it's time for hard skills (violence)
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    Hi all

    I agree, bullies always look for the weak link in the group, might it be the small person or the chubby guy standing alone in the group.
    Sometimes bullies become the laughing stock when they fail to succeed at something like when a small person give him hell but out smarting him, if is by bad mouthing each other, or by just plainly kicking his butt.
    i am not for fighting but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to make it stop.

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    I haven't really had any conflicts in my lifetime. The few I've had are usually because of selfishness on someones part. I kinda just "roll" with the conversation and try as much as possible to avoid any conflict.
    In my opinion just keeping cool when someone yells something at you, or just replying with a soft reply does alot to calm them down. If they keep getting in your face it might be time to use some MA.

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    I think martial arts - in my case, TKD - has shown me that I can now actually hurt someone if I had to. I have never, ever thought I was strong - still don't. But I have broken boards in class that require some power to do so. Practicing TKD and working out more to keep up with the young whippersnappers in class (I'm the oldest by far, 41) has built my strength up. This was really driven home to me when I was carrying something out of my son's room, which fell apart in my hands, and a corner of something dull hit my foot hard enough to make a scab. (Easy to get a cut from something sharp, but when something DULL does it...ow-wowch.) So I reacted naturally - screamed out some healthy curse words, and palm-heeled the wall, which put a hole in it. Again, something probably many people could do with no sweat, but I never thought I was one. So now, thanks to TKD, I know that if there is a fight, there is a chance I will seriously hurt someone else in addition to the chance I can be seriously hurt. Therefore, it has to be something serious to get me to actually fight, not just "Hey, you (generic slang) (curse word) (unimaginative description) I'm gonna (threat out of an action movie that's physically impossible and requires talented stunt people to do)." from a random person. Just get away and get on with life. I like the idea of using humor too. Generally defuses the situation if the person isn't serious about starting something and just looking for any reason...and of course you can tell the cops "I tried to get away from it, making him laugh, but..." later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medway Tai Chi Society View Post
    When asked "what are you looking at?", has anyone thought to point over the guys shoulder and stutter "g g grizzly bear!"?

    Just a thought
    Does that work in the UK? How about pointing and saying "nnnnnKnife" ? That might buy a bit more time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by hope View Post
    Does that work in the UK? How about pointing and saying "nnnnnKnife" ? That might buy a bit more time...
    One lesson I had on this sort of thing was called the bates defence, I kid you not a very good teacher when asked said don't look aggressive just give them a look that scares them like you are off your nut........when asked what do you mean, he gave me a look that convinced me totally.

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    I'm glad this question came back up on my Facebook post.....
    I gave a reply to this quite some time ago. Since then, I've read a wonderful book that addresses this very issue. Facing Violence by Rory Miller handles this very well. He talks about the mindset of someone that would say that and how NOT to respond. Spaceman, I think in very, very few instances peacocking would work. Or the monkey dance.
    The gist of what Miller said was that guys get territorial then they start the monkey dance. The monkey dance is something like - I get aggressive, then you get a little more aggressive, then I get more aggressive than that and so on. He tells that when someone does the "WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT" show, that person's adrenelaine is usually surging. He advocates trying to talk to the person for a bit until that surge passes but DON'T make an aggressive show of force to escalate anything. Eye contact and how you break eye contact is important, too. If you look up when you look away, you seem snobbish. That might set the person off. If you look down, you appear subservient or meek. That may make you smell like prey or an easy target. He advises that you look straight across. Try a response like "Sorry, I'm just tired. You look like someone that I know. It's been a really long day. How about a pass on this one?"
    The best line I remember from the book is "Martial arts is to protect the body; not the ego".

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    Quote Originally Posted by empty cup View Post
    One lesson I had on this sort of thing was called the bates defence, I kid you not a very good teacher when asked said don't look aggressive just give them a look that scares them like you are off your nut........when asked what do you mean, he gave me a look that convinced me totally.
    I would love to see that "look". I bet Robin Williams could manage it. COuldn't find that kind of "bates defense" on a quick google search, maybe it's a few pages in.

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