4 Ds of stopping a violent confrontation

The prisons are filled with normal people like you and me. They landed in the prison just because they lost their sanity for a few seconds.
Frightening, isn’t it!  When you realise that everything built over a lifetime can be lost in a jiffy.

“Violence starts where civilization ends."
KravMaga system takes this dictum into cognizance and advocates physical violence only as last resort, when all civilized options are exhausted.

What are the triggers of Violence?
Volatile situations happen every day in bar rooms, board rooms and bed rooms. Wherever there is more than one individual, opinions may differ. Unfortunately and unexpectedly, sometimes these differences escalate to physical violence.

Aggression can be internally present.
A small minority do carry their aggression blatantly. They are by nature bullies or brought up in a social/domestic condition where violence is a pre-requisite for daily survival.

Aggression can be externally instigated.
But for the majority, the suicidal violence is escalated by external conditions - Stress due to overcrowding, fatigue caused by stiff deadlines and the ingrained psyche of an individual conditioned for survival in a hyper-competitive world.
These negative emotions are kept bottled up for social correctness. But they burst out violently on a minor provocation. 

Glorification of Violence
Most of the testosterone charged youngsters don’t realise the damage potential of violence. Because their sensitivity has been dulled for years, by the constant dose of self righteous violence - starting from the cartoons one saw a kid; the mass media has glorified violence.
When bones break, blood spills and one ends up waiting for hours in a police station or in a hospital corridor, one wakes up to the harsh reality of physical violence.
That brings us to the first D.

DENY - your Ego
Most of us are blind to our own faults. Especially in a conflict situation when passions are flying high, whatever objectivity one possesses evaporates in the heat.
So, instead of assessing the ways to resolve the conflict, we escalate it further by angry repartees. This escalation snow balls to an extent where tactically backing off becomes impossible, without losing face.  It becomes all about," I won’t budge from my position whatever happens." 
But, how does one temper the Ego? That brings us to the next D.

DELAY - the escalation
As they say Anger is temporary madness. Because the Adrenalin surge does crazy things to you physically and mentally.
Imagine your car is suddenly going out of control. What is the first instinctive action? Take the foot of the accelerator. You understand that all the braking and manoeuvring is possible only if the car is not going any faster.
Similarly, just stop reacting word to word and gesture to gesture. Be silent for a sometime if the other guy is ranting. Breathe deeply so that the shallow angry breathing is regulated. This should stop the urge to keep scoring verbal points.
This takes us to the next D.

DIFFUSE - the anger
Don’t show overt body language of aggression. Speak softly and firmly.
Avoid invading the personal space of the opponent, for two reasons. Because he will see it as a personal affront. Further if he starts punching or kicking you will be too close to defend.
Watch the hotel bouncers handling an unreasonable guest. They put up both their hands in a classic posture called 'Fence', which even though looks as if he is pacifying, in actuality is a guard.

DIVERT - his aggression
Once the snowballing of the conflict is stemmed, the next priority is to channelize the aggression away from a confrontation.
The fact is, except a retarded few, nobody likes violence. But many aggressors continue a suicidal anger posture because they don’t know how to back off. Backing off is even more difficult when they are with friends and relatives. When you offer an option wherein he doesn't lose face, he is actually relieved.

To summarize – Deny, Delay, Diffuse & Divert.

As we love to say in KravMaga
“A good fighter knows how to get OUT of a Fight.
A smart fighter knows how NOT to get IN a Fight."

Co-ordinator / Instructor
Chennai Chapter, Krav Maga (IKMF) India
Mobile: 93400 06600

"So that one may walk in peace" ... Imi Lichtenfeld, Founder of KravMaga
TWEET - @kravMagaSreeRam


  1. A Martial Arts Enthusiast to a Krav Maga Guru, a scriptwriter, Marketeer, a loving human being and most beloved of all and a gem in my heart for whom my Respects fail to recede! Your blogs ignite the fusion of Self Defense with common sense.As a person you ignite the Passion one has to have to do what he wants to. great Job Sreeram Sir. My Respects to your wife and Hies to sreeja. Kudos!!!

  2. Thanks hari.. i am flattered..
    we havent caught up in a long time.. why not we meet up at Haven sampoorna one of these evenings?


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