Conflict and violence cover a broad range of behaviors, from intimidation to murder, and require an equally broad range of responses. A kind word will not resolve all situations, nor will wristlocks, punches, or even a gun.
Conflict and violence cover a broad range of behaviors, from intimidation to murder, and requires an equally broad range of response. A kind word will not resolve all situations, nor will wristlocks, punches or even a gun.
If you have mastered punching and kicking, what skills do you have to safely stop two friends from fighting? If you are incredibly skilled at locks and takedowns, is it even possible to apply a submission as a way to escape a lethal threat? If you are an expert marksman, what skills do you have to deal with a teenager who wants to cut her own wrists?
Some people study martial arts for self-defense, yet almost any style you can name focuses on a narrow range of responses, typically empty-hand restraint or less lethal force. High-end skills only come into play in true self-defense situations. Unless you’re the bad guy, that usually means you’re losing. And everything you know about timing, distance and power generation may not work.
To go through life with a narrow range of skills, hoping any emergency will just, by luck, happen to require the skills you have… that’s not a strategy. That is whistling in the dark. It’s stupidity.
In Scaling Force Kane and Miller introduce you to the full range of options, from skillfully doing nothing to applying deadly force. They realistically guide you through understanding the limits of each type of force, when specific levels may be appropriate, the circumstances under which you may have to apply them, and the potential cost, legally and personally, of your decision.
It’s vital to have a holistic skillset for dealing with every level of violence. You must not only know how to enter this scale at the right level, but also be able to articulate why the amount of force you used was appropriate. Use too much and you’re looking at prison time; use too little you are in for a world of hurt.
If you do not know how to succeed at all six levels covered in this book there are situations in which you will have no appropriate options. More often than not, that will end badly.