Glossary of Terms


Awareness Markers – knowledge about self defense that signals your brain to take note and amp up your awareness. Ex: any precursor to a monkey dance that helps you label it as such.

Asymmetrical Violence – When the parties in a physical confrontation differ widely in factors such as size, strength, ability, experience, tactics, weapons, numbers and so forth.  One side has a clear advantage over the other.

Building blocks: Basic classes of physical skills, e.g. entries or strikes or takedowns.

Checklist – An imaginary list of external and observable behaviors (jeopardy) with different ‘values.’  In assessing a situation you run down the ‘list,’ mentally checking off the ones you see. Hypothetically 100 is when things will go violent. 1 is worth 20. 2 is worth 5. 3 is 50 all by itself.  Total here is 75 … so yeah, violence is probable.

Reverse Checklist — other side of the page. Factors that reduce the likelihood
(e.g. the guy is with his mother, there’s a table in the way). You subtract this
sum from the previous.

Considerations – The variables, outcomes, solutions, problems, factors, etc in a system.

Civilians = Not a force professional.

Clanstribes, the whole plethora of terminology used by symbolic interactionists becomes relevant.

Civvie – a military reference to all non military personnel. Slang for civilian.

Concepts – Ways professionals think that civilians don’t in terms of underlying principles and ideas.

Confirmation of Bad Intention – The Mental/emotional confirmation that someone intends to do harm.

Conditioning: Conditioning is pairing a stimulus with a response.  Through immediate reward (punishment also works but can have some side effects) it can bring action up to nearly reflex speed.  It has limitations– it’s very difficult if not impossible to condition a complex response. The stimulus must be realistic, etc.  But conditioning is what you need in very fast situations.  And (proper) conditioning does come out under stress.  Responses that have only been trained seem to require experience before they can be accessed under stress.

Danger Management – 

Deniable Malice — the systematic setting up of circumstances for bad shit to happen. But in a manner that one can tell oneself that isn’t what one is doing. (e.g. I just took the gun along for self-defense [as I went to his home to confront him about something I was pissed about]). The rationalization/denial to ‘self’ about what one is doing often occurs BEFORE the incident. (I have this really great idea)

Domain – Described by and made up of environment/norms/considerations/etc. Domains can be separate, overlapping, large, small,etc.

Domain Knowledge –  knowing what elements in said environment are germane for safety and dealing with potentially violent situations.

EEH (Exquisite example of humanity) someone that broke (all) the rules because it was the right thing to do.

Environmental Knowledge – Knowing the environment. For example: 1.) The people 2.) The places 3.) The things they do 4.) The times they do them.

Fear Management – 

5D’s of Self-Defense – A framework and strategy for organizing all self-defense concepts, tactics, and techniques by Prevention (before), Intervention (during), and Mitigation (after) DECIDE – DETER – DISRUPT-DISENGAGE- DEBRIEF.

Five Stages of Violent Crime The Five Stages of Violent Crime is an internationally recognized system to identify if — and determine when and if — you are   being set up for a crime or violence.

Groups  – In group v out group re identity, Multiple group membership, hierarchy of groups. May be fixed or fluctuating due to the situation.

Hammerhead – As in a Tool. As in if your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. A person who has simplistic one dimensional thinking.,

Idjits Gonna Idj – Kathy Jackson’s take off on “haters gonna hate” — ie, it’s reasonable to expect idiocy of from idiots, hate from haters, douchebaggery from douchebags.

Internet/keyboard Warrior – an individual with verbose opinions unsubstantiated with neither knowledge or experience.

‘Living in your own private Idaho‘ — (B-52s song) basically going inside your head/being so focused on something that you are ignoring your surroundings. Often when ‘pulled’ out of this, the person becomes aggressive/hostile. Usually with unpleasant emotional results, but possibly with spitting blood by Marc

Legal gangs (police, army, righteous citizens, versus illegal gangs, criminals, football hooligans, things. Plus the inter relation of all the above.

Monkey Brain – 

Othering – Categorizing someone else of a “class” of people as inherently different than you.

Play: Play  is getting into a chaotic environment with the fewest possible restrictions and getting a feel for what works.  Randori, sparring, live training and competition.  But there are also a lot of games in different things.  And nothing beats reality.  No one has become a good driver just through classroom lessons or simulators.  You can memorize all the vocabulary and grammar rules but until you can bargain and argue and flirt, you don’t really know a language.

Principles:  Principles are the big things.  Principles are the things (usually physics) that make other things work.  Principles apply to everything. ‘Maximize leverage’ is a principle.  Poor leverage will make locks fail and takedowns fail and significantly weaken strikes.  Good leverage (and good leverage for strikes includes using a stick) makes everything better.  It’s just physics.

– Details: Details are the little things.  Not big universals like principles. More specific, maybe more limited, but the tricks we all do to make things work. Like the ulnar rotation.  You smack into a bicep or under the jaw with the flat of your forearm and then rotate and dig the ulna into the target.  Or the sawing action.  No idea why pushing directly against certain points won’t work but when you saw with your forearm it moves much bigger people.

PROGRESSIVE FENCE– Visual, Verbal, Physical, Institutional Fences.
– Visual Fence– body language designed to control and limit behavior.
 – Verbal Fence – Assertive phrases designed to control and limit behavior.
 – Physical Fence– Physical actions designed to control and limit behavior.
 – Institutional Fence – Institutional and governmental authority that limits    controls and limits behavior.

Professional Drunk — Like Clint’s Tush Hog, but in general a chronic alcoholic who is functionally immune to pain, violent and in ‘black out’ conditions.  These individuals require extreme force to stop.

Professional Victim – A person who can construe any statement as proof of oppression.  They are just as or even more into oppressing others as the people they rail against.

Protective Offense: Offense for the purpose of self defense also so as not to exclude others we are protecting as the work “self” does. I use the word offense as in chess or football. Seeing several moves ahead, having a strategy.

Rule Enforcement/Stopping Unacceptable Behavior — Force used to stop a behavior without the punishment/teaching aspect of an EBD.

Resource Protection — The OTHER asocial violence.

Scripted Techniques – Classic instruction via if he does this, then you do that, then this, then that.

Situationals – These are the short ‘what if’ questions. What if you’re attacked at a urinal? How do you fight out of a crowd? Someone jumps you on the stairs, what do you do?

Static Techniques – Techniques that work when the opponent doesn’t move dynamically. i.e. He just stands there.

Spiral of Defeat/Defeat Spiral– Deny it is happening, Delay while seeking more information, Do nothing due to not knowing what to do.

Sexual Violence Prevention Industrial Complex (SVP-IC): The industry of sexual violence awareness, advocacy, and prevention.

Self-Defense IQ – a person’s self-defense knowledge and understanding. It is made up of the combination of Environmental Knowledge, Rule Knowledge, and Domain Knowledge.


– Social Scripting – When a person executes/follows a learned or conditioned set of responses for social situations.
– Asocial Scripting – When a person executes/follows a learned or conditioned set of responses for asocial reasons.

Symmetrical Violence – When the parties in a physical confrontation do not differ widely in factors such as size, strength, ability, experience, tactics, weapons, numbers and so forth.  One side does not have a clear advantage over the other.

SYSTEM – A grouping or set of beliefs and related techniques designed to accomplish certain tasks or functions.
 – Simple System – A system with few considerations, factors, variables, etc.
 – Simplistic System – A system that is Closed, static and has few considerations, factors, variables, etc.
– Closed System – A system that doesn’t add new considerations, etc.
– Open System – A system that is constantly adding new considerations/etc.
– Static System – A system that the considerations/etc don’t change/evolve (traditional).
– Evolving System – A system that the considerations/etc change/evolve and is    Open to more considerations/etc.
– Complex System – A system with a large number of considerations/etc.
– Specialized System – A closed,static system such as BJJ, Karate, Aikido, etc.
 – Novice– Able to identify and handle few “problems” in few Systems/Domains.
 – Journeyman – On the road to becoming an Expert through training.
 – Specialist– A high level practitioner of a Specialized System (blackbelt in BJJ)
 – Expert – Able to identify and handle “problems” in multiple Systems/Domains.

Tusk Hog – A nice guy when sober. When he gets drunk he wants to fight is hard to hurt and enjoys really hurting people. Think of him as a boar hog . Full of hate and tusk and wanting to make the world hurt as much as he does.

Territoriality — this is a term to describe as ‘special kind of stupid.’ It’s a blend of possessiveness, ego, stubbornness and hostility. Realistically if you get mugged for cash, you’re going to lose about what you’re going to spend on a meal at a restaurant. Danger occurs when you say “I’m not giving MY wallet to this asshole.”

Trigger to Act – The sign/action/indication that propels someone to take action.

Training:  is verbal teaching, explanation, patterns and repetitions.  Almost anything that you learn as a step-by-step process. Practicing basics is training.  Going over the mechanics of a particular submission is training.  Kata is training.  Shadowboxing a specific pattern is training.  Whiteboard lecture on SD law or violence dynamics is training.

 – Feel Good Training: Feel good training ranges from the lecturer who leaves the students feeling pumped and convinced they are ‘warriors‘ to the hands-on training that makes people feel safer but does nothing to make them safer.

– Liability Reduction Training: Liability reduction training is for the bosses– they can either go, “Can’t blame us, you were trained.  Must be your fault.”  Or courses specifically designed to lower liability (like concentrating solely on lower levels of force) regardless of whether the system works.

Time Framing – Equal Motion – In Sayoc Kali this is called One-for-One. The concept is in regards to fighting – and is not just about a move for a move, but the same timing or movement for each person in a fight. I use to explain why in practice you can’t do 3 moves to his 1.

Victim Factoring: Examining all the factors involved when someone is involved/victimized by crime – A defense to the Victim Blaming accusation.

VIOLENCE DYMANICS – RM  – A model for understanding and predicting Social vs. Asocial Violence
 – Monkey DanceAre you a young man?  Who hangs out with other young men?  While drinking?  Do you go places where said young men hang out?  Then there is some potential for MD.  If you are a little older, your Monkey Dances are likely executed with words and office politics.
 – Group Monkey DanceRemember there are three categories.
The bonding type is rare but can possibly target anybody.  Your risk increases if you spend time where territories are in dispute (whether the edge of gang territory, war zones or sports bars) and/or you are easily identified as an outsider.
Boundary Setting should only come up if you regularly intervene in stranger’s problems.  LEOs, Social Workers…
Betrayal. Partner, unless you are a member of a violent group AND they have reason to believe you have betrayed them, you don’t have to worry about this one.
Educational BeatdownThis one will only come up if you violate the rules of a group and will only go violent if you violate either a major rule (e.g. betrayal) or break the rules of a violent group.  And how violent will depend on the group.  So, as long as you stay in your group, you know how to behave and what to expect.  Educational Beat Down shouldn’t be a problem.  If, however you travel to or liaise with groups you don’t know well, there is some risk.  Risk goes up exponentially with your arrogance.
 – Status Seeking ShowBecause it is intended to break the rules of social violence, everyone is slightly vulnerable.  That said, this is a pattern pretty much exclusive to violent criminal subcultures.  If you don’t spend time around such people, your risk is minimal.
 – Territory Defense
 – Process PredatorIn some ways, this is the hardest to narrow down the victim profiles.  The process predator is idiosyncratic.  For example, someone who gets addicted to the status seeking show (SSS) may prefer to assault, humiliate and kill or cripple big, strong, men.  He has learned over time that sudden ferocity trumps skill or physicality and it is simply worth more reputation, and feels more satisfying, to beat a big man. Another may choose his victims for his own safety. An opportunistic rapist may target any vulnerable or small woman who piques his interest…and another rapist may only target women who subconsciously remind him of his mother.  Generally, though, people who don’t look like they will put up a fight are the safest bet for the predator; and most want an inner weakness or emotional lability.  They want to see a victim cry, scream and beg.
 – Resource PredatorIf you look like you have money (some money, not much– homeless people rob each other all the time) and you don’t look like you’d be a problem (easy to intimidate either psychologically or physically) you’re a target for muggers.  There are lots of behaviors that can raise your risk– not paying attention, getting drunk, being alone in a high-risk locations.  That’s all standard self-defense advice.

Walt – short for ‘walter mitty’ an individual who aspires to or attempts to impersonate a high level/very capable operator or similar. Normally related to military aspirations.