You are most likely to know your attacker – now defend yourself

Attackers are more likely to be someone you know than it is for them to be a stranger.  This is especially true for a young person.  Many times the attacker feels a grudge for the other person, doesn’t like them for some reason or has been encouraged to attack them by others.

What can you do if someone tries to pick a fight with you or is pushing all of your buttons?  Unfortunately if you decide to take them on physically you may be making a bad situation worst.  Once the aggressor has decided you are their target they have already put themselves into a higher state of aggression with adrenaline running high.  They may have mind altering substances in their body which are making them irrational.  If you engage that personality, you may be in for a physical fight that could have been avoided.

Can you de-esculate the situation?  In many cases you are able to de-esculate long enough for you to remove yourself from the area.  This is very important if the aggressor has got you alone or away from others.  It is harder to do when there are others around, not because we cannot use our skills to de-esculate, but rather because our ego or theirs may be getting into the way.

This is not the time to prove how strong or talented we are in the area of ‘beating someone up’.  It makes more rational sense to allow ourselves to be seen by others as less than, and survive, than to be trying to prove a point. Using our words to de-esculate may not always work, but our staying calm will not make the situation worse.  Saying and doing things that do not threaten your attacker can give you some control.

In the end if the aggressor continues – then of course you must defend yourself, even physically.  Learning how to do so and practicing in a safe environment like Balanced Life Skills is the best way to be prepared.

Verbal Judo Founder Passes Away, Leaving Us a Language to Make the World a Better Place

It is with great sadness that I must inform you of the passing of Dr. George “Doc” Thompson. For 27 years, as founder and CEO of the Verbal Judo Institute, Doc led the charge to elevate the professionalism and communication skills for crisis professionals, such as law enforcement and all first responders. His work gained many followers, in both the public and private sectors.

“The entire basis of Verbal Judo is to treat people with dignity and respect, most of all your family and close friends,” Thompson wrote in the forward to his book, “Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion.” (This book sold 250,000 copies and is scheduled for re-release later this year.) “Be ever so careful how you speak to them, as words can cut deeper and fester longer than sword wounds,” he continued. “Ironically, we often spend less energy being kind to those closest to us. Change it!”

Dr. Thompson has given us the strategies and the language to make the world a better place.

Knowing that words can cut deeper and wounds from words can last longer is the reason that Balanced Life Skills has learned from “Doc” Thompson to teach our students how to communicate when others are less than pleasant to us. Verbal Self Defense is the communication skills that everyone can learn and practice including children. It is this self defense that is the number one way we can teach our children to defend themselves from those that would like to pick on or tease them. It starts with understanding our own worth and having confidence along with “mushin”. If you do not know what “mushin” is visit us at Balanced Life Skills to see how this ancient Asian philosophy can affect how we deal with others.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. George Thompson here is a link to a summary of his life. If you would like your children to learn Verbal Judo, please contact us at Balanced Life Skills. We would love to have you be a part of our continued efforts to build a culture of peace in our schools and community.

What is Bully Kindness?

The Buddhist Answer to Bullies

Published in Psychology Today this article list 5 steps in stopping bullying.

  1. See the suffering
  2. Protect yourself
  3. Use Mantra’s
  4. Apply Kindness
  5. Cut-off 


If you would like to see the full article here is the link. The Buddhist Answer to Bullies

I found this article interesting, though I must say that we must be careful in all of our suggestions to our children or ourselves about bullying that we do not leave the victim feeling “less than”.  This leads to a life time of issues that will only need to be dealt with later in life. 

I am looking forward to teaching a Verbal Self Defense this fall that has been taught to and used by police officers all over the world.  It is called Verbal Judo.  I recently completed a college course for this and am preparing to bring it to our community this fall.  Verbal Judo is excellent in that it allows all parties to not lose face and stay strong themselves, especially the victim of the attack.