Lesson 4 – Self-defense: negotiation
Personal defense: what is meant by negotiation
After seeing how to start training our minds to self-control in critical contexts (read Lesson 7.3) we go a step further to talk about negotiation technique, a set of concepts and skills that in relation to a potential aggressor are aimed at:
- Understanding / anticipating him
- Barter / treat with him
- Confuse / slow down him
- Make desist / scare him
- Deceive / persuade him
At the basis of achieving such ambitious objectives (ordered by complexity), there is nothing absurd or miraculous, simple common sense and knowledge of the human soul.
The weak points of the human mind
To learn the basics of negotiation, first of all, it is necessary to understand and accept that the people who threaten our safety are:
- Human beings like us – They have different ideas, experiences and IQs but they have a mental structure comparable to ours (never believe to be too superior or too inferior)
- People with desires and fears – Every man (or woman) has goals to fulfill, limits that he / she does not want to overcome, insecurities to hide, etc.
- People who have their own perspective of the world – In relation to them we can (involuntarily or voluntarily) assume attitudes that arouse complacency, neutral reactions and others that insinuate dislike
If you are not able to face this (read Self-defense: the types of aggressors)), negotiation is a weapon that you cannot adopt.
Simple negotiation tactics
Before proceeding we have to stress that:
- Real negotiation is an art and it is not easy to learn at all (as for martial skills, mental discipline, etc.), it requires a lot of practice and experimentation
- However, there are a number of basic notions that everyone, with a little effort, can effectively apply in terms of Self-defense (more related to common sense than to persuasion)
- One of the little advantages that you can exploit is that, when tension becomes higher, even a very intelligent person can lose a big part of his cognitive abilities (read Self defense: how to behave)
- In most cases (eg. during a quarrel) when everyone is dominated by simple but chaotic thoughts, who prevail is always the one with the best strategy to follow in his mind (read Self-defense: aggression in front of a supermarket)
Starting from these assumptions, let’s identify your goals (in order of importance):
- To safeguard your integrity (that of those around you and, possibly, even the one of the person you are facing)
- Secondarily (when reasonable) to preserve your (most relevant) properties (or part of them)
- In no cases to apply violence uselessly (eg. vengeance)
In relation to these specific objectives we can follow the indications provided in these articles:
When diplomacy become useless
The fact that we stress the option to prevent violence does not mean that it can always be avoided. Another ability indirectly related to negotiation is the one that, reading the body signals of the persons we are facing, let us know if an aggressor is going to attack; in relation to this you can read:
- The signals that precede an attack: introduction
- The signals that do not necessarily precede an aggression
- TThe signals that identify an imminent aggression
In any case, we must be ready to react but knowing a few basic notions of body language can be more than helpful.
You can also read Personal defense: parry the first attack and The best way to hit first: a little trick. We will talk better about NLP, deception, persuasion (etc.) in the future chapters of this course. For now, this is more than enough.
- Self-defense: why 90% of martial arts does not work – The crude realty about the relation between self-defense and martial arts
- Personal defense: the S.A.F.E. method – The general rule of 6 Dragons Kung Fu to face a critical situation
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.