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Handling & Understanding Violence

Wikipedia (citing World Health Organization, 2002, accessed 21 October 2013) defines violence as:

"the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation."

You might find it useful to break down violence into:-

Social violence. This includes: play fights with your children, martial arts and contact sports, war games, some computer and board games. Children might say "you're dead and out-of-the-game". All sorts of sports from chess to MMA use warlike terminology, like "destroying" their opponent.
Victory is achieved through the battle.
A strange thing is that social violence can reinforce antisocial and asocial violence. Computer games are used to train soldiers to kill, to overcome the instinct to co-operate. It desensitises us to violence. It can facilitate antisocial and asocial violence.
Social violence is best used in moderation, especially the more intense types. Aim for it to serve Goodness. Make sure you have a large amount of co-operative activity in your life, too! And a High Ideal such as Peace and/or Love.


Antisocial violence. This includes: drunks harrassing you, alpha male behaviour, macho posturing, etc. The basic action needed at a personal level is avoid it, leave it, get security/police to handle it.
Chris Ranck-Buhr says it clearly
here: "I refuse to kill or die for a social slight, a barstool, a parking space, my car, cell phone, or what’s in my pocket. I’ll risk a life for a life, but everything else is bullshit."
If necessary talk your way out by apologising - and then leave. Even bouncers say
eight out of ten nightclub incidents can be talked through (Ian Quigley, Blackpool Bouncer, quoted on ITV programme ‘Bouncers’). Also see here for the best way to deal with a jerk or bully.
Remember: "The simple avoidance of fighting and the consequent saving of your body from physical harm is a victory." (Renzo Gracie & John Danaher in Mastering Jujitsu, p.213)
The basic action needed at a socio-cultural level is change, e.g. sexism and bullying must become unacceptable.


Asocial violence. This is unavoidable violence. This includes: unprovoked attacks, where you fear for your life or serious bodily harm.
Either you use violence or it gets done to you.

It cannot be handled with social tools - you can't talk your way out of it.
The basic action is the use of the tool of violence, such as Target Focus Training (TFT) - see here.


The distinction between antisocial and asocial violence is not well understood. TFT have an excellent article: Social Confrontation vs Asocial Violence Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Social confrontation is avoidable - it can be solved using social skills. Asocial violence is lethal, unaffected by social skills, and requires decisive action. However, people tend to solve it the wrong way around and
use violence in antisocial scenarios, and try and talk their way out of asocial situations.

Predicting human violence is a valuable skill in avoiding both antisocial and asocial violence. This is about listening to and enhancing our innate and ancient intuition

Summing up, suggested for humanity - to understand and handle violence - is a multiple approach:-
  • Intuition = listening to the 'Gift of Fear' - see here.
  • Common sense - see here.  
  • Light, Virtue & Meditation - see here.
  • Using Violence as a tool to counter asocial violence - e.g. TFT.
  • Socio-cultural change - see here.
  • Moderation in social violence!
  • Also see here for further related articles.

Anthropomorphic tree base
Also see:-

Violence articles



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