De-escalation Tactics? – The Self Defense Company

De-escalation Tactics?

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    • #10628
      James Goolsby

      [Damian Ross],

      You go into de-escalation a little bit in the GDT video, but I was wondering if you have any material available to goes into more depth, perhaps with example scripts, drills, etc.? I have read what many consider the industry “standard” — Thompson’s Verbal Judo — but I was wondering if you had anything yourself I could get or, at least, could recommend a few more good sources. Always looking for that edge Laugh



    • #12720

      I just use my innate southern charm lol.

    • #12730

      [Ed Kane] is a great resource for this and I’ll see if I can get him to replay…

    • #12732
      Ed Kane

      Hey J,

      I always felt the verbal judo stuff was more useful for the investigative side of LE. You know, interviewing victims, witnesses, and suspects, etc. If I was to prioritize training for Law Enforcement in general, de-escalation would be low on the scale. Scripting this stuff is tough, because the situations we deal with are so fluid. More imporantly it is your tactics that make you skilled at de-escalation. How you approach a car, when you handcuff, how you conduct a pat down…If you are skilled at these things the bad guy has much less of a chance for a position of advantage (whether mental or physical). My recommendation is to take the time you were going to invest in de-escalation and drill handcuffing (compliant, prone, non-compliant etc)…….good luck


    • #12735
      James Goolsby


      Thanks for the response. I agree with you. I guess in a sense what I was asking was for more “field interview” type material. I certainly train the other stuff (sadly, way more than anyone else in my department!) In fact, I’m pretty darn good at going “hands on”, especially since training STDS and GDT. Where I tend to struggle is in my verbal skills. On more than one occasion I have had a Sgt. or Lt. accuse me of being “too verbally aggressive.” They often feel that I am actually talking myself into a fight. Not sure I agree — like Damian points out with the difference between verbal and physical use of force — I think that type of slow-escalation thinking can get you hurt, but that’s what they believe. I was looking for help in that area. Right now my philosophy is ask ’em – tell ’em – make ’em, but that’s not necessarily politically correct in my department.

      Hope this makes sense.

    • #12740

      You also have to ask yourself, “What’s the motivation behind “verbal Judo”?


      Not that fear isn’t healthy but more times than not, deep down, people who invest heavily in this have little or no confidence in their ability to physically control a subject and take comfort in the idea of saying the magic words and calming the savage beast.

      If you’re confident in your physical abilities, like Ed suggests, you miraculously have great deescalation skills.

    • #12742
      James Goolsby

      [Damian Ross],

      Never thought about it that way. You’re right, though. When you’re not really afraid of what dirtbag is going to do, it’s easier to talk to them. Now that I now know I’ve got nothing to prove, thanks to SDTS, I’m filled with confidence. I have noticed that they tend to back down more often now… perhaps that’s the key; when they can “smell” the fear they’re more likely to try something.

    • #12760

      You got it [James Goolsby].

      The best example of this is dog training. If you present an uneasy, lack of confidence position, the dog will treat you in the same manner. But if you’re confident and know, deep down that you are ready to handle WHATEVER that dog throws at you – he’ll listen. Unless he’s rabid…then you have to put him down.

      Same goes for people.

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