I was reminded of something in work last night from about 7 or 8 years ago…

There was a doorman I used to work with in Liverpool, every thursday night he was on with me on a club in Victoria Street.

Older guy, maybe 55. He was a black cab driver who just did a couple of nights a week. Really quiet, really polite.

I remember him telling me, proudly, that in 15 years of doorwork he hadn’t had to hit anyone.

At the time, I didnt really believe him to be honest.

I realised a few years ago, that it’s not great to have too many young guys on a door. Too much testosterone and hot headedness. The older guys would keep everyone balanced, take things less personally and be way more patient.

But I’ve been thinking about this guy in particular, because he made it a point of pride to go into work and never, ever hit anyone.

This then got me into a mindset of “challenging” myself to see just how much I could get people to do just with verbal commands and the LEAST amount of physical contact possible.

It’s changed the whole way I approach doorwork.

We know in principle that psychologically “you get more of what you focus on” and “the questions you ask determine the quality of the answers you get” and that of course, the questions you ask yourself CONTROL and direct that mental focus.

If you are training for and engaging in situations asking the question “WHEN will this go physical?” then the presupposition is that it WILL at some point go physical, unless the other person capitulates and walks away or some other factor enters the situation.

I have to sit back and wonder, really, really how many times was I absolutely forced into a fight in my life?

If instead of asking myself “WHEN should I hit this guy?”, I was asking myself “How much can I get done without ANY physical contact whatsoever?” I’m 100% sure I would have been involved in less brawls.

Doormen are the peacekeepers, the sober drivers, the big brothers.

These thoughts are rocking around in my head because it looks like I might be helping out to train new doormen at some point.

How does this affect the self protection practitioner?

Well, just be wary of training that presupposes that “verbal conflict WILL escalate to violence” because how you react in training will be how you react in the street.

Maybe you should be aware of your self perception of “trained martial artist/ fighter seeking to test their hard skills” should conflict arise to “master of communication/ applied psychology seeking to test their soft skills” to the limit.

Obviously there is a limit, if someone is REALLY determined, no amount of psychology is going to be more effective than a good solid tap on the jaw.

Ive only had 5 hours sleep sorry if this is drivelly but I wanted to get it down whilst the ideas were still fresh.