Category Archives: Psychology

The Devils of Calais and the Great Escape

The Devils of Calais and The Great Escape

Original source:

Desperation is wide-spread. These people have been stuck there with nowhere else to go – the French don’t want them! Human dignity is to us paramount, but not to those the rule where they come from, yet their wait in this encampment seems interminable, akin to a prison / detention camp, especially when they thought they were escaping to freedom from abuse and oppression.

What seems reasonable in our culture may not be so in theirs, and vice-versa, as was clearly shown by the scandal of French police having to arrest Muslim women from the beach if they were wearing a Burka.  Western feminism  as yet has no place in the societies and culture from which these women come from, though even in the developed world we would all be better off without Feminazism.  The issue revolves around whether the Burka is seen as an emancipating development for Muslim women is  flaunted in our faces like a flag as a cultural and religious provocation that bites the hand that feeds it. This is as much an emotive issue as it is a logical one and clearly there are genuine and decent people on both sides all be they out-flanked by extremists into whose hands they are playing. Much depends on where you are living at the time, for the need to adapt and integrate is an everyday social group issue and skill as well as a cultural one on more international scales. Yet for integration to happen, we must help it along with understanding and compassion. As is usual in any social setting, the new arrivals must make the initial effort to adapt and then integrate, after which the host group may try to ‘meet them half-way’ as the saying goes.

The UK is already overcrowded and suffering yet another identity crisis (third or fourth in my living memory), just as EU is now beginning to due to the volume and speed of migration, nevermind the cultural and religious issues that have dogged this clash of civilisations, modern and ancient. It takes several (4 or 5) generations for migrants to adapt and integrate but, in these large numbers it is more likely they will just form insular ghettos leading to further civil unrest and trouble further down the line. The UK experience with Indian immigrants as well as with Muslim communities has clearly highlighted these risks and related problems long since, having taken in millions of them, so, by comparison the Brexit vote over a few hundred thousand culturally related Europeans seems quite ridiculous and ignorant, if not churlish. It is poignant that much of modern racism and inter-community problems in the UK these days is between the various immigrant communities themselves, having brought all their old and redundant cultural baggage with them. Even so, as we seemingly drown in non-adaptive third world cultures, attitudes and politics that drag us back down into the quagmire our ancestors spilt blood, sweat and tears for centuries to overturn and drag our society out of,  much of what we see today as modern liberal civil society is relatively recent and the result of increasingly rapid social developments since the last two world wars, and that includes our dress codes and sense of decorum in public places.

One hundred years ago we were not so different than Muslim and other developing-world cultures, at least in this superficial aspect, my own grandmother even, always wore a head scarf when she went out and probably never wore a bikini in her life, as full body swimwear was the accepted norm in her day.  In the public swimming pools however, the issue is more of a practical one related to hygiene and equality. If we cannot wear certain types of swimwear because of hygiene issues, for which, our own culture, religions and churches have already had to adapt, then why on earth should  anyone else be allowed because of theirs!? In the UK, the Sikhs already tried to use their first high court judge (appointed under ethnic and cultural equality and integration promotion policies) to get a legal exception made for their national costume which, includes the wearing of a dagger – something that is clearly unacceptable in British society, especially with all the knife related crime problems in inner cities and their schools in particular. Clearly (legal) education was not to rid him of his pecuniary interests and prejudices, let alone truly understand and comprehend the rules and values of our culture and society. If we opened the doors (borders)  indiscriminately, the whole world would try to come into UK and EU, then the lifeboat will capsize and sink. The problem is not just about the economics of financing these people whilst they get established here, but of social and cultural absorption. People are fearful of and slow to change, so just how much slower will a whole society and culture be!?

The Syrian migration is not a political asylum issue so much as an exodus of war refugees that has been hijacked by a multitude of others for their own pecuniary interests and geopolitical power purposes. Can’t say as I blame any of them, though the organised crime and human traffickers we could do way with for starters. Without a major military effort and ongoing guerilla warfare style policing and border control operation, this will only happen when the demand dries up – prevention is always better than cure, so we must help ‘solve the problem’. The ultimate and more lasting solution however, can only come from within, so the affected people must find a way to stand tall and put their own house in order, just as our forefathers had to and we too still have to do today lest the entropic forces of crime and prejudice dismantle everything our society has achieved so far. The EU immigration and asylum system (The Dublin agreement) was already straining at breaking-point from just the more normal migration flows from under-developed countries in crisis beyond the EU borders. This is where the root cause of the problems are and where it should be contained (quarantined) and solved if possible – this is basic health, safety, security and risk management principle and practical process for anyone working in the emergency services. Those countries that had the power to do this, conspicuously failed to act and do so, despite repeated warnings and requests for intervention by other local allies ‘in the know’.

The richer EU countries also selfishly dumped all the duties and costs of border protection on the poorer outlying states and still do little to share the burden more fairly. Talk of greater integration and common EU forces misses the point, i.e. the immediate threat and issues! The question is, how many is too many? How many can we absorb and at what rate of influx? How many have actually come over? How many actually stay permanently or return to their homelands once it is ‘safe’? We know that some migration is needed to replenish our stock of young people now depleted by years of economic success in which we cannot afford, cope with or even want large families anymore whilst all the time we live longer. However, no one has been able to or can at present answer these questions. We can’t stand by and leave people to suffer but, we can’t roll over like a welcome mat or we will get walked all over and swamped. The US and others talk much about how EU should accept them all, whilst, they themselves, having stood by and done little to prevent the problem or even in part caused it, cherry picked the refugees they are willing to accept – hypocrites that they are!  Funny how some countries can apply criteria for doing this but, the rest of us are not allowed to use such broad categorizations and criteria lest we be labelled  racists or otherwise heartless & inhumane whilst, at the same time are seemingly incapable of effectively screen asylum applicants because of practical capability constraints. There is no magic perfect solution here, so as usual, we need to draw a  line somewhere, all be it an arbitrary one, based on practical solutions that give an optimal solution under the  circumstances. That’s the reality of life!

Although Hilary Clinton, a seemingly genuine moderate, chooses to side with the brow beating ‘Political Correctness’ camp, whatever PC is politically or technically defined as,  the attempts to silence and suppress Donald Trump, the feelings and the arguments he voices and even conduct vilification campaigns without actually listening to them let alone answering the questions and issues raised, does them little credit, nor does it help solve the underlying problems. Again, innocuous and narrow if not biased partisan interests are clearly at play here which, should rightly raise strong suspicions about this political camp, or at least some of the driving factions within it. However, this in no way means that I agree with or support ‘Donk’ Trump in any shape or form, my feelings and attitudes towards his politics or him as a person and  a politician are in no way  favourable. Then again, I am not too enamoured with EU politicians and ‘

Then again, I am not too enamoured with EU politicians and ‘Commissionairies’ right now either! This whole episode has been the biggest farce and screw-up of modern western political times. Furthermore, the constant arguments and barrage of character assassinations over issues which, absolutely no one has the facts and figures for makes the whole debate nothing more than a futile load of bigoted speculation. This is precisely why the EU is trying to install automated border control mechanisms with finger printing and other biometric identity systems that have been long resisted for fear of abuse, not by hackers and other criminals so much as the governments and regulating authorities themselves.  For some (the older and wiser members of society), the memory of what happened in Germany when Hitler and his Nazis seized control of the country and started the second world war still looms large. What chance of overturning such a dictatorship would we have now with all this biometric and other high-technology in place and in the hands of similar people?  The EU may have been kick-started by economic issues (the  Transport strikes triggered by border queues between France and Germany), but, the EU has never been purely a business club. The foundations on which it’s success rests, as for the rest of us, is security, largely achieved through common culture and values.

Rampant political correctness has now exacerbated the problem of ‘mission creep’ and cross-linked electronic systems by trying to use the crisis as an excuse to extend the scheme from immigrants and criminals to the whole EU population. This poses a severe challenge and threat to the principles of privacy and data protection so cherished (so they tell us – they keep compromising on it under pressure from those whose business interests it serves) by the EU. Even before this there was resistance to biometric tagging of immigrants even for fear of being ‘shot by association’ when their information is kept in the same fingerprint database (Eurodac) as real criminals. Migrants are not criminals and UN human rights law and principles mean that even illegal immigrants should not be labelled as ‘criminals’ despite the attempts of some interest groups (governments) to have them treated as such. Even with these massive and hugely expensive systems, there are and always will be huge holes in the net, not to mention the loss of lives at sea by those desperate to escape their lot elsewhere, with or without life jackets even for their young children. Despite the emotional distress such occurrences cause, not to mention the emotional blackmailing conducted by some ‘interest groups’, this is not sufficient reason in itself to simply open the floodgates. The situation management and solution lies elsewhere.

Despite all our history and learning, it seems we keep making the same mistakes all over again with each generation (the price of forgetting history), This is the original message and true meaning of ‘to each generating is born’ the great Sah’tan (Miss-translated as ‘the Devil’) –  I.e. YOUR Ego! Yes, not an other-worldly fearful being hell-bent on our destruction, but our own innate over inflated egos! It is basic human psychology that we try to externalise the cause of our problems, rather than look in the mirror, in order to make them easier to cope and deal with, a fact that along with our fear all the churches and their religious doctrines have used and abused against us for their own interests since the beginning. So what does this tell you about the Devil’s counter-part and the original and true meaning of the concept of ‘God’!?


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Guards and Poses, a pocket full of roses!

Parker’s hand postures
A blog by Dejan Djurdjevic

A Commentary in kind
Guards and Poses, a pocket full of roses – Ah tissue!.. and we all fall down.

Dejan hi,

A good blog and highly readable as always. One thought to add though ;-

Whilst the Parker postures may be fake in the sense that they are not directly functional guard postures, strange postures that the opponent has never seen before may serve to confuse and un-nerve the opponent during the pre-contact psychological warfare phase. Parallels to this can be found in various martial mythologies such as distance chi techniques and psychological brainwashing of students so as to bamboozle or even put fear into them and outsiders, thereby generating a deterrent effect to potential attackers, whilst keeping your own students under control. You wrote some very good blogs on these as I remember.

Although correct in your exposé of fraudulent claims, especially those that may otherwise bring all good martial arts and artists into disrepute, public exposure also negates this psychological aspect of combat and even practical physical advantage, which all training in the arts at all levels are intended and designed to achieve. Whilst high level martial artists may know what is going on, most do not. Arts traditionally kept their secrets for the very purpose of creating an advantage through the unexpected or just a residual doubt of uncertainty induce hesitance even in experienced outsiders. Mystique, mythology and legends are created by the arts expressly for these purposes.

Tips for crossing paths

Guarded Contact for bridging the gap

As for the fingers specifically, most arts know only too well about the dangers of leaving the fingers spread out and the risk management benefit of maintaining closed fists. However, it tends to induce retraction of energy that is not conducive to free flow and forward projection, whilst at the same time limiting flexibility in response capability for striking or grabbing and grappling etc.  With increased tension comes slower speed, more obvious predicators and decreased relaxation and coping skills.

Also known as Kubedatchi, or at least a version of it

A Guard at Ease – Kubedatchi!


Many of the world’s very best arts maintain open hand guard positions for these reasons. However, in fairness, many like my own also teach us to keep our fingers closed together if not curled (claw-hand like) and the thumb tucked in as a compromise. the extent to which the fingers are curled towards a loose fist form varies with the art and the preferences of individual practitioners. They are then only opened in some arts on the impact of a strike to prevent the clattering together of the fingers and the consequent bruising / injury of the finger knuckles. This seems to be the case in Tai Chi and Aikido much of the time. The part of the arm used for making the initial blocking contact and the shaping of the arm also make a big difference along with the angle of entry. It is also notable that the arts that predominantly advocate the fisted guard are those that are almost purely striking arts. Others, are simply misguided in thinking their art is only about striking due to the problems of trying to reverse engineer and reinvent the true meaning of katas that were never properly or fully explained by the original sources, who felt little incentive to divulge the full secrets of their arts to the Gaijin, i.e. us western barbarians! These arts or schools and practitioners are usually easy to recognise by their level of aggressiveness and challenging attitude to other arts and artists that do not correspond with their own, frequently promoting how tough and ‘hard’ they are in an effort to paper over the seismic cracks and fractures in their own.

His trousers shrank in the wash!?

Guards of Contrast. Which one is the South Korean!?

My own training has included kick-boxing, kung fu, Kyusho, Katori and exceptionally high pressured Jiu Jitsu training, from which finger injuries have only come through leaving the fingers spread whilst defending / blocking or because of wrenching during grappling exchanges. Other notable influences are Kali/Escrima/Silat. In Jiu Jitsu, single technique counters provide the sought after simplicity for both pedagogical reasons and battle field requirements. However, in multiple attacker pressure training, four or five single attacks coming together or in quick succession can quickly start to approximate complex combination attacks, so the basic skills do build up rapidly. However, when fighting on a battle field protracted duelling (sparring / tactical fighting) is tantamount to suicide and if unarmed against weapons, duelling (i.e. sparring) is not an option. The whole objective is to lead them into a weak position or to over-extend themselves in order to make the counter possible at all, let alone with any margin of safety. You either move in or get the hell out of there, a trap I have seen even some schools of Jiu Jitsu fall into, particularly modern western variants that advocate just standing their in order to land a painful block in the hope or assumption that the attack is too stupid to notice and bypass or destroy the defending limb.

The Grand Old Duke of York
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
and he marched them down again.

And when they were up they were up,
And when they were down they were down,
And when they were only halfway up,
They were neither up nor down.

In practice, there is no inbetween, which is where most sparring tactical exchanges occur. I have heard this summed up in Tai Chi quite nicely (in not so many words) as ‘If they advance, go to meet them, if they back-off, withdraw’. At this level of combat it is all about strategy manifest in the control of distance and timing, surprise and the unexpected, such as ambushes. Strangely enough, this is where all good Jiu Jitsu starts from, as in my own art of Liikan Jitsu, but which then reduces the circle towards individual sparring in the early dan grades to develop the details and increase individual levels of skill within the few students that ever reach this level of training. There are many reasons for organising it this way, and in anycase the overarching process does not stop there. This stands in stark contrast to most other arts, particularly Kung Fu and Karate that start with the sparring in one form or another, be it Chi Sau, Pre-set or Contact Sparring etc. It is not clear to me from what I have observed over the years how much these arts ever escape this narrow focus in their training, though Ba Gua is one art the stands out and appears to be more in tune with the approach I am accustomed to, at least in the early years.

The Harald Pose

Stances in Disguises!

In the field, as a security officer and doorman over the last twelve years I also know only too well the psychological applications of various hand forms, not only for clear cut self-defence, but for de-escalating, managing and diffusing conflicts. Dynamic and eclectic stances also help control one’s own mind set, anxieties and the fight or flight mechanism that might otherwise overwhelm us. However, such extreme posturing in most modern self-defence situations is not desirable and might even be counter-productive, making other more subtle coping skills more important. Open hand guards are indispensible for these general self-defence and situational management purposes unless you want to precipitate a physical altercation. Many other variations and guises if not stance disguises also exist. As always, psychology before, during and after the fight is perhaps the largest part of the whole exchange. It is not easily or quickly learned or mastered and requires us to have something (ultimate) in reserve in order to act in a reasonable, appropriate and acceptable manner according to the situation rather than react to our own fears and weaknesses. It is confidence building to be a good and proven fighter, but that alone does not make a professional security officer – far from it. Those that are proud of their prowess as fighters in their duties as door supervisors are dinosaurs from a bygone age that have long since past their sell-by-date.

And all that from just the one original thought! 😉

Long live writing from the “flow of consciousness!” 😀

Silhouette Shifting

Media bias, linguistic slight of mouth and the written word…

 – Its all in black and white, and red all over!

A blogger named Aluation posted this graphic showing how the New York Times changed the first line of a story about the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.  The change subtly shifted the blame for the mass arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge from the police to the protesters.  In the first version of the story, police allowed them onto the bridge and then “cut off and arrested” them.  In the second, there was a “showdown” in which demonstrators “marched onto the bridge.”

Adding interest, the author of the piece was changed from “Colin Moynihan” to “Al Baker and Colin Moynihan.”  Who is Al Baker?  He is the guy in charge of the police bureau at the Times.

This is a great example of how important language is in framing events.  The difference isn’t dramatic, but a close look at the wording reveals a clear difference.

It’s also a great example of the power of certain individuals and institutions to shape how the rest of us understand reality.  We should be especially suspicious of the change in the authorship of the story.  When reporters have “beats,” they have to maintain good relationships with important sources on those beats. They rely on the same sources, over and over, to provide inside scoops.  If they alienate important sources, they have a much more difficult time doing their job.

What I’m trying to say is… there is good sociological theory, based on strong evidence, to suggest that an important person in the New York police department saw this story, called Baker, and told him to change the wording.  In which case, Baker might have done so to avoid alienating a source on which his job depends.  I’m not saying that’s what happened, I’m just saying that these kinds of things do happen.

Thanks to Jay Livingston for the tip

For your further information and study, your time would be well spent on reading up on NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming. for relevant links, please see the article as presented on the Personal Security Club web site (Shared reader items): Liikan Jitsu >>>

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