Good talk on blocks

Sensei Canna offers insight into the real world of self defense!

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:24 pm

Andre »

Chris, I actually remember you telling the story discussed here in the Cold Mountain Dojo day or two after it had gone down...I was the tall, thin architecture student with a European accent...Even though I haven't been to Canada in years and reside in Europe, the memories of Dave's wonderful dojo and the great people I met there still have a warm place in my heart.

I have been taking a relatively regular look at the forum for years but never posted. It took seeing you here to jump in. Please give my best to David and Ken the next time you see them.

Hello everone! Back to the subject of 'real world survival' I must say that even though my Uechi past served me well and I even partially attribute to it my being able to emerge in one piece from an armed mult-person attack one ugly November night, the stuf that really opened my eyes to the shit-happens reality and made me take a long, humble look at my hard earned Nidan was the training I have done here with an informal group of LEO's and security guys who actually rely on this stuff to make it home for supper quite regularly.

Basically higly adrenalized, Fairbairn inspired, gross movement, full-contact,open hand 'slap' based techniques practiced in an 'in your face' scenario training with a healthy measure of knife, batton and pistol thrown in.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:27 pm

Don’t stare at dregs. Maybe you think the Chinese rice farmer hat that thug is wearing looks funny (last summer’s fashion), but he thinks it makes him look ‘hard.’ And if you’re eyeballin’ him, that’s a reason to kick your ass in his world.

If you’re walking by a pack of thugs and they want to make remarks about you or your family, just be the bigger man and let it slide. You might feel shitty but it’s really better than having to throw down.

How will you be able to explain your actions to the cops? “Yes officers, I stabbed those four teenagers because they called my family ‘fat cracka ass honkies.’”

*These items are dependant on who is talking to you. If some old woman walks up to you asking for the time you don’t have to yell “NO” and walk away. You should be able to gauge this on your own

In addition to being vulnerable if you present yourself as a tourist, there is a sort of hierarchy of prey. Here’s the best I’ve figured it, going from least vulnerable to most vulnerable:

Pack of men (least vulnerable)

Single man

Male/male couple

Male/female couple

Male with children

Couple with children

Female/female couple

Pack of females

Woman with children

Single female (most vulnerable)

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:44 am

Like it or not, if you are white, you are again notched up on the list of prey. If someone refers to you as “white-boy,” trust me, you don’t want to be dealing with them.

Just by using that key phrase they are subtly saying, “You’re white and you people are afraid of me because I’m (fill in the blank). I also know you have money, a cell phone, or a pager.”

This, of course, works in the opposite way as well. If a black man is approached by some rent-a-cop in a rich, white neighborhood and the rent-a-cop says, “What are you doing around here, boy?” the inference is clear.

So keep in mind that criminals racially profile far worse than cops do.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:48 am

Now let me briefly say something controversial.

There were times when women were blamed for their own rape: “She was asking for it.” Those days are pretty much over, but as a reaction, the pendulum has swung the other way.

These days, in the eyes of many, a woman is not responsible at all for what happens to her.

I hate to burst that bubble, but everyone has at least partial responsibility to what happens to them on a daily basis.

A lot of ladies go out to the clubs at night dressed quite provocatively. I’m not saying that a woman is “asking” for it when she dresses like that, but she needs to be very aware of what she’s doing.

After all, the point of these clothes is to show off certain features, right? Well these features will also be shown off to potential predators.

Then, a woman might drink her ass off and try to walk home wearing her tiny outfit. Is she “asking for it”? No. But she’s digging herself into a deep grave and who knows what she’ll find at the bottom.

Not just females, but everyone needs to rethink the way they drink in public. Realize how much slower you are, how much coordination you lose, and then ask yourself if you really want to be that vulnerable in public.

Don’t only watch your own drinking. If possible, don’t let your friends get too wasted. And if they do, keep an eye on them. This is a very age specific matter, so it might not apply to you.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:50 am

So up to this point, I’ve been talking about prevention. What about when matters start to turn for the worse? What do you do when you’ve recognized a specific threat?

If you get a bad vibe from someone, the first thing you need to do is to trust your instinct. Many people, myself included, have been in situations they knew were wrong but ignored their instincts in the hope they were just being paranoid.

Well no matter how much you hope the situation isn’t as bad as your body is telling you, that won’t change what’s happening.

Don’t be afraid of embarrassment. This is a huge problem for people who think they are about to be victimized. They don’t want to make a scene by yelling, running, etc.

They’re afraid that they’re overreacting and they’ll just embarrass themselves. Well who the ##### cares if you embarrass yourself on the street one night? Isn’t that better than getting robbed or injured?

So rather than potentially embarrass themselves, many people will put their head down and speed up their pace. Uh-oh! Now you’ve sent out a big signal to your potential attacker: “I’m meek. I won’t scream. I’m afraid of you.”

Don’t do this! Get a decent look at the person who is following or approaching you! Don’t stare at them, but make sure they know that you are aware of their presence. Now stay in a well lit area.

If you can make it to a house with a light on, do so. Even if you don’t know the people that live there, start knocking on the door. Hopefully, your potential attacker will rethink his plans since he thinks you’ve reached your destination. This also potentially brings witnesses or help.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:52 am

Always keep your head up. Always give off an appearance of strength and control. A predator wants prey that is weak. And as Tony Montana says, “Amigo, the only thing in this world that gives orders is balls. Balls. You got that?”

If you feel like you need to run, just do it. Who the hell cares? Wouldn’t you rather run from some innocent man because you were paranoid than to stand around and get attacked? This isn’t a test of your pride or your strength.

If you somehow get caught up and someone is demanding your money, there’s no advice I can offer you. Not because I haven’t been there but because there are just too many factors for me to take into account.

Maybe you’re best served giving up your money, I don’t know. Maybe you’re better off resisting. After all, a criminal can still choose to kill you after you comply with him, right?

I realize that there are situations where giving up your valuables is the safest course of action, but it’s not a course of action that I can recommend in good conscience.

Just as I can’t in good conscience tell a woman to just give up if she’s being raped. No, it’s not the same, but if you don’t see the connection then I won’t bother explaining it to you.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:55 am

Anyway...I have had people beg and dive out when I told them no and I've given some money to people as well. Just because I felt sorry for them or I believed them. Rare. But I have done it.

One hint of nastiness or pushiness and that's a different story... and in Baltimore as well as D.C., they can get very nasty, very quick.

You have to be on your toes and you have to get ready to do what you have to do in such a situation. Usually, in my experience, they can just tell you are ready to stomp them and chop them down and they back off.

Some of the more violent sonsabitches never understand until you actually do it. Those are the most dangerous as they are clueless...absolutely clueless people who think they have a right to what is in your pocket...

One way you can tell you are dealing with a real homeless or otherwise demented son of a bitch, crack and heroin addicts are famous for having no teeth right along with the homeless people.

Heroin addicts in particular are shoplifters of candy bars BIG TIME because it's all they can keep on their stomach, they vomit damned near everything else. This gives them a set of teeth that belongs in The Roadshow Deliverance and it makes them jumpy.

Just so you know, you see someone shoplifting candybars and they stink like the dead, don't screw with them.

They're a junky, almost every time. They're not harmless, quite the opposite, they're completely unpredictable creatures of desolation and misery.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:58 am

If I can legally carry a gun, my primary gun is usually in a shoulder holster, fanny pack, IWB holster (strong side hip), or strong side belt holster. The backup gun is usually in my weak side pocket.

I can discreetly put my hand on the shoulder holstered gun by simply crossing my arms, or the backup gun by putting my hand in my pocket.

If I can't legally carry a gun, I will usually go to thumb-opening knives selected to comply with the laws of that jurisdiction, and where I can do so, pepper spray. Again, it is easy to have the hand on or in the pocket.

I would be careful about the idea of putting one's hand in a pocket as though it was on a weapon if your hand isn't actually on something you can use as a weapon. This could help or hurt, as the following 2 examples illustrate.

A few years ago while living in Alexandria, VA, I was walking a few blocks from my new apartment shortly after midnight. As I passed 2 gentlemen having a hushed conversation, they suddenly turned and looked at me, obviously upset to see someone within earshot. One of them held up a watch and offered to sell it.

I declined and kept walking. They looked at each other with a "shall we?' expression, and rapidly walked after me. As soon as I saw this, I instinctively unzipped my jacket.

Realizing why I did so, they immediately turned and walked in the other direction, avoiding the necessity of ever displaying the shoulder-holstered Glock 26 under the jacket. In this case, the tactic worked, probably because it was not a bluff.

On another occasion in the same city, my neighbor's son knocked on my door in the early morning hours, and after I declined his invitation to have a beer with him, he began to scream and tried to push his way into may apartment. I pushed him back out the door and locked it.

During subsequent attempts to persuade me to open the door, he mentioned that he had 2 guns and a knife. That struck me as a good time to call the police, who took him away in handcuffs primarily to determine if he was wanted in another state. I immediately followed up with a letter to the apartment management.

In that case, had I acted like I had a gun, or displayed one prematurely, I am convinced that it would merely have given the bad guy a chance to start his draw before me.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:59 am

Chris McKaskell »

Hey Van,

I may have missed a lot here, but what I think I picked up is as follows:

Valuable lessons - no two incidents are alike.

The one common thing that seems to arise is attempting to do the right thing in the moment -- sometimes it's about violence or threat. Sometimes it's about discretion.

Then follow it up and see it through.

I found these posts helpful.

Many thanks.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:03 am

Darren Laur writes:
The Surprise Guest

Contrary to popular belief, many attacks are initiated utilizing the element of surprise.

It is because of this fact, one must incorporate the physical, psychological, and emotional skills that are “congruent” with the body’s natural reactions to a surprise attack be it with a knife, club, gun, or empty handed.

This must be done from any and all positions, be it prone, sitting, or standing and in any environment. Many fail to understand this pillar and as such, become cannon fodder to their attacker.

The Main Event:

If one survives the “surprise guest”, or is fortunate enough due to “awareness” to see the fight coming, next comes the main event (the physical fight).

At this pillar, Gross Motor skills applied in a compound attack combined with offensive mindset reign supreme.

Fine complex motor skills have no place at this stage of the confrontation, but many still teach such skills out of ignorance or willful blindness.

The Post Event Show:

After you have won the fight, the aftermath of your actions now take front stage, which may include but are not limited to:

• Severe Injury/death
• Moral and Legal consequences (both criminal and civil) to your actions
• Post traumatic stress issues
• Unwanted publicity and arm chair quarterbacking in your local media
• Family strain
• Work/employment problems
• Scapegoating
• Jail

* Any “reputable” self-protection program will cover, in depth, all four pillars. IMO, many programs out there in the “RBSD” market concentrate solely on the “Main Event” with very little emphasis or attention placed onto the pre-event, the surprise guest, or the post event pillars.

If what you are studying does not cover the above noted information, then you ARE NOT, IMO, best preparing yourself for REAL WORLD violence, and all its ugly faces.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:49 am

Always to keep this uppermost in your mind: we ever teach a student what has a good chance of working and what will not in various scenarios...i.e., bigger, stronger people, armed opponents, multiple opponents, people under the influence of liquor/drugs etc._

Because this is Uechi -Ryu and a 'tough style' and as a result we as practitioners of such style think we are 'tough'...should be 'tough'...what expectations do we have against attacks most likely to take place based on a student's age, gender, age, physical make up? Because Uechi supposedly develops 'tough' people, do we expect any of them to be able to stand toe to toe and fight it out with any given opponent?

Do we as teachers, do or have done any research on how attacks occur generally in real life? I would agree with Rory Miller on this...meaning NO!

Do we as teachers understand that in spite of concepts of the style we seek to embed in a student, as well as ourselves, with certain practices on the floor...most of what we do has a pattern of attacks and responses that depend on choreography and compliance?

The better way is to ingrain into the student that on the street you can take nothing for granted, expect nothing, much less any dojo attack we are familiar with...

that each encounter will be different even if you have won a dozen street fight...and that each one of us and our assailants, will have a different size, speed, weight, conditioning, padding, and power and very possibly weapons......and a different point of balance and damage resistance.

And not everybody can develop true damaging/stopping power as they train in spite of trying hard to get to that point...this is something we all have trouble accepting...thinking we can hit 'hard'...maybe so...but who is the opponent you are hitting believing you will put him down? Make a mistake here and you will be killed in a street fight.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:06 pm

Adam Singer's (SBGI) Self-Defense Top 10

Jake Steinmann »

I stole this post from Adam Singer, one of the Straight Blast Gym Coaches, who posted it over at MMA.TV. I think there's some nice ideas in here...

Adam Singer]
1. Like Matt said, do not worry about SD if you are slowly killing yourself. Live Healthy, Happy and reduce stress.

2. Don't drink there. You do not belong in biker bars (or similar). If you have to remember the buddy system.

3. Don't go there. Get a list of the 50 most dangerous places in America and stay away : ).

4. Don't walk there. The unlighted street near the Warf is not a great shortcut.

5. Don't touch her. Does she have a BF? Then stay the ##### away. Extend this to any domestic situation or affairs of the heart.

6. Don't Buy/Sell that. If you get involved with bad things then bad things happen to you.

7. Don't act like a victim/target. Maybe you do need ALL your jewelry on. And you might want to stop flashing that cash. Head up, shoulders back and act confident.

8. Stay calm. Count to 10. Imagine how badly a physical confrontation can ##### up your life. Legally, physically, emotionally.

9. Walk away. Your ego will survive.

10. Be nice. Self explanatory.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:16 pm

True Gun Safety

By Gabe Suarez


At the beginning of a class I usually draw my carry gun and hold it before the class (in a safe manner as possible with a real live gun) and ask them what this is for. Usually I get a plethora of bland, politically-correct answers.

Occasionally a student answers correctly. "Its for killing".

Sporting purposes to the contrary, that is what they are for. That is not good or bad, it just IS. Think about it. You point a pistol at a thug and yell for him to get away from you. If he does, it is because he is afraid you will shoot, and likely kill him.

Firearms are weapons, and weapons are dangerous. If they were not they would be useless! Weapons, however, are really only tools, harmless and inert until touched by the hand of man.

Safety with firearms means that only the adversary (or the target on the firing range) is in danger of being shot.

Absolutely no one and nothing else is in danger. This must be kept in proper context and perspective however. We are training for combat and that in itself is inherently dangerous.

To design a course that was totally safe and had no element of danger would create a class that would be functionally useless and which nobody would want to attend.

Safety with anything is a mental process, which must be learned and faithfully practiced to be effective. "Accidents" still occur with guns intentionally made to be too safe to be of any tactical value.

Inept and careless handling by people who lack the proper mind-set causes gun accidents.

Part of the Art of the Pistol involves the understanding of gun safety. Our friend Col. Cooper compressed the myriad of safety suggestions and rules into a compact and total of four. We present them here with suitable modifications.

Rule One: Treat All guns as if they were loaded.

Notice I did not say the traditional - All Guns Are Always Loaded, because truly they are not.

Yet, guns are useless if they are not loaded. So we always begin with the assumption that they ARE loaded. When handling the piece in an administrative manner - we first check it to verify its condition and if necessary, we unload it. We always run a hot range.

Rule Two: Don’t be careless with your gun muzzle. “Define careless”, some would ask. Careless is simply allowing the pistol to move in an uncontrolled manner.

We’ve all seen it at one time or another. A novice on the firing line turns to ask a question sweeping past a number of people.

But again, let's keep it in context.

In some tactical situations, it is necessary to point the gun at someone who is presumed, but not yet confirmed, to be the adversary. Doing so is not a violation of Rule Two.

Additionally, look at how you draw. Unless you are standing in a ballerina stance with your feet touching (hardly suitable for combat) you will sweep part of your leg every time you draw or holster. Don't argue! Look at your draw and see what I mean.

Similarly, it may be necessary to sweep past your leg when drawing from a seated position, such as in a vehicle driver’s seat. This cannot be avoided without compromising your tactical safety, and is NOT a safety violation.

Do we change everything we do so that in no way shape or form does that muzzle cover anything at all? Hardly! We simply understand what we are doing, carry on, and stay alert. Problems here can be prevented by observing rule three.

Rule Three: Keep your finger off the trigger, and indexed on the frame, until you’ve made a conscious decision to shoot. This is a last fail-safe method that prevents unintentional shots.

When handling the pistol in administrative or tactical situations - keep the finger off the trigger. Simple enough and safe enough.

What about the safety lever??

Often when we ask ourselves why we do something a certain way, we see the shrugging of shoulders and the wrinkling of brows, accompanied with the typical “I don’t know…we’ve always done it this way”.

Usually this is tied to some meaningless administrative shuffling of papers, or distribution of memos on minutia. Sometimes, however, it is seen in the field of weaponcraft.

One example is the manipulation of the safety lever, or decocking levers on service pistols. Much of the current accepted practice on pistol deployment has come to us from the use and deployment of the 1911, as well as from military circles.

color=green]Often we see “scary” gunhandling. Scary in the sense that the operator is afraid of his cocked pistol. And from what seems like fear of the cocked weapon, we see premature safety engagement as well as premature decocking.[/color]

It is our feeling at Suarez International that gunfights are dangerous. Nothing can be done to make these events “safe”.

We bring loaded and dangerous weapons such as pistols to these events to deactivate our adversaries before they can do likewise to us.

With that in mind, we want to avoid with severe focus anything that detracts from that mission.

Premature engaging of safeties, or premature decocking diminishes our fighting capability. I once taught a tactics class to a group of 1911 users. T

his team had just returned from a very high dollar 1911 school. They were very anal retentive about,

“On The Sights – Safety Off – Off The Sights – Safety On”,

that I could track the team’s movement through the house by listening to the sound of their custom Low Thumb safeties engaging and disengaging.

Moreover, as the heat got turned up several operators missed their safety levers because they had been engaged reflexively during tactical events. Not good!

At Suarez International we believe there are three safeties.

1). Your Brain, which is telling you to Shoot or Not Shoot, based on what you see. If your mind is not switched on and dialed in to the events around you, you have no business with a gun in your hand. Period.

2). Your educated trigger finger, which is indexed along the frame until the brain, decides to shoot or not to shoot.

3). The mechanical safety/decocking lever (if present) – to be used just prior to holstering the weapon.

Anytime the weapon is in hand, the safety should be disengaged. When you decide to relinquish control of the weapon to holster, then engage the safety.

Some team tactics school may have different ideas about this, but I focus on teaching private citizens most of the time and private citizens must fight on their own.

Witness the Glock pistol with which such a vast number of police, security professionals, and civilian defenders are armed with.

Where is the safety/decocking lever? There is not one, and Glock shooters operate using the methodology we described.

Is the Glock unsafe? No. So why would we consider a cocked an unlocked 1911 or a cocked Beretta 92 unsafe? They are just as safe as a Glock pistol.

Remember, we are in the fight to win. This usually means hitting the other man before he hits us. Anything that detracts from that mission, either tactical, technical, or equipment, should be discarded and replaced with a better system.

When it comes to manipulating the safety, the better system is In Hand/ Safety Off -In Holster/Safety On.

Rule Four: Be sure of your target and what is beyond it. Do not shoot at a sound or a shadow, it might not be what you think.

There is no greater tragedy than to realize that you've just shot a loved one by mistake. Almost as bad is to have shot an innocent stranger.

Don't let this happen to you - be sure of your target. Be aware of what is beyond the object of your shooting.

This doesn't mean you won't shoot if you have a poor background, just that you may need to change your positioning.

None of these rules are based on mechanical safety devices but rather on mind-set. Understand that you can try to make yourself so safe that you lose all combat utility whatsoever.

In my mind, many who aspire to the "scary gun-handling" school, have lost much of their combat utility...although they are very safe. Don’t let that happen to you.

Gabe Suarez
Suarez International USA, Inc.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:22 am

The First Cut
Predators, whether animal or human, make their first cut in the selection process by evaluating movement styles that suggest the proposed target is at a disadvantage through weakness occasioned by age, timidity, and/or physical, mental, emotional or psychological infirmity.

A. Elements of Predatory Behavior

1. Predators first identify locations that provide access to the objects of their predation.

2. The location must be conducive to exploiting their attack strategy and provide a means for the predator to sort the available candidates for attack.

a. Crocodiles congregate at river crossing points for herds of zebra.

b. Human predators loiter about near stairwells of public areas such as parking garages.

3. Predators present themselves in a fashion that allows them to assess whether the available candidates for targeting show indications that they recognize the potential danger from the predator.

a. Crocodiles lay in the shallow water at the point of crossing, plainly visible to the herd of zebras as they cross the water.

b. Human predators lurk in the areas of stairwells as they sort their targets. Their presence is plainly obvious.

c. The issue of awareness as recognition.

4. Predators sort the candidates for their value as targets.

a. Crocodiles tend to look for the zebra that is weak, either through age or infirmity.

b. The young, the old, the sick, the timid, the injured or the “goofs” display the attributes that render them the most likely to present a successful attack candidate.

c. Even a herd of zebras have “goofs”. among them

Skip Gochenour
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:28 am

“Attracting Assault: Victims’ Nonverbal Cues” by Grayson and Stein.

1. Originally done about 1981.

2. Operated on the premise that people provide clues, nonverbally, in their movement concerning their mental state and emotions.

3. Operated on the premise that an analysis of the actor’s motion could be converted to numerical values.

4. Over a period of three days, more than 60 people were video-taped as they walked a particular section of a city street.

5. They were divided into four groups of 15 each. Two groups were women and two groups were men. The male and female groups were divided into groups identified and “young” and “old”.

6. 12 incarcerated VCA with known histories for violent assaults on strangers were asked to discuss their impressions of the people on the tape in a fashion to allow the researchers to develop a scale for evaluating an individuals “assault potential”.

7. Comments describing the inmates reaction to the potential for attack were selected and assigned values from 1 to 10, with 1 being the most vulnerable to attack.

8. A second group of 53 inmates was selected to view the tapes and rate the individuals on the tapes using the descriptive scale created by the first group of inmates.

9. The second set of inmates had convictions ranging from simple assault to homicide on strangers.

10. Walkers with a rating of 1-3 were identified as “potentially easy victims”. Walkers rated as 4-10 were classified as “non-victims”.

11. In general, older men and women were more often rated as easy victims for potential assault.

12. 21 separate movements were evaluated for their influence on the inmate evaluators. Statistically significant differences were seen in 5 of the 21 evaluated movements.

a. STRIDE LENGTH. Among those rated as non-victims, all but one had a medium stride length. Among those rated as victims just more than half were rated as having a “medium” stride length.

b. TYPE OF WEIGHT SHIFT. Of the non-victims, only two did not move three-dimensionally. Of the victims, just more than half did not move three dimensionally.

c. BODY MOVEMENT. All of the non-victims moved contra-laterally. Of the victims, half moved contra-laterally. The other half moved unilaterally.

d. TYPE OF WALK. Of the non-victims, all but one walked posturally. Of the victims, 40% moved posturally, 40% walked gesturally and 20% walked in a non-specific fashion.

e. FEET. Of the non-victims, all swung their feet as they walked. Of the victims, only one swung their feet as they walked. The rest lifted their feet.

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