Anger Management and how it relates to use of force and self defense

Anger Management and how it relates to use of force and self-defense

Law Enforcement personnel such as police officers, probation officers and national gaurds are often placed in dangerous and stressful situtations in which use of force is needed. The way in which law enforcement personnel manages anger is often a matter of life and death.Non -Peace officers such as sercuity gaurds, body gaurds, boxers and the average citizen who may be involved in a physical altercation or self defense also benefit from evolved anger management skills.Those who teach use of force techniques speak of a gradual level of force that can be applied in an effort to de-esculate or subdue a subject. The earlier levels of use of force incorporate many skills often taught in an anger management class.

Level One

Personnel Presence: The presence of a person can prevent and deter from an assault from happening to another patron by the person running, standing, walking towards an attacker . By using simple body language and gestures that are non-threatening you deal with the situation.
Anger management classes teach participant to be aware of there body language. Heavy breathing, a flushed face, and clinched fists are pronounced physical signals of anger.

Level Two

Communication: Used with presence, the use of the voice can usually achieve the desired results. Words can be whispered, used normally, or shouted to be effective. The content of the message is as important as your demeanor. It’s always best to start out calm but firm and non-threatening. Choice of words and intensity can be increased as necessary or used in short commands in serious situations. The right combination of words in combination with presence can de-escalate a tense situation and prevent the need for a physical altercation.

When angry we can exhibt a number of communication styles: Passive Communication, Aggressive Communication and Passive aggressive communication are not helpful when dealing with conflict. Anger Management courses encourage clients to participate in assertive communication.

Participants in an anger management course are encouraged to defend themselves. Their are occassions when physical aggression is manadated. When your saftey or the saftey of a loved one is jeapordized physical force may be neccessary.

Norm Bettencourt a tactical self defense expert describes three physical levels of self defense:

Level Three

Control Holds & Tactics: Certain situations may arise where words alone does not reduce the aggression. At this level, minimal force would involve the use of bare hands to guide, hold, and restrain a patron. This does not include offensive moves such as punching, tackling, and choking. Pain compliance holds could apply here, but only after ordinary holds fail to control an aggressive patron

Level Four

Chemical Agents: Sometimes when the suspect is violent or threatening, more extreme, but non-deadly measures must be used in defense to bring the suspect under control or affect an arrest. Before moving to level four, it is assumed that other less physical measures had been tried or was deemed inappropriate. When used by surprise, pepper spray and tear gas is an excellent distraction, allowing the security officer time to get away, call the police, or subdue the suspect.

Level Five

Temporary Incapacitation: To use force under level five means that the situation was so extreme, violent, and immediate that it was necessary to temporarily incapacitate a suspect prior to arrival of the police. This includes the use of all methods of non-deadly force beginning with the empty hand up through and including impact tools. At level five, properly used defensive and offensive moves are allowed under the right circumstances. Choke holds and carotid neck holds can be used, but at great risk. Although still taught at many police academies, neck compressions are very risky and used only in extreme situations.

Level Six

Deadly Force: When you are in immediate fear of death or great bodily injury at the hands of a perpetrator you are authorized to use deadly force in most cases. Check your state & provincial laws to be sure. Deadly force can be applied by your hands, impact tools, or with a firearm. There are no rules, other than negligence, for applying deadly force when it’s justified. However, deadly force is the highest standard and must be justified.

Posted with permission from:

Daybreak Counseling Service

Posted by Special certification program for martial arts instructors at