• FrankGSterleJr
    63
    During my troubled-teen years of the 1980s, I observed how, in general, by ‘swinging first’ a person potentially places himself (or herself) in an unanticipated psychological disadvantage—one favoring the combatant who chooses to patiently wait for his opponent to take the first swing, perhaps even without the fist necessarily connecting.

    Just having the combatant swing at him before he’d even given his challenger a physical justification for doing so seemed to instantly create a combined psychological and physical imperative within to react to that swung fist with justified anger. In fact, such testosterone-prone behavior may be reflected in the typically male (perhaps unconsciously strategic) invitation for one’s foe to ‘go ahead and lay one on me,’ while tapping one’s own chin with his forefinger.

    Yet, from my experience, it’s a theoretical advantage not widely recognized by both the regular scrapper mindset nor general society. Instead of the commonly expected advantage of an opponent-stunning first blow, the hit only triggers an infuriated response earning the instigator two-or-more-fold returned-payment hard hits. It brings to mind an analogous scenario in which a chess player recklessly plays white by rashly forcefully moving his pawn first in foolish anticipation that doing so will indeed stupefy his adversary.

    I’ve theorized that it may be an evolutionary instinct ingrained upon the human male psyche—one preventing us from inadvertently killing off our own species by way of an essentially gratuitous instigation of deadly violence in bulk, which also results in a lack of semen providers to maintain our race. Therefore, in this sense, we can survive: If only a first strike typically results in physical violence, avoiding that first strike altogether significantly reduces the risk of this form of wanton self-annihilation.
    In short, matters should remain peacefully peachy, or at least non-violent, when every party shows the others their proper, due respect. It’s like a proactively perfect solution.

    It should also be noted, however, that on rare occasion (at least from my many years of observation) an anomalous initiator/aggressor will be sufficiently confident, daring and violently motivated, perhaps through internal and/or external anger, to outright breach the abovementioned convention by brazenly throwing the first punch(es).

    Perhaps with the logical anticipation, or hope even, that his conventional foe will physically respond in kind by swinging at or hitting him, the unprovoked initiator/aggressor will feel confident and angered enough to willfully physically continue, finishing what he had essentially inexcusably started. It was as though he had anticipated that through both his boldness in daring to throw the first punch and then furthermore finish the physical job he himself had the gall to unjustifiably start in the first place, he will resultantly intimidate his (though now perhaps already quite intimidated) non-initiator/non-aggressor foe into a crippling inferior sense of physical-defense debilitation, itself capable of resulting in a more serious beating received by that diminished non-initiator/non-aggressor party.

    Or, another possibility remains that the initiator/aggressor will be completely confident that when/if he strikes first and the non-initiator/non-aggressor responds with reactor’s fury, he, the initiator/aggressor will himself respond to that response with even greater fury thus physically/psychologically overwhelm the non-initiator/non-aggressor with a very unfortunate outcome for the latter party. Regardless, it has always both bewildered and sickened me how a person can throw a serious punch without any physical provocation.
  • Possibility
    2.7k
    Which also renders the ‘one punch’ such a despicable act.

    But consider a verbal exchange that deteriorates/escalates into a physical one. At what point is this deterioration/escalation justifiable? Is it when one predicts mere words to be an insufficient response - given the intention here is to overwhelm, intimidate or dominate one’s opponent?

    The error, as I see it, is in the intention, rather than the initiation.
  • Tom Storm
    5k
    Regardless, it has always both bewildered and sickened me how a person can throw a serious punch without any physical provocation.FrankGSterleJr

    I'm six two and 190 pounds, have a buzz cut and I used to hang out in bars. I've had a number of first punches thrown at me - not all of them connected. It's pretty much the reality of any 'street fight' approach. Get in quick and get in hard. I have occasionally had to throw the first punch in order to prevent a full fight from breaking out. I considered it a harm minimization approach. The guys to watch for are those who hit when your back is turned. Sure, it's best to avoid a fight if at all possible. This may mean leaving before things escalate but this is not always achievable. And then of course there are cowards who just hit people to see what happens.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    Toxic masculinity. I thought that meant threatening to use or actually using physical force to settle differences or arguments.

    While this is a known fallacy, argumentum ad baculum, William James thought differently: it's ok to believe in something when it's forced upon you (re Islamic conversion by the sword). How long such beliefs last is hard to say, but going by how many Moslems there are today, I'd say the effect persists through many generations, oui? Death or Islam! Not really a choice, is it? Islam's toxic masculinity? :chin: Hmmmmm...
  • Ciceronianus
    2.5k
    It brings to mind an analogous scenario in which a chess player recklessly plays white by rashly forcefully moving his pawn first in foolish anticipation that doing so will indeed stupefy his adversary.FrankGSterleJr

    The chess player who plays the white pieces moves a pawn first quite often. It's common, in fact. There's nothing rash about doing so, and nobody playing the black pieces would be surprised, let alone stupefied, by such a move.
  • praxis
    5.4k


    Yes, I’ve also noticed that white often swings first. I can remember games where white played unusual or bold openings moves with their pawns and my being a bit stupefied and eventually losing the game.
  • I like sushi
    3.9k
    Toxic masculinity. I thought that meant threatening to use or actually using physical force to settle differences or arguments.Agent Smith

    It is a stupid term that in some instances tries to ignore the use of any physical dominance over anyone. It is often used in the ‘be a man’ way, but in some situations saying ‘be a man’ is perfectly viable as it can simply be taken to mean something akin to being courageous.

    Using physical force can be cowardly and can be courageous. Not all physical force (even if initiated by said person) should be considered as ‘toxic’.

    It is mostly part of the weird ‘woke’ nonsense and on the surface seems perfectly reasonable but often does its best to make sweeping statements about how people should or should not behave with not regard for contextual nuance (that is how I define ‘woke’ btw).
  • baker
    4.9k
    During my troubled-teen years of the 1980s, I observed how, in general, by ‘swinging first’ a person potentially places himself (or herself) in an unanticipated psychological disadvantage—one favoring the combatant who chooses to patiently wait for his opponent to take the first swing, perhaps even without the fist necessarily connecting.FrankGSterleJr

    Not in my experience.

    Throwing the first stone (in whatever form, whether by being the first to offend, to act in bad faith, to hit, to call the police, or any combination of these) is usually how a person establishes his innocence and has a better chance of taking the moral high ground.

    Being patient and waiting usually translates into being easy to take advantage of.
  • baker
    4.9k
    At what point is this deterioration/escalation justifiable?Possibility

    At the point when people take for granted that it is morally right to hate and despise others.
  • I like sushi
    3.9k
    I would say it is justified if one person is rabidly screaming at you and try to bait you whilst you calmly and repeatedly tell them to stop then begin to warn them to stop. If someone is on someone else’s face with spittle flying and they simply won’t back away, and they do as much as they can to prevent you from moving away then hitting them hard, fast and repeatedly is perfectly fine.

    The simple, yet crazy, fact is. Some people WANT to be hit and they will not stop until they get hit. I’ve seen it a few times. Some people are like that and some people can knock them down without any real ill will and just walk away. My brother did this on a few occasions because people tended to target him because he had long hair and looked like an easy target to ridicule and assault.

    Getting the first punch in can just mean you are faster and more sober than the idiot getting in your face for no reason with clear intent to cause you physical harm.

    On the couple of occasions where I’ve been in such situations I learnt to scream and repeatedly slap myself in the face whilst laughing whilst walking around. It worked twice. The would be attackers on both occasions just back away and threw verbal insults looking for a quick exit. I honestly don’t think such a display would work in most situations though I might have just been lucky :D
  • Possibility
    2.7k
    At the point when people take for granted that it is morally right to hate and despise others.baker

    How can you be certain of that, and how is your own response not to be interpreted as equally self-righteous by them?
  • Possibility
    2.7k
    Getting the first punch in can just mean you are faster and more sober than the idiot getting in your face for no reason with clear intent to cause you physical harm.I like sushi

    How we interpret the situation and their intent is never as ‘clear’ or objective as we might assume. I think your brother’s approach is reasonable in the circumstances - no ill will in putting an end to the conflict, but also no self-righteous interpretation of ‘faster and more sober’ against an ‘idiot with no reason’. Which is why I appreciate your ‘Riggs’ approach, and I get the sense it may work more often than not. Fighting an idiot clearly lacking reason is never a good idea.
  • baker
    4.9k
    We have democracy.
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