Last Wednesday I began teaching Joe Saunders’ course on “Managing Violence”. The course is split into two sections, social violence and predatory violence. A strong emphasis and specialism of Joe Saunders’ approach to self-protection teaching is de-escalation. The course is the 17th hour of my work with Drum Kempo Ju Jitsu where I have been engaged in a teacher consultancy role.
Today we began the social violence section, establishing definitions and providing examples. We then posed the question whether or not social violence was worsening. My two clients and I agreed that in the macrocosm social violence or any form of violence committed between civilians in the developed world had decreased. The first world is no longer a time where duelling, regular rioting and fights for survival are commonplace on our streets or in our public houses. However, in the microcosm there have been clear ascensions into more violent times which can be seen from the 1960s until its peak in the 1990s where it dropped dramatically. The early 21st century saw it spike again in the 2000s for brief period before dropping. The mid-2010s saw a worrying climb that was only curbed by the mandatory lockdown in 2020, where only domestic violence saw an abrupt rise. Post-lockdown has seen social violence and anti-social behaviour crime rise at an accelerated rate in 2021 and 2022, moving to a higher position than the highest pre-lockdown point in 2019.
The list of reasons behind the rise of social violence within this relatively small window of time were discussed and debated. There were a few contentious points that Joe used but, under careful examination, provided extremely important viewpoints.