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rapid confidence verbal defense drills.

These lessons are adapted from Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion.

1. How to Keep Your Cool

Mushin and Anger Guards … How to Keep Your Cool

In this week’s Verbal Defense lesson …

We focus on ANGER. What makes you angry? Everyone has a hot button, something that never fails to get you mad.

That’s a problem. In a state of anger, you can’t control yourself or the situation.
The first step to self-control is recognizing your weaknesses.

If you identify your hot buttons, you don’t have to react with anger. This is how you put an Anger Guard on your emotions! We call this Name It, Know It, Own It.

If you can identify what bugs you, you’re ready for Mushin … This tenet of Asian philosophy means that you must keep a cool head in all situations.

Don’t get angry; remain emotionless. (For us martial artists, Mushin is like a ready stance for your mind. You’re cool, level-headed and ready to respond with no traces of anger.)

This week’s FAMILY CHALLENGE is to use Anger Guards and Mushin at least three times.

1. keep Your Cool Exercise

Verbal Defense Car Talk #1

Know your weaknesses: Identify two things that always make you angry.

Anger Guards: Now give them a label. (“Look! Here comes Miss Insults-Me-In-Front-of-Everyone!”)

You’ll find that you’re less angry when you stay rational in the face of conflict.

1. What situations in your life require an anger guard? How can you use Verbal Defense in these situations? 

2. Maintaining a Mushin mindset is more difficult than it sounds! Do you agree or disagree? Why?

3. Write a few sentences explaining how you and your family did on this week’s Family Challenge.

2. Word Blocks ...What to do when you’ve been insulted!

Word Blocks … What to do when you’ve been insulted!

We talked about harassment, bullying and verbal abuse. What do you do when this happens to you?

Fight? Ignore the problem? Neither one begins to solve the problem. You need Word Blocks. You need to have a pre-planned response – a kind of script – ready for the situations that would otherwise catch you off-guard.

Word Blocks can be funny, serious or even a little bit threatening. Think of it this way: When a martial artist is being attacked, the first thing he or she does is put up

their hand to block the punch. It’s the same thing with the verbal deflectors we call Word Blocks. We’ve made the discussion really fun by dreaming up FUNNY Word Blocks (we’ll cover other types of Word Blocks over the next few weeks). Have fun devising some of your own!

EXAMPLE: IF THEY SAY … “You’re stupid!”

YOU COULD SAY …

  • “My Mom said the same thing this morning, but thanks for noticing.”
  • “Thanks! Are you offering to tutor me?”These responses must be like a reflex, done swiftly and without a trace of anger or emotion.

    Remember Mushin from last week’s lesson? You need to keep your cool to effectively block the conflict that comes your way.

2. What to do when you’ve been insulted! Exercise

Come up with 2 FUNNY Word Blocks for 2 situations.

Word Block #1 

Situation 1:

Word Block #2

Situation 2:

3. serious with Word Blocks

In this week’s Verbal Judo lesson …

We dug even deeper into our Word Blocks.

Last week, we discussed how Word Blocks are the best way to respond to conflict – whether it’s in the form of an insult, harassment or anger. Then, we devised some Funny Word Blocks that diffuse a situation with humor.

We hope your family had fun coming up with Funny Word Blocks that will work for you.

But sometimes conflict occurs when people get angry with us and it’s completely our own fault. We all make mistakes. We all mess up. But you need to know how to apologize effectively.

The Apology Word Blocks of Verbal Judo make this uncomfortable job much easier.
When someone else gets angry and we’re to blame, our first reaction is to
get angry in return.

We’re on the defensive, ready to snap right back. This solves nothing.

An Apology Word Block works like this:
1.
Acknowledge their anger (we call this tactical empathy … put yourself in their shoes).

“I can see that you’re mad …”

2. Apologize
“I’ve let you down and I’m sorry.”

3. Offer a solution
“I’ll turn off the TV and get right to work. I won’t stop until my project is done.”

These responses must be like a reflex, done swiftly and without a trace of anger or emotion. (Keep up with your Mushin!)

3. Word Blocks Exercise

FAMILY CHALLENGE: Describe one time when you had to apologize for a mistake you made. What kind of Word Block could you have used?

FAMILY DISCUSSION: When someone is angry with you, how does it make you feel? Angry? Guilty? Ashamed? Should you respond with this type of emotion? Why or why not? What Verbal Defense technique will help you overcome these feelings?

4: Let them know the consequences

In this week’s Verbal Defense lesson …

We learn how to threaten but in a good way.

For the past few weeks, we’ve delved into Word Blocks, coming up with ones that work for us.

Some have been funny, and others have helped us with the art of apology, saying “I’m sorry” in cases when the fault has been ours.

This week’s discussion focused on using Polite Threats.
Sometimes, the only way to stop bullies, brutes and the extremely hard-headed is to
tell them

exactly what will happen if their verbal abuse continues.

A basic Polite Threat Word Block works like this:
1.
Acknowledge their feeling (we call this tactical empathy … put yourself in their shoes).

“I can see that you don’t like me …”

2. Explain the consequences
“But you wouldn’t want the teacher to hear you saying that, would you?”

As with all Word Blocks, these responses must be like a reflex, done swiftly and without a trace of anger or emotion. (So keep working on your Mushin!)

4. The consequences Exercise

FAMILY CHALLENGE: We used to advise children to ignore insults in hopes that the bully would stop or get tired of picking on the child. No more!

Come up with three Polite Threat Word Blocks your child can use in various situations (at home, at school, etc.)

1.

2.

3.

Repeat, repeat, repeat: These responses must be automatic. They must be delivered without a trace of anger (a not-so-polite threat can end in a fight!)

Practice your responses as a family for at least 10 minutes.

How did it go?

What did you learn? 

Journal your results.

5: Working the Crowd

In this week’s Verbal Defense lesson …

Crowd control. All it takes is one Word Block.

If you’re being harassed, chances are good that it’s not happening in private. You’re on a playground, in a conference room or somewhere where there are bystanders watching the verbal assault take place.

Too often, these bystanders don’t take action, even though they know that bullying is wrong. You must get them to come to your aid.

Say that the bully has just called you fat. Here’s your response:
“Are you calling me fat? Then Brenda must be fat. Then Joey must be fat. Is that what you’re saying?”

This response takes the spotlight off of you and puts the glare back on the bully. More times than not, there’s nothing left for the bully to do but back down, drop it or walk away.

Add this to your toolkit of Word Blocks. Keep them next to the Word Blocks that are funny, apologetic and polite threats.

And remember that all these Word Blocks must be like a reflex, done swiftly and without a trace of anger or emotion. (Mushin, everyone!)

5. Working the Crowd Exercise

Verbal Defense Car Talk for Lesson 5

FAMILY CHALLENGE: Come up with a Word Block that Works the Crowd. Practice it 10 times.

Wrapping up Word Blocks: Now you know FOUR KINDS of Word Blocks (Funny, Apology, Polite Threat and Working the Crowd).

What Word Blocks do you think work best for you?

Why?

6. Whoa, Time Out!

In this week’s Verbal Defense lesson…

We’ll learn one last, super-effective Word Block. And it’s really simple.

If someone is suddenly in your face, ready to strike, push or lash out verbally, you do this:

Put your hands up, gesture and say, “Whoa, Time Out!”

This simple move does a number of things. It buys you a little bit of time for you to respond. And, it is a universally recognized gesture that means STOP.

Keep your hands up until the threat of physical violence has passed! If the attacker continues towards you or throws a punch, you can quickly move to protect your face.

Martial artists know this a ready stance, or guarding stance. From here you can block a punch, move away or counter, if necessary.

Next week, we’ll progress from Word Blocks to new material. This week’s homework includes Time-Out Word Blocks, and a quick review of what we’ve covered so far.

6. Whoa, Time Out! Exercise

Verbal Defense Car Talk for Lesson 6

FAMILY CHALLENGE: Partner up and practice the Time Out Word Block 5 times each. (Be sure to keep your hands up and move from the time-out gesture into ready stance!)

In your own words: Explain each of the following terms …


Mushin:

Anger Guard:

Anger Trigger:

Funny Word Block

Apology Word Block

Polite Threat Word Block:

Working the Crowd Word Block:

Time-Out Word Block: 

7. Listen and LEAP

In this week’s Verbal Defense lesson …

Quite simply, we learn how to listen. No matter what your age is, it’s harder than you might think.

Most people don’t really know how to listen. They’re just waiting to interrupt.

But ACTIVE LISTENING is a skill with distinct benefits: The more you hear, the more you know.

And knowledge is power. If you don’t listen, you’ll never know the problem is coming!

Active listening is a tool for gaining information; LEAPS is an acronym that tells you how to get there. 

It stands for Listen, Empathize, Paraphrase and Summarize. This week we’ll cover the Listen and Empathize.

Listening goes beyond hearing the words. It extends to understanding the voice, or tone, that’s being used. You must also consider the nonverbal cues, such as facial expression, body posture and distance. Too often we respond to the words alone without putting them in context.

The words “Stay away from me!” mean one thing if the speaker is yelling at you from across the room. They take on a whole other meaning if the speaker is snarling at you, inches from your face.

To empathize is another misunderstood concept. Empathizing is the act of understanding where the other person is coming from, knowing what makes them tick. Empathizing is gathering intelligence to improve your interactions with that person.

Sometimes active listening comes naturally. Impressing someone, charming them or asking a favor entails observing, learning and waiting until the time is right to make your move.

It’s like setting up your radar: Tune in, listen and learn. We’ll be back with more LEAPS next week.

7. Listen and LEAP

Verbal Judo Car Talk for Lesson 7

FAMILY CHALLENGE: Becoming active listeners

Children need assistance to decipher the many components of a message – words, tone of voice and facial expression, as well as other nonverbal cues such as body language and proximity. Here are some ways you can do this at home. Make sure your child is prepared to discuss these exercises in next week’s class.

  • Role Play: How does a message change? Practice delivering messages to your child. Switch it up with various expressions, body language and tone: – “I’m angry!” “How could you?” “Get away from me!”
  • Set your radar: Discuss your interactions: “Uncle Joe seemed happy today. Can you guess why?” or “Was your teacher in a good mood today? How could you tell?”

8. Listening with LEAPS, Part II

Last week, we learned …

That Active Listening is like setting up your radar: Tune in, listen and learn.

We use the acronym LEAPS (Listening, Empathy, Ask, Paraphrase and Summarize) to explain the many facets of active listening.

L = Active listening … It is more than the words you hear. You have to hear how it’s said, by observing the facial expressions and body posture. Note the distance between you and the other person. “I’m so angry,” he said with a snarl, his face close to mine.

E = Empathize … Comprehending why the person is acting as they do. Is the bully in a bad mood because his favorite team lost? You know to steer clear today!

This week, we learned how to process the information we’ve gathered.

A = Ask ... Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You do this to get more information, to clarify. You can only act when your facts are straight. “Are you mad at me, or are you in a bad mood because the Packers just lost last night?”

P = Paraphrase … Instead of letting the other person rant, break in and paraphrase to make sure you’re interpreting the situation correctly. Use these words: “Let me see if I got this straight …” We call this phrase the “Sword of Interruption.” Now, you’ve taken control of the situation. (And, since people always like to hear their own words, they’ll certainly let you talk!) “Let me see if I got this straight … You are in a bad mood already, and you don’t like it when I am cheerful around you?”

S = Summarize … Make sure you got it right and get some closure. “I see now that you’re angry because you’re upset with the Packers. If they lose again, I’ll leave you alone and just take my good mood somewhere else.”

Here’s an important final note: Never react to words! You now have the tools to comprehend the meaning behind the words; act on that instead to respond with a strategy rather than react out of anger or fear.

8. Listen with LEAPS II Exercise

Verbal Defense Car Talk for Lesson 8

FAMILY CHALLENGE: Become active listeners

We can’t tell you enough how important role-playing is for children. We’ve done it in class, and we urge you to do this with your children at home. Situations like this come up all the time; with some practice, the correct responses will come naturally!

Try this: Take turns pretending that you are your child’s angry friend (you can base this on a real-life situation, if you want to). Have your child work through the conflict using the LEAPS listening process. Afterwards, discuss the process, step-by-step.

9. When words alone fail, it’s time to ACT

Last week, we’ll learn …

That it is OK to TAKE ACTION.
Appropriate action takes different forms, depending upon the circumstances. It can mean self-defense – telling a teacher – calling 911 – or running away as fast as you can.

Today we introduced students to the S.A.F.E.R. concept (Security, Attack, Flight, Excessive Repetition, and Revised Priorities). Knowing WHEN to take action helps determine WHAT the course of action should be. To summarize:

  • S = Security … Suppose you find out someone has brought a gun to school. Clearly, a gun threatens your security and the security of others. Tell a teacher! Run out of the school! Call 911! Your words alone won’t solve this problem. You need to take action.
  • A = Attack … If someone grabs you and shoves you against the wall, you’ve got to respond with more than words.
  • F = Flight … If someone runs into the path of danger, you need to move them out of harm’s way. For example, you’re throwing the football with your friend and it flies into incoming traffic. You wouldn’t just yell to your friend to get out of the road, you’d physically get him out of the way.
  • E = Excessive repetition … If someone fails to heed your repeated warnings, you need to take action. For example, you’ve warned your sister not to meet her new online friend at the park. But she won’t listen, and she’s on her way. You need to take appropriate action.
  • R = Revised priorities ... Your focus changes from one threat to a more immediate danger. Say some kids are playing with matches in their house. You tell them no. Suddenly, a curtain lights on fire. Your priority has just shifted from saying no to getting out of there safely.For martial artists like us, S.A.F.E.R. is a huge concept, because it answers a very tough question that’s always in the back of our heads: We know HOW to fight, but do we know WHEN it’s necessary? S.A.F.E.R. is an invaluable method for arriving at the right decision at the time, and for justifying your actions, if needed, after the fact.

9. it’s time to ACT Exercise

Together list 5-10 SAFER violations that you’ve encountered (you may use the back of this page). What action did you take? Could you have taken another appropriate action?

10. The Meet and Greet

Last week, we’ll learn …

How to make things go your way. You’ll better your chances for success if you learn the art of positive presentation.

When you need to approach someone to ask them a favor, to apologize or bring up an issue, you need to look and sound your best.

The spotlight’s on, the camera’s rolling and … It’s showtime!
Maybe you’ve forgotten your homework and need to discuss this with your teacher. Or you’ve

determined the time is right to mend fences with the bully. You need to shine.

Or, as we say, “You have to LOOK good, FEEL good and SOUND good … Or it’s NO good!”

Here’s how to structure this type of interaction:

1. use their name

2. explain who you are

3. give them the reason for your discussion

4. give them a chance to explain

5. come to a decision and close

For example: “Good morning, Mrs. Smith. I’m Chan Lee, a student in your science class. I’m really sorry, but I completely forgot to do last night’s assignment, and I apologize.

“Is there something I can do to get it to you tomorrow? I understand this might hurt my grade, but I really want to get this done.”

10. The Meet and Greet Exercise

Verbal Defense Car Talk for Lesson 10

FAMILY CHALLENGE:

Practice, practice, practice. Your “Meet and Greet” technique is the best way to make a positive impression on someone … So learn it and use it!

Practice these scenarios:
1. You’ve completely forgotten to do today’s science homework. What do you say to your science teacher?

2. You are approaching the bully at a quiet time to ask him or her to stop picking on you. What do you say?

3. Your martial arts school is raising money for charity, and you are asking your neighbor for a donation. What do you say to your neighbor?

4. (This one’s for you, Mom and Dad!) It’s time for a raise! What do you say to your boss?

11. The 5 Steps to Persuasion

Last week, we’ll learn …

How to make things go your way. You’ll better your chances for success if you learn the art of positive presentation.

When you need to approach someone to ask them a favor, to apologize or bring up an issue, you need to look and sound your best.

The spotlight’s on, the camera’s rolling and … It’s showtime!
Maybe you’ve forgotten your homework and need to discuss this with your teacher. Or you’ve

determined the time is right to mend fences with the bully. You need to shine.

Or, as we say, “You have to LOOK good, FEEL good and SOUND good … Or it’s NO good!”

Here’s how to structure this type of interaction:

1. use their name

2. explain who you are

3. give them the reason for your discussion

4. give them a chance to explain

5. come to a decision and close

For example: “Good morning, Mrs. Smith. I’m Chan Lee, a student in your science class. I’m really sorry, but I completely forgot to do last night’s assignment, and I apologize.

“Is there something I can do to get it to you tomorrow? I understand this might hurt my grade, but I really want to get this done.”

11. 5 Steps Exercise

Verbal Judo Car Talk

FAMILY CHALLENGE:

There’s a better way! Take a look at these situations and use your Verbal Defense skills to REALLY get things solved. (Be sure to pay attention to both WHAT you say and HOW you say it!)

1. INSTEAD OF telling the bully … “Quit pushing me!YOU SAY

2. INSTEAD OF telling your sister … “Stop calling me ugly!YOU SAY

Now EXPLAIN what you did. Be sure to use these terms!

Mushin * Anger Guard * Word Blocks * LEAPS * Meet and Greet

12. It’s time to take ACTION

Last week, we’ll learn …

How to successfully get a bully to STOP by using the 5-Step.

The Five Steps go like this:

1. Ask

2. Tell Them Why

3. Give Options

4. Confirm Noncompliance and Act.

5. Act

ASK (If you want a bully to stop tormenting you, ask them to stop), and TELL THEM WHY (finding the most compelling reason for them to do what you’re asking them to do.)

But if the bully just won’t stop, we must move into the final three stages of the 5-Step:

GIVE OPTIONSUsing your calm voice and cool mushin attitude, start by giving positive options and moving on to the negative ones. Try to explain WHY it’s good for them to stop this behavior. (“Can we just stay away from each other so you can stop calling me names? If you continue calling me ugly, I’ll have to tell the teacher and you’ll get in trouble.”)

CONFIRM NONCOMPLIANCEYou must ask this directly … “Is there anything I can say or do to get you to stop calling me names? I’d like to think so.”

ACTBy now you’ve exhausted your verbal techniques for de-escalating the situation, so you need to take action. This doesn’t mean resorting to a physical fight. This means telling a teacher, walking away from the situation or, if the bully is indeed aggressive, blocking a punch.

SCENARIO:Do not push me.” you say in a calm, emotionless voice. “You can’t push people in school, and I don’t want to get you in trouble.”

The bully responds with another shove.
“Is there anything I can do to get you to stop pushing me?”

“Nope!” says the bully defiantly.
You walk away. You’ve done everything to stop the situation. Now it’s time to tell the teacher.

12. time to take ACTION Exercise

Verbal Judo Car Talk

FAMILY CHALLENGE:

Practice the 5-Step with these scenarios (Be sure to pay attention to both WHAT you say and HOW you say it!) You might want to make up some of your own.

The 5-STEP is …
1. Ask

2. Tell them why

3. Give them options

4. Confirm Noncompliance

5. Act

1. The bully is shoving you around on the playground … What should you do?
2. Your sister keeps calling you “smelly.” What should you do?
3.
Have you been bullied? What happened? If this happens again, what should you do?

13. Do the right thing

As martial artists, we have a duty to do the right thing. It’s called Ethical Intervention.

Whether we’re white belt beginners or black belt masters, we all follow a high code of conduct. We bow in class and treat others with respect. And whether we’re in uniform or on the playground with our friends, we need to always be on our best behavior (That’s the Art of Representation, remember?)

This means that if we see a bad situation unfolding, we can’t just watch it happen. We are not innocent bystanders; we need to step up and do the right thing.

“Because I am a martial artist, bad things are not allowed to happen around me,” says Chan Lee, a Tae Kwon Do Master and Verbal Judo Expert. And all of us need to follow in his footsteps.

Is this difficult? You bet. Taking action can be anything from telling a teacher what’s going on or telling the truth, even when it hurts you or your friends. But your Verbal Judo skills will help you through.

Did you know that bullies never act alone? In order for them to act like bullies, their victims, the authorities and the crowd just standing by all play a part in enabling the bullies. If you speak up, you help make it stop.

The Police Officers who use Verbal Defense to protect our safety call themselves Peace Warriors. As martial artists, we must also do what’s right. We are Peace Warriors, too.

13. Do the right thing Exercise

Verbal Defense Car Talk

FAMILY CHALLENGE:

Discuss the three scenarios below. Be sure to use as many of these Verbal Judo terms as you can:

Art of Representation

Anger Guard / Mushin (Keeping your cool)

Word Blocks
LEAPS (Listen, Empathize, Ask, Paraphrase, Summarize)

Meet and Greet

5-Step (Ask, Tell them Why, Give them Options, Confirm Noncompliance, Act)

Ethical Intervention

1. The bully is shoving your friend around on the playground. What should you do? 2. The student next to you is cheating on a test. What should you do?
3.
Your friend is lying to her mom and asks you to cover for her. What should you do?

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