This is a real incident that happened to me. Frankly, it’s two men pissing contest that could have escalated to pure violence. But I noticed many things that I feel is useful to understand this behaviour which most of us do. Violence is never a good answer for any problem, but we all live with various levels of violence within our emotions, instincts and actions. So talking & exposing about this demon is important.
I had just recovered from my stomach infection and had returned from the ICU. My body was still fragile prone to new infections. We were in the middle of Covid-19 pandemic, so I was counting my lucky stars, I have not yet got infected by Covid-19 even in my hospital stay of 1 week.
2nd day after returning from hospital, in the morning, I woke up coughing and feeling out of breath. My room smelt like the aftermath of an electrical fire where rubber wires burn. After checking the room, I noticed everything was OK, and the smell was coming from outside. I went outside to notice that our neighbour was burning the fallen leaves from the tree along with whatever rubbish or plastic bottles he had found. And all that smoke was entering our house and That was the reason why we woke up coughing.
I took out my mobile and started to record the burning video of the leaves along with the plastic & rubbish, hoping I could convince the person who started the fire to stop doing it. To my surprise, the guy opened the gate to his property & stepped out, and I approach him informing him about how this rubbish was toxic & actually banned. He blatantly lies, saying he has not lit the fire. I have repeatedly seen him putting these fires on and have confronted him a few times softly informing him about its ill-effects on my family’s health. He was as usual lying and ignored my concerns altogether.
I am not a social person. All I know is violence, anger & faced its consequences. But being part of social structure & a professional teacher, I cannot use my fist, every time people or circumstances challenge or threaten me. I am not a saint either. Rarely have I broken this rule. But every time I raise a fist, the problem became bigger or entrapped me more. Violence does not help 99% of the time to solve issues.
But there is a thin, fine line. A double edge sword. A twilight zone between surrender & pure violence. It might eliminate my threat or backfire on me too. But sometimes… once in a blue moon, this fine thin line, it works!!!
Controlled aggression is the product of intentionally channeling your frustration, negative emotions and thoughts and making them work for you rather than against you. Any fear, frustration or anxiety can be converted into controlled aggression. The problem with controlled aggression is that it’s a thin fine line, cross it even a millimetre, it’s pure violence. From a victim, you convert yourself into a bully.
I wanted to ascertain his culpability in the face of abject denial of my accusation and hence I went inside my house and checked the CCTV camera. Lo & behold he comes out of the house and lights the fire. Got him!
I stepped out of the house and searched for him. I spotted him standing along with three other men from our neighborhood. Here, I approached him again in a loud voice accused him of lying and that I have proof of him lighting the fire in my CCTV camera recordings. He was asking me to complain to anyone & his tone showed he does not care about the outcome. I was surprised at his little to no care attitude to what damage these small fires he starts would cause to the environment and to my family health.
All my Krav Maga training merged with street sense kicked in. I had to show him controlled aggression in order to intimidate him into not repeating the act again. A hand placed at a right area will show dominance whereas in the wrong area might show submission. Men don’t like other men entering their personal space. So, the right amount of controlled invasion of his privacy might tip the scale towards my favour. Wrong judgement will anger him and provoke him for assaulting me. And he would be justified in that action as it would be technically classified as self-defence against a possible assaulter (me).
Same goes with physical touch – light acts of controlled aggression based hand touch on the other person’s body where the subject feels insecure about himself getting into a violent act hence might back off. Here also, it’s a fine edge, too much ‘touching’, you might be reckoned as a gay person and get assaulted. Too less contact can be perceived as insecurity or cowardly and may bolster the opponent’s confidence resulting in an assault. The problem with these hidden non-verbal gestures from hands, shoulders or eyes – works differently on different people.
Combat is a very individualistic element which holds a very different meaning to every one. So some might not like me sharing this; some might like & appreciate it. I am no hero or no anti-hero. Only will use it to protecting my life & my family’s health. As I mentioned before, for that I will go to any lengths. But rarely my ego or anger gets the best of me too. That why I chose Krav Maga Self Defence training to help me build on my street knowledge & control my insecurities. Even after severe damage to my body & health, I haven’t regretted a single day of my real combat training.
Coming back to the incident, I made a small controlled aggressive subtle gesture & movements to provoke him into backing off his act of lighting fires. Another aspect was that the two neighbours who were standing with him were his ‘friends’ and they might join in taking sides with him and might turn violent towards me. A few days after ICU, my body was not ready for a full on assault from three grown up men. Odds were against me in every area of this scenario.
Anyway, I gave a sign of relief inside my mind, when I noticed those two friends standing beside him were holding me back instead of being aggressive. Remember, I was not mad. Not violent. Not abusive. No big gestures. Just slight non-verbal body gesture enough for all the men present there to acknowledge that things will get very violent very fast, and I would be the most aggressive person in this confrontation. Or at least I want them to assume that !
The last straw that needed to break his confidence of his deeds was direct confrontational eye contact. Another fine thin line in combat. Too much or too light was the question. To blink or not to blink. What statement they should declare? Then I found the right words to go with the eye contact. “If you hurt my family in any way by lighting these fires, I would enjoy what I would do to you”. And then, I informed him what I do for a living. Especially emphasizing on how I enjoy breaking bones or joints or love to see them twist & turn the way I want them to behave. Be warned, words might look filmy dialogue, but it can also backfire very fast. So all these elements must maintain the balance it needs to give the right effect.
Not to push my luck too much, I left the group which was standing and talking in Kannada amongst themselves. Wish I could understand the language, my mind racing on whether they were in support of my actions or planning a retaliation. I have always felt like an outsider especially since I cannot speak the local language of Kannada and many a time I have been threatened by auto or cab drivers just for being a non-kannadiga.
The next day, I was walking with my dog for its usual morning walk. I noticed that the same person was collecting the leaves in a piece of cloth and then stashing the leaves some distance away from my house.
I gave a big sigh of relief that I did not have to resort to pure violence to solve this issue. But on the other hand, I felt like a bully who got his way with manipulation. Bottom-line for my family protection, I will break all rules. But it’s a hundred times better to solve the problem without getting into pure violence.
To maintain a social structure & to ease up my light guilt, I turned around and thanked him for listening to me. I did not say I was sorry for my action. I wasn’t. However, I extended my hand and shook his hands which had become dirty due to the work that he was doing. We as humans must maintain a sense of (false) calm & (somewhat) humanity in our social structure to flourish & create a safe environment for our family or children to grow up.
Indian Institute of Strategic Threat-Intelligence Analysis & Combat Tactical Science
Specialist Guru-ji Franklin Joseph is a Social Entrepreneur, Founder and C.E.O. of Indian Institute of Strategic Threat-Intelligence Analysis & Combat Tactical Science (I.I.S.T.A.C.T.S.), Dharwad. The main organization - I.I.S.T.A.C.T.S. have various projects that focus on empowering the men, women and children to prevent, avoid or escape from crime, violence, sexual harassment and sexual abuse. Some projects are Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defence Academy, Power To Women Corporate Workshops & iTeachiPower.in Girl Safety Empowerment & Girl Self Defence Wellness Education Workshops for Schools and Colleges.
Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defence Academy, Bengaluru, Hubballi & Dharwad
Mr. Franklin Joseph started his Krav Maga training in 2003 under Mr. Vicky Kapoor, Chief Instructor of Krav Maga in India. He was internationally certified as a Senior Civilian Maga Self Defence Instructor (2003 batch) and was the Regional Director of the International Krav Maga Federation ('I.K.M.F.') at Bangalore from 2007 onwards till 2012. He had also trained under and was certified by the Grandmaster Avi Moyal, Chief Instructor, I.K.M.F., Israel and has attended countless workshops by Krav Maga legends & stalwarts like Grandmaster Eyal Yanilov, Chief Instructor, K.M.G., Israel, Master Shlomi Moyal, Master Gabi Noah and Master Amnon Darsa etc. Now, he founded & run an independent organization - Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defence Academy in Bengaluru, Hubballi and Dharwad.
'Guru-ji' and 'Dr. Safety' are honorary alias given to him by his Krav Maga Self Defence practitioners. He also added Ninja Kubaton Pressure Points Self Defence Tool in his Krav Maga capsules to help promote its unique and amazing tactics.
Franklin Joseph Power To Women Self Defense Corporate Workshops
Mr Franklin Joseph has conducted 400+ Power to Women Corporate Self Defence Workshops. These corporate women Self Defense workshops have been conducted PAN India from Jaipur to Hyderabad or Delhi to Bengaluru or Chennai to Kolkata etc. Lot of women who have learned Women Self Defense have shared their point of views on the training, hardships & rewards of learning from Guru-ji Franklin Joseph & Krav Maga Self Defense along with other elements uniquely & exclusively added in their training.
Many a times, Mr. Joseph has been invited as a guest lecturer on Girl-Child Self Defense in various universities and colleges like Indian Institute of Management - Bengaluru, National Institute of Technology - Trichy, S.I.E.S. College of Arts Science and Commerce - Mumbai, S.R.M. Institute of Science and Technology - Chennai, Mithibai College & Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology - Mumbai, Christ University & Jain University - Bengaluru etc.
Krystal Joseph & Franklin Joseph iTeachiPower.in Girl Safety Empowerment & Girl Self Defence Wellness Education Workshops
Franklin Joseph founded iTeachiPower.in - Girl Safety Empowerment & Girl Self Defense Wellness Education Workshop for schools & colleges. Ms. Krystal Joseph is the C.E.O. of iTeachiPower.in and is also the youngest Instructor of Krav Maga & iTeachiPower.in in Karnataka. Together we have conducted some online & workshops in various school & NGO like Unacademy, The Baale Mane, Kendriya Vidyalaya, D.V.B School etc.
Few of the objectives of iTeachiPower.in Girl Safety Empowerment & Girl Self Defense Wellness Workshop are
Empower the girls with Krav Maga Self Defense based on reflex-action science
Recruit the best toppers as an instructor within the establishment
Train the staff, Certify the institution & establish a GIRL SAFE ZONE
Future Plans – Networking, Mentorship & Advance Training Boot Camps
Franklin Joseph's Award, Achievement, Recommendations & Clientele
In 2017, Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defence Academy was granted 'Best Service Excellence Award 2017' by Luxury Travel Magazine, London, United Kingdom.
Mr. Franklin Joseph has imparted his training as an Assistant Instructor with National Security Guard (N.S.G.) or Black Cat Commandos.
He was also the Senior Krav Maga instructor training the I.P.S. & I.A.S. probationers officers in S.V.P. National Police Academy, Hyderabad. He has also trained Krav Maga Self Defence to women personal of the Hubballi-Dharwad Police.
United States of America Department - O.S.A.C. organization's Indian Women Safety Report 2014 stating a recommendation -"Franklin Joseph is a good Self Defence instructor that also focuses on psychological empowerment in his workshops".
Mr. Joseph was honorarily awarded a plaque for his commitment towards women entrepreneurship and economic empowerment by Government of Karnataka in ThinkBig 2016 Women Entrepreneurs Convention Exhibition.
Among Franklin Joseph prestigious clients include Government of India Indian Railways, Defence Research Development Organization (D.R.D.O.), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (H.A.L.) and Bangalore Commissioner of Police along with Vanitha Sahayavani N.G.O.
Franklin Joseph workshops have been conducted in more than 100 corporate PAN India clients - NASSCOM, TATA, Amazon, L&T, Wipro, HP, APC, HSBC, Dell, TNT, Amazon, GE, COLT, Alcatel-Lucent, Harman, Syngene, Titan, P&G, Ebay Paypal, Cisco, Qualcomm, Dupont, Yahoo, 3M, ABB, Dupont, HCL, Deutsche Bank, ITC Group, Accenture, Cognizant, Monsanto, Tavant, NIIT, NESS, Infosys, Goldman Sacs, Thomson Reuters, Total etc.
Experiences that forged Franklin Joseph's spirit
Mr. Franklin Joseph was born into the slums of New Delhi, India, and from an early age, he was unwillingly exposed to some elements of sexual abuse and violent crime. After surviving 22-25 years in street violence and abusive circumstances, he gradually converted his bad experiences into positive knowledge. Today many of his projects have their base in what he learned from his grass-root level experience from crime, violence & abuse from his past merged with cutting edge scientific knowledge & skill set he has acquired since then.
In his TEDx talk video, he showcases his dark humour, skills and knowledge of 'Combat Science' with a jaw-dropping opening line "I See Dead People" indirectly referencing to the fact that lack of preparation against crime could be a fatal mistake. He is voluntarily self-retired after 11 years of working in the IT industry as a Creative Director, Project Manager, Senior Website Designer and Search Engine Optimization Specialist.
He also worked as a freelancer with Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2014 for 7 years when his quest to educate others to help them understand and deal with crime and violence was born.
Franklin Joseph's Modern yet Radical Approach
Mr Franklin Joseph, in essence, represents the changing face of self-defence especially women self-defence education. He is among the pioneers who have recognized just as crime is dynamic, changing and adapting, so too should crime prevention methodology and fighting tactics. He has tirelessly, and often at a great personal sacrifice to his financial growth or his family life, overcome enormous hurdles to advance the cause of helping improve safety for men, women & children. No matter what the cost, he is clear that he will achieve his mission of a safer world through proper education, training and a holistic approach to self-defence.
Press, TV & New Media presence of Franklin Joseph
Mr. Franklin Joseph has been featured in various articles or videos showcasing his goal of a safe world, free of abuse and crime, especially for girl-child and women. Some media names are Times of India, Hindustan Times, Bangalore Mirror, DNA, Deccan Herald, The New Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle etc., Magazines like Tehelka, 080 Bangalore, Bengaluru Pages, LiveMint.com, GlobalPost.com, TimeOut Bengaluru etc., TV shows and News Channels like ZeeTv, CNN-Ibn, NDTV 24×7, TV9 News, Swarna Channel, Aaj Tak, Headlines Today, Times Now etc.