Cooperating with an aggressor

raptor_prime is correct--though I'd argue that that's "feigned compliance".


I didnt say you tell us to "dont cooperate". I only said that when you asked "why would you"? you make people THINK about not cooperating with the criminal. It´s easily misunderstood.

Anyways, you are right that you didnt tell anyone what to do [ever] only pointing out options. And that clarify things a lot.

"one should not teach or assert a principle one does not fully grasp". I agree. And I didnt teach that principle, I just commented it to my beloved ones.

Now everything is a lot more clear for me. Thank you.
But I wonder why people misunderstood your principles so often.

In fact, I have read some articles about SPEAR System, read the PDR Manual and watched SPEAR systems fundamentals, and only after watching RAPE SAFE explanation on the SPEAR I think now, I´m begining to really understand the concept. And I think it´s an extraordinary principle for self defense.

Thank you very much for your explanations

Keep helping us

Marcos Castro

Great clarification Coach.

There is a difference between "Don't cooperate" and "why would you cooperate". The point isn't to NEVER do what the guy says, but rather that you should have YOUR OWN directive, your own standing orders.

Here's an example I discussed with my beloved "gals" yesterday. In a carjacking with a gun, oh lemme think...

1) at a stop light... with a car in front of you, the guy says, "get outa the car", I think the optimal response is to get out of the car.

2) If he is outside the car and the intersection is clear and no car in front of you, optimal response might be to hit the gas.

3) If he gets in the car behind you and says "drive" (oops, you didn't keep the doors locked!) then the optimal response is to jump out of the car. (It's up to you whether or not you leave the ignition key in as a peace offering.)

4) Oh, except if your baby is in the car seat next to you. Then the optimal response might be to drive, then crash the car into a lamppost in front of an open business at 15kph.

Too confusing huh? You "cooperated" some of the time and didn't some of the time? No, you adhered to a consistent governing principle in every case. People say it different ways:

"Don't go anywhere with the goof."
"Avoid the secondary crime scene."
"Never leave the public eye with your attacker."

The point is, it's never "do what he says" or "don't do what he says". It's there is a "most desirable thing" to do, (coach wouldn't like it if I said "right thing") so DO THAT THING, regardless of what the goof says. Let the scenario dictate!

Boy, I'm proud of my example. :)

In cases of attempted rape, it is sometimes tactically sound for the victim to cooperate to an extent because it can lead to an opening for a counterattack. For example, when the rapist goes to unzip his pants, he is at that point concentrating on the sexual act instead of restraining his victim. He also has one, or perhaps both, hands busy while he works his zipper. It is at this point the woman is encouraged to attack if she chooses to fight back. Likewise, if the rapist is trying to force a woman to do oral copulation, the rapist is most vulnerable once he is "exposed." But it takes cooperation on the victim's part to get to this point.

However, at no time are women told they MUST fight back, or they MUST submit. It is left to them to decide what they feel they should do. If they feel full cooperation is necessary because they fear for their life or the life of a loved one, then they are told not to be ashamed for doing so. If they feel they have what it takes to fight back, they are instructed to cooperate until an opportunity presents itself, then fight back as viciously as possible.

I think when it comes to self-defense situations there really is no "right" or "wrong" thing to do. You do the best you can at the time with the information you possess. Maybe some choices are better than others, and with self-defense training you may have more choices than someone who has no training. But I believe everyone wants to survive, so they choose to do what they believe is best for them at the time.

Just my thoughts.


in your videos and book, you make us think about "not cooperating with our aggressors".
You repeat "why would I trust what a person pointing me with a gun is telling me?"

I think that makes a lot of sense, but I find it extremely difficult to apply.

Whenever I tell people about that, they react: "If the criminal tells me to stay calm when pointing me with a gun, I wouldnt do anything but comply because my life is in danger and I wont play hero".

Obviously, they are talking about a not inmediatly life or dead situation. But anyways, that means that in 90% of situation people will cooperate with the criminal.

I have never been at gunpoint. And if fact, altough I teach self defense and I have 13 years of martial arts, I guess in 90% of the situations I wouldnt do anything but comply. Give him the money, my jacket, my car. Except my life (of course, when I can evaluate my life is in real danger).

I guess in most of the cases, there is more to lose than to win. Because the risk of failing trying to disarm a criminal is high enough to decide coping with him.

And in fact, reading and watching the news I see a lot of people that cooperate and they almost always end up alive.

"Why would I trust what a person pointing me with a gun is telling me?" Because, anyways he could decide about my life just by moving a finger, and except my life is in real danger, I prefer to stay calm, hoping he just want my money and a not to get into a difficult situation.

I dont know if I am in the right way. But 95% of the people think that way.

If I am wrong, what do you suggest?


Marcos Castro


I fervently disagree with your first statement, where you write that I "make us think about "not cooperating"...

I have never said 'cooporerate' and I have never said 'dont'...I only asked 'why would you'? IN fact, i always ALSO state that I am not telling anyone what to do [ever] only pointing out options.

This distinction is crucial.

ANother contention in the professional arena is that one should not teach or assert a principle one does not fully grasp. This is both dangerous and possibly irresposible for the student.

So in answer to your question, respecfully, there is nothing I can suggest...choosing direct action during real world conflict is about awareness, choices [and at times training] - I have shared some philosophy and some parameters...and if one is not ready to discern, dicipher or decide, then a suggestion will not mean a thing.

Read my post "My 3-Step SECRET to WINNING" and then read Scott Sonnon's qoute from his mentor, that is my suggestion.

Stay safe,