Imagine this situation.
It’s Saturday afternoon and you are working a one man door. Over the town radio you hear that the bar 200 yards from your premises have just had a crazy body builder guy who attacked and has beaten up group of 3 guys, he has just left and is heading towards your pub.
The description given over the radios is, white male, approx. 6 foot, large muscular build, shaved head, heavily tattooed, un-controllable, very bad-tempered and aggressive, suggest refusal of entry to all premises.
Town Centre radio contacts you to warn you that he is heading in your direction… You request for Police back up and Town Centre radio tells you they have informed the Police and to keep an eye out for him and advise them if he causes any further disturbances…
You receive a mini adrenaline dump as your body starts to prepare for action.
You then notice this huge guy swaggering towards your premises, muttering and snarling as he walks. Though he is still 100 or so yards away, you notice his knuckles are blooded.
You now receive another dose of adrenaline as your body prepares you to stand your ground or run away (Fight or Flight).
What is going through your head right now?
The un-confident Door Supervisor
Your mind goes into overdrive offering you a multiple of ‘what if’ scenarios that all end in failure. (Either by you running away, or getting beaten to a pulp by this crazed maniac). You can’t focus on anything else accepted thinking or a way you can disappear into thin air for 10 minutes.
The confident Door Supervisor
Your mind prepares you with a multitude of options available to you in which you can verbally defuse this potential confrontation. Your main focus is how to avoid a physical situation and you prepare to deal with the confrontation verbally and if necessary, physically.
As he approaches your premises, what signals are you sending him?
The un-confident Door Supervisor
As you receive your massive adrenaline dump followed by a marathon of images played out in your mind your body language starts transmitting signals of victimisation.
If you look weak and/or unconfident as a door supervisor you inadvertently send out signals to would be bully’s, trouble makers, glory hunters saying ‘pick me’.
The confident Door Supervisor
The confident Door Supervisor is in control of his emotions and has pre-prepared a multitude options available to him should the aggressor attempt to gain entry. This confidence is obvious in the Door Supervisors posture as he stands tall, assertive, but relaxed. This type of body language displays confidence.
So what happened next?
The aggressor walks right passed your premises, jumps in a Taxi and drives away.
All of that for nothing.
Believe it or not, this happens more often than not. You get all charged up ready for action (in some way shape or form), then it dissipates and nothing happens.
The job of the Door Supervisor is a stressful one, even when violence doesn’t occur.
Sometimes however, we are not that lucky and we get confronted with some very uncomfortable situations. For this reason you need to be ready to act or respond to situations verbally and physically if need be!
For the un-confident Door Supervisor, he has had a lucky escape. NOW would be the time to analyse themselves as to whether they are cut out for this type of work or need to do some serious training, mentally and physically!
Working as a Door Supervisor pretending to be confident is VERY dangerous. If you end up freezing or running away during a situation you could be held responsible for your in-actions and ‘Duty of Care’ to your colleagues and or the public.
If you are seriously thinking about a career as a Door Supervisor, you must take the role seriously and take proactive measures to ensure that you can deal with the job physically, physiologically and emotionally.
So where does confidence come from?
The bottom line: When faced a formidable opponent in a confrontation, your ability to communicate effectively is often dictated by how far you could go physically, if you needed to.
If you doubt yourself when an aggressor is telling you how they are going to re-arrange your face, you will find it difficult to think clearly of methods to de-escalate the situation, rather, your mind will be thinking about and visualising your own doom/failure.
Now, imagine the same situation but, this time you have a Taser in your pocket. How much more confident would you feel now? Would all of those horrible threats affect you now? Now you realise that they couldn’t be carried out!?!, NO, if you had a Taser in your pocket you would be trying to defuse the situation verbally in any way you could so you could avoid having to use the Taser.
So the answer is, walk around with a Taser in your pocket right? WRONG. Door Supervisors are NOT allowed to carry offensive weapons, even if it is only for self-protection…
So what’s the answer?
Having a trained body is like walking around with a Taser in your pocket.
Physical training for Door Supervisors should include live action scenario drills based around actual, likely attacks they are liable to encounter on the door.
These scenarios should involve verbal and physical situations to help them learn to control their body when supercharged with adrenaline
Body impact drills
Unless you have been in more than 1 fight in your life (most people haven’t been in any), it will be a massive shock when the head takes a large blow)
Body impact drills should be practiced with suitable protective wear so that the trainee feels the impact but doesn’t receive any injury.
Drills that are practised should be those most relevant to the Door Supervisor. This way they will be able to recall the training if and when it happens to them for real.
Next is pain management. All fights hurt. Depending on your adrenalin levels during the conflict you may feel pain straight away; otherwise it will be after the occurrence.
It is important that during physical training, the role player is as realistic as is safe and to mimic the behaviour of a typical aggressive Neanderthal who we may face on a Saturday night on the door.
During such high intensity exercises there is a high chance of scuffs and bruises. This is important as it makes you realise what it feels like in training so it doesn’t come to be such a shock if and when it happens for real.
It is highly likely that you will initially fail practising these drills as panic takes over and you lose your ability to think rationally. Once practiced a few times your adrenalin levels start to lower and your ability to think rationally returns. You then think about what you are doing, you remain in control of yourself and as a result, maintain the control of the aggressor.
Once you are confident to deal with most of the situations in the gym against trained opponents, you will feel A LOT more comfortable dealing with live situations involving an untrained drunken teenager you is threatening to open you up like a can of worms.