Last week, Somaserious posted a pretty good video featuring Chaka Zulu. One of the things that really caught my attention in this video was his understanding and use of the concept of the ladder of force. Chaka Zulu said (and I paraphrase)…
“If you attack me, I will go into the fight with the intent to kill you. Then, if I see that I don’t have to kill you I will de-escalate. You have to do it this way because you don’t have time in a fight to go the other way, escalating from evasion to control to injuring to killing intent.”
This appears to go against the typical thoughts on ladder of force, that you evade before you control, control before you injure, injure before you kill… But Chaka Zulu has a valid and interesting justification for his understanding – the time it takes to escalate vs. de-escalate and the potential consequences.
So, what do you think is more appropriate in ‘typical’ conflicts, escalate toward an appropriate level of force or de-escalate toward an appropriate level of force?
BTW: Nathan at TDA posted a related article almost simultaneously with this one. Check it out.