During the 9 years in the career I have been in, I have seen and learned much about human behavior. We are typically wired one of 2 ways, and all the training in the world wont necessarily change the wiring. We can alter it a bit, but we cant change it.
Wiring #1- you freeze at the moment of impact.
Wiring #2- you react at the moment of impact.
That is the reason so many people sat on airplanes and allowed punks armed with box cutters over take them and fly them directly into buildings. That is the reason hundreds of students stood by and watched in horror as some hoodlum ran amuck through the crowd, stabbing and slashing people. It is the reason people get murdered in broad daylight, or beaten and robbed, and passerby's just keep passing by. It is the reason some will stand and watch a coworker get T'd off on by an inmate.
The classic deer in the headlights, oh SH*T, feeling.
We can train ourselves to react a certain way, but until that day comes and you have to react and the sh*t gets real real quick, we just don't know. All we can do is hope and pray that we respond correctly.
It is my belief that sheltering your children from the violence that is alive and well in the free world only leads to more and more sheep who do not react. More and more passerby's who just keep passing by.
Let me ask you, if you were out with your family and witnessed an assault, a stabbing, a shooting, what would you do? Would you get away from the danger and call the police? Would you intervene? Would you pull your gun and exercise your rights to protect yourself and others from serious injury or death? This sort of thing keeps me up at night. They say good surgeons lay awake at night thinking of the worst case scenario and what they would do. I lay awake at night and think of worst case scenarios and plan out exactly how I would handle them. Of course, things don't always go as planned. But being unprepared is just as bad as being unarmed. Would you take the shot if your wife was being held at knife point? Would you sacrifice yourself to save your own? Are you confident enough in your abilities to handle a knife attack if, for some DUMB reason, you are unarmed? What if you are grabbed from behind in a headlock, your air leaving your lungs, your head getting fuzzy? What if some thing pulls a gun on you and your family and demands your wallet and car keys? What if some thug attempts to car jack you with your kids strapped in their car seats behind you?
How do you respond?
Do you practice with moving targets? Do you practice quick draws and fire? Do you practice shooting from the hip? Laying down? On your side? After running up a steep hill? Behind cover? Do you practice with knives? Do you have a good fighting coach? Have you learned to use your hands?
Off topic but important stuff. I am paranoid. But I am also prepared. I wouldnt stand by and allow someone to stab those around me. It isn't in my nature to be a victim. Never has been. Win or lose, I have always been a fighter. It is in my soul.
Going back to the bully topic, another important thing work and experience has shown me is those who are talking, don't want trouble. They are talking for 2 reasons. The first is to hopefully back you down. Barking backs people down. The second is they are trying to build up enough courage to actually put their hands on you. I don't worry too much about either. Bark until you have a sore throat, all that tells me is you are far more afraid then I am. The ones who just strike and don't talk are the ones who mean business. I have come across both kinds and the second type is far tougher to deal with. It is like a rattle snake. All that rattling is just for show, it is meant to back you down because they really don't want to bite you. The coral snake on the other hand, well it just nails your ass. Most of the fights I have found myself in have happened because the person barking built up enough confidence to shove me. Then I responded to the shove with a jab-cross-hook combination taught to me many years by my own father and perfected by a co-worker of mine who is a boxing coach. Speed kills. I was once at a bar with my co-worker, discussing motorcycles and how wrecking them is always a weird line between real and a movie and in the middle of the conversation he tells me to hold on a second. I nod, swig my beer, and turn around to see a young man about 22 laying flat on his back in the bar. Apparently he knew my co-worker from a previous encounter and he was eye-f*cking him from across the bar. I had no idea, I was busy drinking. Well, the young buck stormed across the bar room floor after some liquid courage and my boxing co-worker stood up and laid him out in less then 3 seconds. Never saw anything like it before or since. Then we went back to drinking and all he said was, "most people don't know how to fight".
That is how to handle a bully.