A couple weeks back I had containment training. It is sometimes colloquially known as takedown training, but I really do have too much respect for it to call it that any more. The program we use at our facility is called SAMA (Satori Alternatives to Managing Aggression) and was developed by this zen-calm guy who developed the old method used by the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. I strongly suspect he's a badass in a Tai Chi kind of way. And as my friend Carole will tell you (and maybe show you too), Tai Chi has awesomely-named moves like Repulse Monkeys. How cool is that?!
Anyway, SAMA begins with verbal interaction; trying to de-escalate the situation before it becomed physical by conversing with the aggressive patient and guiding them to productive thoughts and actions. The practice exercises were pretty hokey, but I've already used the technique twice with good results. I can absolutely see the applicability anywhere, not just in a psych/medical setting.
If that's not working, we might have to move on to protection and containment. I feel fairly confident that I could prevent myself from being strangled, extricate myself from a grip, and/or retrieve an object, say a board with a nail through it (shoutout to Kang and Kodos!), if need be. A couple Sundays ago I put Joolie down on the floor in my excitement when I really shouldn't have. Sorry Joolie! You were such a sport to fake strangle me, and then look what I did. Thankfully I didn't go full out and "guide" you down the hall to a seclusion room (straight-jackets and padded rooms are soooo passé).
I was politely informed by the instructor that since I am a guy and didn't flabbily perform the maneuvers like some of my fellow trainees, I would surely be recruited to the on-call security team which responds to Code Grays (abusive/assaultive behavior). Good thing I'm already going to the gym. Sure I've been told my short hair, goatee, and forehead wrinkles can be interpreted as menacing, I'd like some shoulders to go along with the deadeye stare. I've already seen two situtations where an aggressive patient completely backed down at just the sight of the security team down the hall.
And so I issue a guarded invitation to my friends to behave aggressively next time we meet so I can practice.