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Tongue Fu and Verbal Judo

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Tongue Fu and Verbal Judo.

I recently told a former police officer who is now a forensic psychologist about Cheri Maples, who found a way to inject the Buddhist approach of mindfulness into her training of police officers, including encouraging them to talk directly to other police personnel with whom they had beefs, rather than to let it boil into gossip and worse.

He suggested I also check out Tongue Fu and Verbal Judo .

The Verbal Judo program is run by George Thompson. VJ’s website says the program is about “defusing conflict and redirecting behavior with words… Verbal Judo was originally developed for police, corrections, and security professionals and is now a required course in numerous states. More recently it has been tailored for other organizations (e.g., mental health, the gaming industry, hospitals, businesses, schools) and for use by civilians to protect themselves from verbal assault and physical violence.” .

The Tongue Fu website says: “The goal of Tongue Fu!® is to learn how to conduct yourself with confidence so you keep from being abused verbally. If provoked, however, you will be able to use these martial arts for the mind and mouth to skillfully protect yourself. Never again will you have a mental meltdown and feel helpless in the face of aggression.”

The Tongue Fu site links to several books, including Tongue Fu itself.

Particularly curious about Cheri Maples, Verbal Judo and Tongue Fu is that Eastern approaches to reaching harmony and resolving conflict are geared towards members of the so-called mainstream establishment. To what extent are the establishment’s gatekeepers accepting such approaches, or treating them still as experimental or downright weird? Certainly, to the extent that these three groups are truly using mindfulness, judo and kung fu, mindfulness has withstood the test of centuries of time, and judo has been around since the nineteenth century. As to kung fu, From what I can tell from t’ai chi books and Internet sites, kung fu (1) is the same as the Chinese gung fu and (2) means accomplishment, rather than referring to any one specific martial art.