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Discussion Starter #1
Many bad guys will unwillingly give up pre-attack indicators. When you see somebody who is talking to you display these types of behavior, be prepared, they are probably about ready to attack you.

Fighting Stance
Many people who are about ready to attack, or are anticipating being attacked by you, will adapt some form of fighting stance. Look for there hands to come up, strong leg to drop back, and possibly the chin dropping down.

Scanning
Scanning is very common before an attack. The bad guy will be looking around to see if there are any witnesses, if you have buddies around, or if his buddies are around to help him. He might also be looking for a route of escape that he can use after he gets his cheep shot in on you. Be cautions when you see somebody who is upset with you look over his shoulder and do a 360 degree scan.

Flanking
Be cautious if multiple people start to flank you. This is an obvious indication that an attack is coming. Also flanking can occur if only one dirt bag is present. The most common example of this if when the bad guy moves to your right, so that he can be in a better position to land a right handed blow.

Blinking
Look for anything abnormal. The dirt bag might be blinking excessively or not at all. Either one is not normal and should be a red flag.

Target glancing
The dirt bag might continually glance at that target he wants to attack. If the dirt bag is thinking about punching your jaw, he often can't refrain from taking several glances at your chin. He might also look at your weapon several times if he is thinking about taking it away from you.

Verbal combat
Often people can not refrain from telling you what they are going to do before they do it. Comments such as, "I'm going to kick your butt" are all to common. Even though it doesn't make scenes that people would give up the element of surprise by telling you what they are going to do, many times they do just that.

Touching.
I have noticed several times in my carrier that people who are thinking about assaulting you often want to test the waters. It is not uncommon for them to pat you on the shoulder or the arm, before the real attack comes. I believe that they are evaluating you to see if you are a good victim or not. They want to see how you react to light contact, before they lay the heavy stuff on you. Do not allow this.

Face flushing
If the dirt bag in under great duress, his hart rate will go up. Look for shaking hands and a flush or red face. Even though he is wanting to be the attacker, often it is a stressful event for him also.

Tightening up
Often the dirt bag will clinch his fist several seconds before he tries to hit you.

There are several more indicators, these are just a few of the more common ones. The point is that early recognition is critical. You are at the Observation and Orientation stage of the OODA Loop. If you can process this information then you can move on to the Decision stage and the Action stage of the OODA Loop, before he attacks.

Remember the ambush only works if you don't see it coming. :D:
 

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The big one is the C-position. Most of us have seen and done it. The chin comes down to the chest, arms bow out a little bit, and hands may be clinched or making fists. Usually accompanied by pacing. Not usually seen in a criminal assault but during a brewing attack or someone being very upset. The energy has to go some place, sometimes people will punch a wall, sometimes they will punch a person. You will also see this a lot with EDPs, Emotionally Disturbed People.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good point on the pacing. :thumb:

One thing I used to do, if I wanted somebody to know that I was willing to go physical was start stretching my neck. I wouldn't ever have to say,"Do what I'm telling you or I'm going to physically make you!" That would be a Direct Threat. Instead I would give them an Implied Threat by stretching my neck, like I was warming up for a fight(but a little more subtle). Of course the whole time I would keep smiling and using verbal Judo. I was telling him, in a nonverbal manner, "I'll try and be nice, but if you won't let me then I am willing to fight."

Implied Threats are great, because you will get in more trouble for what you say than what you do. It also leaves the the bad guy to figure out what you are going to do. Often his imagination is worse than anything I might threaten him with.

A little off topic, but I guess this tactic could be used against you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Taking off glasses or setting down other valuable items is another thing to look out for. This is common and can also be articulated as a justification that you believed the bad guy was about to, or in the process of attacking.
 

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Another visual cue is that his arm movements suddenly become faster, or faster breathing (the adrenalin has already kicked in). Obvious nervousness. With the typical street thug/mugger type I find that shutting up completely and looking them dead in the eye while remaining calm (or even better) completely still will trigger their brain to be more cautious. Nothing will unnerve a potential attacker more than showing dead calm, and if they still rant or make excuses to start a fight, everyone knows that they have given their intentions away.

But the real trick is to spot them before or while they are looking for a victim. Sooo many times when with the family I have recognized a potential threat while they are still at a distance and given them the "I see you, and I know what you are doing" gaze with success.

The next time you are at the mall, pay attention to who is looking at the stores, who is watching girls, and who is scanning everyone. Find someone scanning everyone, stand perfectly still and lock your eyes on them. When they get to you, they will be noticeably startled and likely leave the area. Predators recognize when someone is "on alert" and move on to easier prey.
 

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Sweat more, bleed less!
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I do the mall thing all the time in stores or out in public...its kinda fun but you have to be carful with all thies sue happy people around. everybodys out to get that extra dollar for next to no reason and ofcourse it will be a racial or harasment deal...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Jeffery you are right on the money about preventing violence before it happens. This is a subject that I have studied in great detail. And you plan is right on the money. I would say that this is a topic for another thread, but maybe not. We seemed to have talked this one out, and I guess preventing it from happening would be the next logical step.

Winning the eye game is critical to establishing the pecking order. When I was younger and somebody would look me in the eye(even if I was tougher than them) I would often look away. :rolleyes: My thought was, I don't want to fight anybody, I'm here to gas up my car, or something like that. Bad idea. On the other hand, staring them down and giving them the evil eye, didn't make sense either. :eek:

I determined that it was critical to look them in the eye, and force them to break eye contact first. :cool: This was critical for several reasons;

1. It often established the pecking order and tells them, I'm not scared of you(remember bad guys often interview people to see if they are going to make good victims. The good victims don't make eye contact.)
2. It allowed me to be able to observe their hands for potential weapons.
3. It allowed me to be a better witness if I crime did take place, I could notice their face, clothing.
4. It bounced the ball back in their court. Now I'm playing offense and they have to react to me.

The down side was I didn't want to start anything, for no good reason.

So I came up with an idea! Yes make eye contact. Yes stare at them until they look away. But do it with a smile and a kind word. :D: This really throws them off. If I'm at the store and I notice the guy in front of me in line is staring at me, I look at him, smile and say something like, "How are you?"

If I can't talk, because it is somebody who pulled up next to me in a car and is staring at me, I just look, wave and smile. :)

I have had extremely good success with this tactic. Most of the time, people who were staring at me were possibly establishing a pecking order, but most of them were not even thinking about ACTUALLY fighting me. Most of the time once they realize that, I not somebody they want to mess with, but I'm a really nice guy, they lighten up. I have met and talked to a great number of people and have made friends with most of them.

The best part is, if they truly are dirt bags and start messing with you, you just keep killing them with kindness and say something like, "Hey man, I'm sorry. You must have had a rough day!" The whole time you stare them down. Your mouth is saying, "Have a nice day" but your eyes and body is saying, "Do not mess with me. You are about to make a big mistake."

Simple tactic, make eye contact, stare at them until the look away. The whole time be a nice guy, and if the situation goes down hill, then let it be because of their action and not yours. Do not look away.
 

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I learned the improtance of eye contact at an eirly age its healped alot at the prison, i get challenged everyday and see how they treat the CO's that look away. I seem to get ALOT more respect and the challange often ends in a smile or a joke insteat of more harassment
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I worked in jail for two years, back in my youth. That is where I learned and, frankly, masted the skill. It has severed me very well in life and has come in more handy far more often than years of martial arts training.
 

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I practice what I think of as a 'slide off'. When I pass people in public I make only brief eye contact before moving my gaze along. I (try to) project the idea that I know they are there and you are not important enough for me to concentrate on. I establish the 'pecking order' not by dominating them but by dismissing them.

Many people talk about not making eye contact. I have two problems with this. First, you can look like a space cadet; completely out of it and unaware of everything around you. Second, you can look nervous and skittish which projects the feeling that you are a victim. Either way it marks you as a target.

I maintain my situational awareness but I limit my head movement. I do not want it to look like I am rubbernecking. Again, this makes you look like you are unfamiliar with your surrounding, nervous, or confused. Again, it will make you a target.

I do not work in a prison, have LEO background, nor do I have a habit of walking through Central Park at night so my dirt bag to citizen ratio is rather high. 99.99% of the people I pass on the street are just going about their business. I do not think the same skills are going to work everywhere. The dynamic in a prison is completely different from the dynamic on a relatively safe street.

I would not want to engage some people in conversation with a, "how are you doing". Minor scum, especially panhandlers, are happy to chat you up because they want to sell you their sob story in hopes of scamming some cash. This is their 'job'. Once you get entangled it is hard to disengage without telling them to PFO and that can make things worse with the nut jars or tourists.

I find the 'slide off' works well for me and the scum tends to leave me a lone. I would appreciate your comments. Have I just been lucky? Am I way off base and attracting attention without knowing it?
 

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Dear Black Knight, Jeffrey, and Macumazhan,

There is a place for both looking directly in the eye and for the "slide off" as well. Looking directly in the eye can establish to the potential aggressor that you are aware of his presence. In a controlled custody or kidnapping situation, however, looking in the eye might not be a good idea, since your captor may try and mesmerize you in some way.

If you are ever forced to go through the motions of looking someone in the eye, look at a spot on their forehead or the top of their head instead. I've done it when confronted by ace-hole managers when being confronted over some trifle. They'll never know the difference.
 

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Eyes dialate right before someone throws a blow or kick.

I have done a lot of sword combat over the last 12 years and I have notices that peoples eyes dialate right before they start the shot. It was hard for a while to see thru our armor but after a while you get use to it its a trigger and if you watch there footing you can usally tell where it is gona come from.
Also whenever you see someone walking up to you take notice if they are right or left handed. Remember only 10 percent of people are left handed they are use to fighting right handers if you are not all the angles are comeing from the oposite of what you are use to. Find a couple of left handed sparring partners and learn how to detect lefties. Dont give dirtbags any extra chance.:thumb:
 

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Something else to consider: Those who initiate force on others are at heart cowards, failures, and worthless worms who are afraid to face life alone, which is why they depend on the victimhood of others in the first place.

Thus, you can gauge their propensity to attack by how they react to you not playing the victim. Put your head up, straighten your posture, exhibit awareness of your surroundings, walk steadily and with confidence, and speak the same way. A peaceful, honest person will not be put off by this at all and will respect or even admire you for taking your stance. An inititator of force will either react with sullen hostility or slink away. Watch for such a person to attack when they sense a moment of weakness or unawareness.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I totally agree that there are times when engaging in a conversation would be a tactical mistake. Most of the time I don't think so, but definitely down town somewhere, when nobody else is around but a couple of thugs. Almost all robberies start with some sort of conversation. Usually the bad guys asks for the time, or a hand out. He is really trying to judge what type of victim you are going to be.

In that scenario, ignoring them but giving them the eye would be my first option. But if they engaged in conversation, I would stare them down until they looked away.

Also remember that I'm not always a nice guy with everyone. I just always start out that way. If I thought I was really in danger, and a simple,"No," with a smile didn't suffice, my mode would change quickly, but the eye contact would remain, only the smile would go away.

Good posts. Thanks for the feed back.
 

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I worked as a doorman at a bar. The "Cooler" always talked about the "Gas Face". I still do not understand it. But what I have figured out is people can somehow sense the mindset you have or you can project. You can intimidate someone without saying a word. I have used it on a few occasions. Basically you need to belive that you are the baddest person in the room and in your mind you can f--- up any one that comes your way. It sounds weird but it has worked for me.
 

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... the bad guys asks for the time ...
In his document "The Homeless Threat" (PDF) the author describes how he reads his watch in that situation. Basically, instead of looking down at your watch to read it raise your arm up so it is in front of your face. This way you can keep the person in your field of view plus your arm is in a defensive position if a dirt bag takes a swing at you.
 

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Great info, thnx.

Dont forget the oldest trick in the book.

The dirt bag will say suddenly, "hey, whats that??!" while pointing behind you.
 

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Hm, I just realized that I was giving off aggressive signals. I tend to scan my surroundings too, but for the opposite reason -- to look for potential threats. I try to do it inconspicuously but little things probably give it away. Definitely something to work on.


Some information on eye contact/staring: To let people know you're serious you need to give people the "business gaze." The area to look at is the triangle formed between the two eyes and the forehead. The triangle formed by the eyes and the nose is the area for the "personal gaze" and you won't be taken seriously (you'll look too friendly) if you look there. And the big triangular area formed between the eyes and the neck/upper chest is the "intimate gaze" which goes even beyond friendliness. Also, if your pupils are dilated you'll look friendly/intimate (easy target) so learn to make your pupils shrink at will.

My apologies if this has been said in other threads before.
 
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