It’s a hard truth for many of us to face, but the reality is that we live in a world that has its share of predators. Humans – the apex predators on the planet – vary drastically when it comes to their personalities and morality.
While you might never intentionally cause harm to others, there are many people who do not share your values. Some predators are normal people who have had their circumstances in life lead them into a predatory lifestyle, while others lean towards criminality mainly because they enjoy victimizing others and have no desire to live an honest life.
Understanding The Mindset Of An Attacker
One thing all predators have in common is their preference to pick on the easiest victim they can find. That’s why old ladies are more likely to have their bags snatched out of their hands in a busy street, compared to huge guys with lots of muscle definition. The former will likely be at the mercy of good Samaritans in the area to help fight off the attacker, while the latter might very well hand the bag snatcher a well-deserved smackdown.
The best way to avoid getting into a physical altercation is by not giving out vibes that indicate you would be an easy mark. Don’t walk around with your head down and speak with confidence when strangers approach you.
It’s actually a quite common practice for would-be muggers to “interview” their potential victims before making a move. This is done to get a better assessment of how you would react if the confrontation turns physical.
Let’s take a look at the types of people who might try to goad you into a physical confrontation or attack you:
1) The Tough Guy/Girl
This is typically an untrained person who is predisposed to violence. People with these types of personalities tend to have huge egos as well. The cause of the confrontation is typically something trivial. It can be as silly as someone getting mad at you because he/she saw you having a conversation with his/her significant other. These types of people are motivated by basic emotions like envy, jealousy, and hatred.
Regardless of the reason for the confrontation, the reality is such a confrontation can quickly turn physical if you do not properly deescalate it.
Take a deep breath and try to figure out why this person is challenging you in the first place. While it might be tempting to show off your martial arts skills against an untrained person, the reality is there are absolutely no winners in a street fight. You might find yourself getting banned from one of your favorite establishments when you allow yourself to get drawn into a confrontation, or, even worse, you might end up in a jail cell.
It’s often best to be the bigger person in this situation and look for ways to end the confrontation without violence. That includes leaving the area or even running away. Don’t worry about what others think about you; anyone who successfully avoids violence is a winner.
2) The Criminal
The criminal is typically an opportunist. This person isn’t looking to prove how tough he/she is or anything else along those lines. The criminal simply wants to score big and get back to doing whatever the person supports with his/her criminality.
Criminals will often stalk their victims, studying the person’s habits. Criminals will also attack fixed targets like a person waiting at the bus stop.
Criminals are a lot more cautious than most people realize. An “interview” is often conducted to verify the would-be victim is indeed an easy target. This can be something as simple as asking you for a cigarette or asking for the time. The goal is to distract you so that you aren’t in a position to repel an attack.
The best way to avoid an attacker whose intention is to rob you is by closing the window of opportunity for an attack. Mix up your daily routine, try to avoid loitering around places with little pedestrian traffic at night, carry something that could potentially be used as a weapon in your hand, or cross the street if you see someone that makes you feel unsafe approaching.
Speak confidently when a stranger approaches you, and don’t be afraid to say no to any requests made. If the criminal senses the threat of resistance coming from you, he/she is likely to go look for an easier target.
Winning A Street Fight
As we mentioned earlier, the only time you should ever engage an attacker on the street is when all attempts at de-escalation have failed, and there’s no viable way for you to escape. It’s very important that you pay attention to your surroundings when you sense a physical confrontation is inevitable. Where are the best escape routes? Are people around you more likely to help you or the attacker? Does the person have any obvious weaknesses you can exploit? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself. Your attacker’s physical attributes and the environment you find yourself in should also be considered. For example, you probably don’t want to end up on the ground if you find yourself on a rough surface like asphalt.
Let’s take a look at a few different scenarios you might find yourself in:
1) A Taller Attacker
Tall untrained fighters tend to look for ways to dominate their opponents via slapping, pushing, or pinning. These types of people are more likely to throw straight punches like jabs and crosses. A tall person is also more likely to utilize kicks.
The best way to neutralize such a person is by getting past the range and using your tools. If you have grappling experience, consider taking the person down.
2) A Shorter Attacker
Short people can sometimes be more vicious in fights. Many blame the “Napoleon complex” for this. A person that attacks with anger is more likely to use dirty tactics since he/she already feels like he/she is in a disadvantageous position. It’s best to use your range with this person, lots of lateral movement, and unload powerful attacks like knees and elbows if this person gets close to you.
3) Group Attacks
There’s no sure strategy to deal with multiple opponents. It’s best to unload your most powerful attacks on whoever comes inside your range first and look for an exit as soon as possible.
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