For every 1,000 people, 3 offences of aggravated assault are reported in the United States. In the UK, there were nearly 2.2 million incidents of assault and robbery in year 2006. While there are indications of assault cases dropping every year, being physically attacked is very real and can happen to anyone.
The worst thing about assault is that the victim is seriously disadvantaged. The odds of you walking away unharmed is very low when there are more than 1 perpetrators of assault. Therefore, it is important to learn how to safeguard yourself and loved ones from an assaultive situation.
To learn about how the dynamics of violence in the real world is like, read the book “Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence” by Sgt Rory Miller. Sgt Rory Miller is a veteran correction officer who experienced jail fights and tactical operations.
Staying true to the ninja way of awareness, we shall learn to detect the warning signs of an impending assault. These warning signs are the behaviour, body language and physiological responses of the would-be attacker.
Adrenaline is pumped throughout the would-be attacker’s body before he attacks. Adrenaline is a hormone that is released during a fight or flight situation and it causes noticeable effects on the body. If you train your mind to detect these effects, you should be able to ‘predict’ and avoid a possible assaultive situation.
You know that adrenaline is coursing through your potential attacker’s body when he:
- blinks more frequently
- breathes faster
- sweats in the face
- changes pallor in the face from normal to red
- changes pallor in the face from red to pale (dangerous indicator)
- pulsates in the facial arteries noticeably
When you detect the signs above in an angry person, it indicates that he is becoming very agitated. Be especially careful when his facial colour shifts from reddish pink to pale. This is a nearly definite sign that he is now experiencing uncontrollable rage.
Other than the above signs, the following are body language behaviour associated with aggression. At this point, brace yourself to fight, flee or attempt to calm the situation.
The person is seen:
- Clenching his jaw muscles
- Clenching his fists
- Widening his eyes so much that you can see the whites of his eyes
- Becoming unusually silent after an episode of rage
It is wise to know that fear and aggression are related. We fight or flee when we are afraid. When a person chooses fighting over fleeing, he feels that he has no choice in the matter. That is why it can be a dangerous situation.
For details on interpreting the attacker’s body signs, please read part 2.