The attack rituals of an assault.
Fighting between men has a precise pattern, and a brawl or street assault, are never really a random event.
Violence almost always manifests itself according to a ritual that repeats itself as such and which since man exists.
Knowing this ritual is an indispensable help to recognize the danger in time and act before it is too late.
Animal documentaries have shown us all about the fighting rituals of tigers, lions, wolves, rhinos, and all sorts of mammal, reptile, insect or bird on the face of the planet.
Yet incredibly, hours are spent studying animals while on what are the patterns made by man in similar cases, when the conflict between such leads to physical confrontation there is very little apart from the fragmentary and largely inaccurate news that the media reports to us.
Surveillance videos and footage of attack rituals
Today, thanks to the spread of mobile phones and surveillance cameras, there is much more material to study, even if it is often bloody and that shows violence that is often incredible for trivial reasons, or for robberies of a few euros, or simple sadism.
If you come to the Expert Fighting Tips Telegram channel you will find several movies as well as a closed group on Facebook where there are hundreds of movies.
It is obvious to everyone the importance of knowing more, because it can make the difference between getting out safely or avoiding getting trapped in such a situation.
The analysis of movies and case studies allows you to build analyses of both action and behavior that allows you to have more precise statistics.
I’m not a certainty but if you want to build reality-based workouts you have to take that into account.
If, for example, you’re arguing animatedly with a guy about a parking issue it would be important to know that you’re five seconds away from being punched in the face but many don’t know it and they go on hyperterritis towards a fight.
The unpreparedness of people in this regard is total and you can see why they get into incredible trouble for trivial issues that could have been avoided.
Needless to say, there is a lack of police presence, to have stricter laws, to demand more security, when ordinary citizens seem completely unwary in the face of danger, to the point of getting into trouble for pure and simple credulity, presumption.
Learn about behaviors in attack rituals
Learning to know and recognize risky behaviors,both yours and your possible attacker, represents the first concrete step towards effective prevention:
You need to know and recognize the signals and behaviors to avoid.
Although incidents of violence sometimes seem to us to be devoid of logic, in reality this is not the case.
Violence is repeated in this way for millennia, according to a well-known and arch-notorious script of which we often refuse to take note, adolyving ourselves in the presumption of living in a “civil society” with a established order that supervises our sleep.
There are not many field studies related to the aggressive rituals of man, but something has been done and if I believe that people should be educated about it.
In particular below you can find some important insights from the work done by Geoff Thompson and Keith Kernspecht each on their own and with their own methodology who analyzed the very slums of their cities in order to tell what happens before and during an assault.
“I have researched the violent behaviour of animals and men. While the others went to the bars to get drunk or go after the women, I, already a high schooler and a police student, sat with a glass of orange juice and a notepad in places where there were often brawls, in order to observe the male behavior of “defense of the territory”. […] In the course of my studies, I have often come across rituals that go back thousands of years and that any street fighter knows unconsciously. These atavistic rituals determine the immutable course of most physical encounters. Knowing them means knowing others yourself.”
KernSpecht’s work describes above all the kind of aggression that comes from meeting certain brewery machos that, it seems to understand, in Germany are quite frequent.
According to KernSpecht, such an aggression (typical bar situation) takes place in four typical ritual phases:
1 – The visual phase in attack rituals
For example you are in a bar and your gaze is fixed on a guy sitting at the table in front.
The look lasts a few tenths of a second too and, as a result, that gets up and asks you the usual question “What are you looking at? Do we know each other? Are you?…”
and you automatically find yourself in the second level of escalation, because you’re surprised and you don’t think of proper words.
2 – The verbal phase (the interview) in attack rituals
If you don’t devise something right away to calm the situation (“Sorry, I mistook you for another…“) the script could go on like this:
“ButI… I wasn’t looking at you…” you realize that you are afraid, your voice becomes thin and stammering. Meanwhile the other approaches menacingly “Str… Or! Are you kieing me? What a… or you had to look at me?…”
Approaching becomes more furious with each word: the veins swell, the chin lowers, the pupils dilate and move left and right.
3 – The phase of thrusts and sockets in attack rituals
“Do you want to beat in a bit of a beating? But I’m going to break your cu. Or!! …”
You can smell his breath, which is now very close, you are paralyzed in the face of this unmotivated outbreak of violence.
The individual in front is crazy, swollen with adrenaline, you almost don’t hear his insults anymore because he started pushing you, you try to say something and back down while that keeps pushing you, still a push that makes you slam against the wall.
You can’t go back, physical confrontation is inevitable.
4 – Final Act in Attack Rituals
Here comes the first slap, then another.
He does not have the courage to raise his arms for fear of making things worse but immediately comes a headbutt in his face, then a knee, a fist.
He collapses to the ground, while the other kicks, before leaving.
The whole scene lasted less than twenty seconds.
Objection in attack rituals
It can be objected that this description seems to refer to a single type of aggressor, that of the staggering who seeks violence for the sole sake of doing so.
Of course, this is not the only type of aggressor possible and perhaps not the most likely.
Assaults take place, in addition to the sheer search for violence, robbery, resentment, political motives, rape, and more.
There are actually many types of attacker (I made a specific post about this) and everyone uses a different ritual before hitting, this is because its purpose is different, sexual violence, robbery, aggression, sadism.
The street robber, the snatcher, adopt a “covered” ritual that involves in the early stages the choice of the propitious place, the identification of the most vulnerable and attractive people and only after it moves on to the next stages, which can foresee as much a verbal “interview” (with the purpose of distracting the victim or intimidating her), as well as a sudden attack without any prior.
Then consider that they do not act alone and if they are alone they are definitely armed with a weapon to use it as a threat.
These criminals do not operate as blatantly as the staggering described by KernSpecht, but act in a sneaky way using deception and exploiting the vulnerability, psychological or environmental, of the victim.
The interview in attack rituals
The verbal phase(interview)of a robber, of a rapist, can be kind in the form, seemingly random in the ways and pretext: “Sorry, you can tell me the time?…”, “You have to turn on?…”
But that’s not the case!!
It is an “exploratory” approach to understand whether the victim is mentally unprepared to react (in the jargon “white code”), or to provoke a drop in attention on the part of the chosen victim in order to have the greatest chance of success.
The phase of thrusts and threats can occur immediately after in a sudden and violent way: “out of money… Right now!” “Give me your wallet or I’m going to kill you!! …”
This sudden outbreak of violence is intended to provoke adrenaline paralysis in the victim:
the surprise, the sudden and brutal perception of danger, almost always causes the inability to react on the part of those who suffer it.
the greater the crime, the more elaborate the deception in which the aggressor draws his victim.
At one point Thompson reports the case of a serial killer, John Cannan, who sent his designated victims (usually women) bouquets of flowers, champagne and dinner invitations, before raping and killing them.
At the other end of the day, however, are the baldness described by KernSpecht, characters unable to elaborate on such refinements, who manifest their charge of violence from the very first moment.
The only thing that unites all types of aggression is the progressive reduction of distance, psychological and physical, by the attacker.
Whatever the method employed, a bombastic and threatening verbal “interview” or a polite and pretentious approach, the villain wants and tries to get close to you without you noticing too much.
The purpose of the so-called verbal phase is to take care of your mind to look for sensible answers to what is being said to you at that time and while you are so busy, it is very easy that you do not notice that the aggressor has come close to you, very close.
At this point defending becomes very difficult, because a sudden attack does not give you time to react.
The four “Ds”
the attacking ritual of a habitual thug follows a fairly recognizable script, in which the ingredients exemplified in the four “Ds” appear:
“Dialogue – Deception – Distraction – Destruction“
(Dialogue, Trick, Distract, Destroy) which imply both the language of the “street” as well as the body language.
A regular beater very often will tell his victim a phrase like “I don’t want to fight…“, so he will attack in a sudden and ferocious way, putting the unfortunate KO in a moment, you understand well he will pretend to make peace.
Again, the focus must be mainly on maintaining distance.
If the other says “I don’t want trouble…” and stays where it is or leaves, the threat is probably not that serious.
But if that says “I don’t want to argue…” or phrases like that and it comes towards you, you have to put yourself on red alert and prepare for the worst.
My advice, run away or attack first immediately!!
In short, reading these lines it is easy for you to get the idea that the modern street attacker is a coward without honor and rules.
In fact, it is, in the sense that you almost never come across an opponent who challenges you to a duel with honor.
If possible, the attacker will hit you in the back or if he is face to face with you, he will try to hit you with deception.
Habitual thugs, such as robbers, rapists and snatchers, are no exception and also adopt a ritual of attack largely based on dissimulation.
Here’s a typical example:
The right place is chosen, an isolated environment or on the contrary a place of strong transit, such as a shopping mall or a street of shops.
Here the environment is explored in search of a victim, that is, one of those people in “white code”, or in a state of physical or environmental disadvantage.
If the place allows, the attack takes place immediately, otherwise the criminal follows his victim (stalking) until the target increases his mental or environmental vulnerability, for example by entering a deserted parking lot or a little-frequented street.
If the victim is followed by a shopping mall to the parking lot, the attacker often waits for the attacker to start putting the groceries in the trunk of the car, or attacks when he tries to enter it.
In fact, it is precisely in one of these moments that even usually attentive people lower their guard.
At this point, once the environmental advantage has been gained and if the aggressor deems it necessary, the so-called “interview” may take place, the sole purpose of which is as always to better assess the victim and divert their attention before the sudden attack.
It is at this stage that a reading of the body language can porteminably portence the imminence of an attack.
Not even the most hardened attackers, in fact, can completely disguise the effects of adrenaline on their body:
- a slight pallor,
- dilated and mobile pupils to counteract the tunnel effect,
- a slight tremor,
They have to warn you that an assault is about to happen.
In some cases, if the villain realizes that the surprise has failed, and the other is on the who goes there, he can also stop his ritual of attack and give up looking for a more vulnerable victim.
After the approach phase is complete, the bandit may decide to attack or merely threaten his victim.
Often the robber merely verbally threatens, emphasizing the threat with a weapon and/or the presence of accomplices.
The villain’s hope is that adrenaline paralyse, which almost always grips the victim, is enough to finish the action.
In these cases, the threat is repeated with greater aggression causing the victim further adrenaline-pumping shock.
In other cases, however, the robber intentionally strikes, sometimes without excessive ferocity, for the sole purpose of further terrorizing, sometimes brutally, in order to stun the victim, in order to “lighten” it with ease.
So in the face of such devious and deceptive behavior, the ability to read the opponent’s body language becomes of paramount importance, to guess the warning signs in an attack ritual.
Let’s summarize here the most important of this scheme:
Dilated and mobile pupils
Even habitual thugs experience before the attack, a certain release of adrenaline in the blood.
This results in a phenomenon known as the ” tunnel effect ” in
visual perception, i.e. loss of peripheral vision.
This effect means that you need to move your eyes left and right in order to sense whether witnesses, policemen, or other “disturbances” will arrive at the scene.
More adrenaline rush events
As I have already told you, these effects are difficult to conceal even by people accustomed to violence.
In the run-up to an attack, it is likely to manifest itself, in addition to the dilation of the pupils, pallor to the face, inexpressive and tense facial mimicry and a slight stiffness in movements, in an attempt to hide the adrenaline tremor of the hands or arms.
The voice can also undergo alterations, and it is likely that just before hitting, the other suddenly mutiny or responds to monosyllables.
Hide your hands
If the attacker carries a weapon, he will try to keep it hidden until the last moment and in this case the hand holding the weapon will be hidden, in his pocket or behind his back.
So if one or both of the other’s hands are not visible be careful.
Some attackers do not hide their hands, but rotate their palm backwards to hide a knife, or, for the same purpose, hold the armed hand close to the thigh to hide the blade.
As you can see, therefore, there is not a single ritual.
Knowing these rituals even in broad strokes is a fundamental element if you want to organize a personal prevention program that has a minimum of effectiveness but knowing the rituals serves especially if you are able to recognize them in the very early stages, so not to be caught by surprise rather anticipate you attacking or running away.
Even if you manage to avoid being placed in situations of environmental disadvantage, you may find yourself caught up in some situation at risk, represented by the visual and verbal phases that we talked about earlier maybe because you discussed your friend or your girlfriend, etc.
In such situations, in most cases it is possible to get out of these situations by promptly adopting de-escalationtechniques, distance management or postural measures that make it clear, in the logic of an assertive message,to a potential attacker, that “it is not the case” to proceed further.
If you fail, and it is likely that this will happen given the very little time available to act, the only alternative to suffering a beating or robbery, could be an immediate and violent reaction, you have to get out your “low” side.
In this case, however, you can not go back and nothing is more certain, the only thing you have to think about is to bring home your skin.
Street Fight Mentality