Signs of imminent aggression.
The signs of an imminent attack of violence cannot be avoided but only concealed and tried to hide.
That’s why being able to detect threats before they happen is critical, especially in certain contexts or during a serious social event, an environmental disaster, or simply an increase in certain types of crimes in your neighborhood.
Several times on the blog we talked about prevention and analysis of context, which are fundamental concepts when it comes to personal defense.
Whether you are defending yourself and your family after an environmental disaster or just trying to feel safe by going to the gas station at night, on the subway, in a parking lot, etc. you need to be able to identify people with hostile intentions.
While sometimes your brain may be tricked into judging someone as a harmless threat (i.e. an unconvincing-looking person, in a corner of the street or under the porches, or someone who has its own sinister-looking features), typically those mass-line judgments with a minimum of attention and knowledge are more or less correct.
The subconscious part of the human brain is very good at recognizing threats,and has been honed for millennia to survive.
Knowing more about those abilities to recognize a potential hazard in advance will help you move in complicated situations in an insidious and dangerous world.
This knowledge will make you move avoiding the dangers and predicting them allowing you to anticipate your actions and consequently adopting all the strategies necessary to keep you safe or prediport to actively react to a possible attack, avoiding being caught by surprise.
Here are 9 signs of an imminent and threatening aggression that you need to look for and recognize:
1. Eye Contact
Eye contact is one of the biggest indicators of someone’s intentions.
Unless they are very shy, peaceful people will make normal eye contact.
They will look you in the eye, but not too intensely, and will freely look at an object to which you point during a discussion.
Someone who wants to hurt you could look at you in two ways, and they’re going to feel very different from normal eye contact.
- The first red flag in eye contact that you should notice is if someone seems to look through you instead of on you, as if they were staring at an object in the distance.
This indicates that the person is going to make a move, both in combat and going away but to be sure you always have to assume that the person is going to attack you and fight.
A lack of response often accompanies this eye contact as the person focuses on his next move rather than holding a conversation.
- The second red flag in eye contact that you should notice is if someone seems to stare at you intently.
This can be an act of aggression or posture, showing a challenge to fight.
Anyone who stares at you intensely without ever interrupting eye contact should be treated as a threat.
They have turned off their peripheral senses and are completely focused on you, which is not a good sign.
Also, be aware of someone who breaks eye contact with quick, whizzing glances.
This is usually a sign that this person is looking for an escape route (and again, assumes that he or she will fight before running away) or looking with quick glances at a part of your body to hit.
This is also an indication of nervousness, and if something aggravates that person’s stress level, he or she could snap to attack you.
2. The location
Observing how people position themselves with respect to you and behave is also an easy sign of their intentions.
In the typical, non-threatening conversation, most people are facing each other, with their feet and even their shoulders.
This is a neutral position.
Someone who is ready to attack you will typically have his feet adjusted in an aggressive position, with one foot back and the other foot forward, typically at a 45-degree angle.
This position positions the strong side of an attacker to prepare for a shot or quick attack.
This is called front position, strong position, boxer position or boxing stance.
Also, keep in mind that an attacker often moves the body part back by hiding a weapon.
The arms and hands of a person are and may be another clear indication of their threat or not.
A relaxed person tends to have their arms along their hips, and assuming that it’s one of those people always connected online might have one or both hands clutching a smartphone, so get busy but don’t always trust that.
Tense or nervous people, on the other hand, can have their arms crossed or pushed in their pockets, even when walking.
- open hands tend to send a peaceful signal,
- while clenched (or locked and un stuck) hands tend to telegraph violent intentions.
Someone who intends to harm with a weapon or object can also hide a weapon in his hands, hiding it from your sight unnaturally and this can be easily detected.
If someone is hiding their hands or their hand is closed unnaturally, you must act immediately because they are attack signals.
4. The mouth
The mouth of a person but in general any expression of the face often not to say always moves to reflect the feelings of that person.
It is part of non-verbal language and usually happens unconsciously, unknowingly, but it can be a huge advantage for anyone paying attention.
When people get angry and start to lose control of their emotions, this is usually reflected in a growl or a clenched jawline.
You can spot this warning sign a mile away and prepare to act to attempt a de-escalation of the situation, or fight or run away.
5. Dilated pupils
Skilled manipulators and people accustomed to being violent can sometimes get to the point where they do not telegraph their emotions and intentions on their faces, but even the best attackers cannot hide involuntary muscle movements such as pupil dilation.
When someone is in a stimulating, adrenaline-pumping, stressful situation, the sympathetic nervous system of their body reacts by dilating pupils to receive as much information as possible.
If someone’s pupils are dilated in broad daylight, this could be an indication that they are about to get in on the action.
However, consider that pupil dilation is an obvious symptom of drug use, and while it may not be fair to assume that all drug users are about to cause you harm, it may shed light on your situation.
However you are faced with a subject who has taken stimulants and therefore is not someone you can trust and you have to act.
Another indication that most attackers will not be able to mask is their heartbeat.
In anticipation of some sort of combat or escape response to make a snatch/theft, most people’s heart rate will increase rapidly, and this accelerated heartbeat can often be seen on someone’s neck and temples.
It is also a key sign of someone’s anger that quickly becomes uncontrollable so much attention to these attack signals.
The body produces sweat when it overheats, but also ignites sweating in situations of high pressure and high stress.
Someone who seems unnaturally sweaty because it’s not hot, etc. can be nervous about some sort of clash/action that’s going to happen.
The position of someone’s shoulders goes hand in hand with their position.
A person who is going to attack or run typically has the upper body suspended forward, balancing on the toes, while a relaxed person may have the weight shifted back on the heels.
In addition to an accelerated heartbeat and being sweaty, heavy breathing or rapid breathing is a clear sign that not all is well in the vicinity.
On the contrary, people often hold their breath in tense situations, as a kind of freediving.
Anything out of the ordinary in breathing should be considered potentially hostile and therefore falls within the signals of attack.
Now, before you go out and start checking all for the signals they’re about to attack, keep in mind that if someone is really a threat, you’ll probably see many of the signs on this list together, not just one or two.
This makes acknowledging an imminent attack “easier.”
Sometimes, in everyday life if you look at people you will see some of these gestures as if someone:
- constantly avoid your eyes, maybe it is just anxious in social contexts.
- he repeatedly clenches his fists and jaw, maybe he’s just having a bad day.
- is breathing heavily and sweating, maybe they are simply out of shape and walking in public and crowded places shakes it.
- et cetera.
The point is that almost anyone can be seen as a threat if you only look for a sign of body language.
Try getting on a bus and watching people find many of these signals and they’re usually not a threat, which is different is the combination of these signals
If someone is really a threat, you’ll probably see three or more signals that are going to attack.
So when you see a sign, start looking for others.
Ps. Now do not become paranoid but simply attentive and used to “reading and recognizing”.
Stay Tuned! Self Defence is not a game!
Street Fight Mentality