Being able to spot a potential attacker ‘BEFORE’ he attacks is one of those skills that few possess and most would desire. However, we rarely see an article about how to do this. Today we will change all this and give you an actionable guide to spotting people who are going to attack a person.
Why You Need This Knowledge?
Being able to spot a potential trouble maker long before he can cause trouble, can both stop him attacking you or help alert authorities about this person.
1. Develop Visual Awareness
The first key to being able to spot a potential attacker is to develop your visual awareness, and this requires training. First of all, you need to start people watching. Start looking at people as you are out shopping or in groups. Do not stare, but look at how people move and interact with each other. You will start to notice a lot. From the angry man out shopping with his wife and wishing he was watching the football match, to the stressed parents. What you are looking for is normal behaviour. Fill your memory banks with what normal behaviour in public looks like.
2. Go To YouTube
Next up you need to hit the web and look at videos of street assaults. This is not street fights but videos that show a person being attacked by a criminal. This is not pleasant but get your pen out and start breaking things down. Make a list of 10 videos, and right down the following:
a) Attackers Head Direction/ Movement: Where are they looking? Do they look around first?
b) Attackers Clothing: What is he dressed like.
c) Attackers Shoulder position: Are they up or down, does he have his chest pumped out and shoulders back?
d) Stance: How is he standing, is one foot in front of the other? Is he running?
e). Where are his hands? are they up? Are they concealed?
By the end of the exercise, your knowledge of body language will be a lot greater.
3. Watch Some Police Reality TV shows
The next step in your learning curve is to watch TV police shows; these reality shows now feature a lot of action where you get to see people being calm and then violent to the police. You will start to take note of the explosive actions of human beings before they attack an officer or start running away. Repeat the above study list for the YouTube guide.
4. Look For Common Traits
You should by now have a list of things you have spotted in your studies. Perhaps every attacker put his head down before the attack, perhaps 3 pushed their chests out first or maybe 2 had their weapon hand concealed. There are no absolutes. However, you should now start to see some common traits of the attacker. But even if no two attackers do the same you have at this point profiles a lot of attacks and your knowledge levels are a lot higher. I would break things down into a list. For example I would list all the things that happen in the videos, if things are repeated in 2 or more videos I would add a tick, three or more I would add a star. You, therefore, know that the things with stars and ticks are important pre-conflict gestures
5. The Final Part-Apply Your Knowledge In A Test
This is a great drill. Ask your teammate or friend to pick some random attack videos on the web and see if you can in the first 10 seconds spot the attacker (some videos will be short). Watch on to see if you get it. Then stop the video in 5-second intervals and see if you will change your mind. Finally, watch it all and see how your predictions go. Remember there is also awareness of yourself, your frame of mind, what your wearing, fatigue, how you are feeling, illness, injuries, body language, this all can be a factor in how you are being looked at by a potential attacker.
Over the course of time your awareness skills will soon improve.