The Complete Fight Guide: Lesson 8 Part 2

Arthor: Manny OG

Continued from Part 1.

Decision point #2 is: What will trigger you to action (fight or flight)? You can define this in a couple ways:
Space: You’re pumping gas at a 24 hour station when a hooded man walks toward you. Just how close will you allow him to get before you take some kind of action?
Surprisingly, under these circumstances, most people will take NO action whatsoever. In this situation, for example, when the suspect is 30 feet away or so you should recognize that this could turn ugly. The heart’s beating a little faster and your intuition is probably telling you that something’s wrong. Listen to these signals.
Now “action” doesn’t have to mean brutally attacking an opponent or running for your life. No.
Any normal person with good intentions would stop. If he doesn’t, you KNOW there’s something wrong. You’ve just gained some critical information and bought some time and space to trigger your next action — attack or escape.  

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Action can mean simply holding up your hand and shouting “Stop right there. You don’t need to come any closer. What do you want?”

Crossing Lines: This does not necessarily refer to a physical line crossing (what will I do when he’s 7 feet away?), but more about what you’d do if (for example) the hooded man didn’t listen to you and simply kept approaching. You need to think about that. What would you do? Now what? This is not a legal decision; it’s a decision to protect yourself. We mean it’s possible this apparent thug doesn’t stop and so you nail him in the knee with a well-placed kick. It turns out the guy’s a homeless deaf-mute who’ll now be living in YOUR home.
Yes, that is possible. Imagine different scenarios and decide what “line-crossing” will automatically “trigger” specific actions from you.
Automatic response — There’s no longer a need to think about it. If a certain “trigger” is tripped you don’t have to ponder long and hard. The decision’s already been made for you.
Like we said, some of your “triggers” may not hold up in court. But by defining your triggers, you also can define what is not your trigger. Someone accidentally bumping into me is not a trigger — for us. And if he then “flips me off” and calls us a “son of a #!*!” and keeps walking, that’s not a trigger for us either. You see, it allows you to make intelligent decisions under stress (and avoid being emotionally hijacked yourself) and never regret those decisions.
The most beautiful thing about a trigger is that it allows you to FULLY engage when the time comes. No hesitation, no second guessing because there is no other decision to make other than “am I willing to hurt this guy?” and “what is my target?”. You’re locked in and ready to rock n roll, especially when the following non-verbal signals kick in;

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A poke in the chest or any violation of your personal space at the initial stages of a confrontation should trigger some kind of immediate response from you.

Body language: These are non-verbal signals. It’s typical for the average guy to ignore these, but learn to become attuned to them. There’s a number of “tells” or non-verbal body language signals that indicate an imminent attack on you.
These are like gifts from your opponents telling you “you’re about a second or two away from me striking.” Some of these we already talked about.
The “Looking Away” – Just before that right haymaker is thrown an opponent will commonly look to one side. It’s a sort of distraction technique.
The “Finger Jab” – Someone poking you in the chest is also a big red flag. It’s a way that your opponent “tests the water” – but instead of testing with a toe, he’s using a finger. He’s building up his confidence and resolve, by violating your personal space. If you stand by and do nothing, it tells him, “the water’s fine… go ahead and attack this guy.”

The “Shove” – Yet another classic example of violating your personal space — except this move is almost always immediately followed by a punch. You should expect very little time between the shove and when you can expect the incoming blow – which of course means you need to act fast in this situation. Decide beforehand what you’ll automatically do in this type of a situation because you’ll most likely have NO time to decide during a confrontation (which is the whole point of creating these “Decision Points”).
The “Target Gaze” — An opponent will naturally look at what he’s about to strike. Watch out for an adversary who changes his gaze to your chin or some other obvious target
The “Chin Drop”: Another “cue” that should prompt you into a decision is seeing your opponent drop his chin. This is a fairly consistent, and subconscious act of protecting the neck … it almost always means trouble.
Getting Hit: The biggest non-verbal cue is being struck. This isn’t a joke, so hear me out. Many novice fighters can get “blind-sided” and are slow to realize what’s going on. They know something’s wrong, they may even suspect they’ve been hit by that angry looking fellow — but somehow they just can’t bring themselves to believe it – until they get hit again. If you suspect you’ve been hit, do NOT stand around trying to figure it out. Take immediate action, whether it’s running away or dropping the guy in front of you.

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