“No intelligent man has ever lost a fight to someone who said ‘I’m gonna kick your ass’.” SGT Rory Miller

The threat of violence is a gift. The scumbag doing the threatening is giving us time to react. Sudden violence is a hit in the back of the head or a knife in the gut before we even knew that there was trouble around. The threat of violence is an idiot giving us the gift of time. With this gift we should either be moving or attacking.

If someone says “I’m gonna ______ (fill in the blank) to you”, why wouldn’t you believe it and act on it? Law enforcement and military units would love to have this kind of advance intelligence! When a threat tells you that they are going to punch, kill, beat, kick your ass or anything else believe it and act on it…do not wait to see if they were telling the truth! “Threats of violence” aren’t always verbal. Be on the watch for anything telling you that trouble is coming. Is he reaching behind his back (for a weapon in his belt), reaching for his pocket, taking off his jacket, walking straight at you with his eyes burning a hole through you, picking up a bottle, pool cue or similar? Act quickly and decisively, he gave you the clues that he meant you trouble. Also pay attention to his body language. Are his shoulders rising, neck veins bulging, teeth clenched, hands clenched and or is he shaking? Again, act on this threat of violence.

Think about the “monkey dance” bar fight scenario. It starts with one over testosteroned dude looking at another. Words are passed. They both puff up and chest bump for a bit. Then a punch is thrown and the fight is on. Ego pulled them right along the same path that has been travelled many, many times. The problem is that one is expecting the other to know the rules. Many have died thinking they were in a fight only to have the other believe that they were in combat. When we do this “monkey dance” we don’t know what the other is thinking, if he has weapons, if he has killed before.

I was told about a tragic incident in a club in Florida. For some reason this club decided, on the same night, to have country and western on one side and hip hop on the other. One of the good ol boys was stabbed and killed by one of the hip hoppers. It turns out that the good ol boy was known for bar fights. His fun was going to the club on weekends and getting into a scrap. He started a fight with a guy and believed that everyone knew the rules to a bar fight. It was just two guys having fun and beating on each other a bit. The hip hopper came from a different society. A fight to him was combat and somebody usually got killed….he was gonna make sure it wasn’t him. The man who died believed he was in a bar fight with the usual “monkey dance” rules and his opponent believed he was in a fight to the death. Only one of them could be right.

If these young men used the threat of violence tactically there would be more of them around. As soon as someone is looking at us funny, says something threatening, is heading for us, etc. we should be doing something besides going into a fight. We need to create distance, pick up something to defend ourselves with or attack the attacker before he gets a punch in. This is what keeps us safe. Standing there waiting for a fair fight against someone who we cannot possibly know wants a fair fight is stupid, and can get us killed. If you are in a fair fight, your tactics suck. When it comes to protecting yourself and your family be proactive, not reactive. BE SAFE!

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