If an ambush predator were to unlawfully grab hold of and restrain you, you’re going to want to have a default aggressive response to that kind of a violent problem. Perfect practice can build in this kind of trained response. While visiting, stopping, and moving about public spaces a strong bearing does have the potential to discourage some unjust criminal aggressors from choosing us as a target. Bearing has to do with how you carry yourself. Merriam-Webster in part states “a man of erect and soldierly bearing” and also; “an examination or determination of one’s position or situation.” In this post I’ll dig down, a little, regarding bearing and default aggressive responses. On my YouTube channel I recently broke down a robbery and violent head stomping with the same title as this post. You can see that video at this link:
First An Important Distinction:
Comporting yourself with a strong bearing comes before a potentially dangerous situation begins to develop. After a potential threat begins to develop if I have distance and time I’m either avoiding and/or I’m moving offline leading my adversary out to a place of disadvantage or vulnerability. Humility involves taking the lowest seat. The exercise of the virtue of humility is humiliation. Where time and distance permit I coach students to move offline with their adversary at roughly a 90° angle towards cover or concealment (some object). If the bad guy pursues then ambiguity decreases and jeopardy increases (think legal battlefield). I teach students how to use a near pass with their desired destination then pivot 90° at the apex point gaining surprise! The surprise that the innocent person of goodwill just secured cover and now they’re an exceedingly small target should this confrontation go to guns. Often posturing down rather than up has the power to lead one’s adversary out to the deep. Seeing early and moving offline early is critical to such a strategy. Where distance and time do not permit there are other tactics and strategies beyond the scope of this post.
Avoiding violent problems begins with good situational awareness. A really good analogy is defensive driving. As drivers gain experience their capability to rapidly read, understand, and act, gets better, as it relates to dealing with other incompetent, distracted, or dangerous drivers. Good defensive drivers read things a lot farther out. Situational awareness works in much the same way.
In law enforcement, bearing was also referred to as officer presence or command presence. This concept began with a squared away uniform. Fitness and strength were considered part of good officer presence. A command voice, readiness, and a resolute will as is proven out through one’s actions. So what might readiness and the body language of readiness look like? The head and eyes are up paying attention. Priority of attention is paid to understanding what it is you’re seeing, and remaining watchful without spinning up a confrontation. Before a threat exists you might use peripheral vision, obscured views through tinted windows, sunglasses, and/or reflections to subtly monitor potential threats. As threats close with or compress in on you and yours, direct focus on the hands becomes a priority. Potential threats are not easily nor quickly rationalized away – they are monitored. Potential unjust aggressors are not given a position of advantage out of some misplaced social norm or courtesy. Shoulders are typically pulled back juxtaposed to slouched or rolled forward. As you stand, walk, and move about an observer might describe what they see as seeing someone who knows where they are; and knows where they’re going, with what might be described as an air of confidence. The bottom line is you do not appear confused or uncertain. Stability and mobility come from stance. In my estimation a good stance is not having your feet exceedingly close together but more like shoulder width and offset to some degree. Overall alignment or orientation demonstrates a correct positioning facing generally towards the biggest potential threat(s) moving around you and yours.
Over the course of my life, I have heard many times from folks who did not serve in a warrior profession comment about how they could just tell a police officer was in law enforcement. The comments often are not meant as a compliment. Additional comments may include the belief that the guy is cocky or arrogant. Both good guys and bad guys often display a similar kind of air of confidence, which in part explains how both good guys and bad guys often recognize each other as they move about society. There are some other tell-tale signs whether we’re seeing a good guy or bad guy though that’s a discussion for another day. There have been times I have found myself wondering: What am I looking at here? Is this a good guy or a bad guy?
So long as you or I are willing to dominate the bad & ugly parts of our ego we can avoid some (not all) potentially violent confrontations. So long as you or I are willing to dominate the bad & ugly parts of our ego we can often stack winning principles putting ourselves in the best possible positions to decisively win a violent confrontation.
When my family is with me I’m only as fast as my slowest members and because my family is with me, it’s not about me and my escape or survival, it’s about their escape and survival. That is the coin of the realm for a husband, father, or mother. That is the coin of the realm for a brother in arms – a protector and defender of innocents. That is the coin of the realm for any sheepdog or shepherd, as it were.
Where an unjust criminal aggressor perceives or reads you as an easy victim the least expected thing will be for you to immediately move into, through, and over your unjust aggressor with surprise, speed, and violence of action. Continuing to attempt to flee when fleeing is not an option gives the bad guy a higher percentage of probability of dominating and perhaps ending your life. A default aggressive response moves that percentage of probability immediately closer to 50/50. Where it’s not possible for me to stack probabilities my way sometimes we have to accept the best odds we may have is 50/50. Part of that reality includes our will – which is the decision making faculty of our souls. Understand unless the unjust aggressor immediately incapacitates us via paralysis, unconsciousness, dying or death we still have some number of seconds to STOP the unjust aggressor. We cannot know with certainty whether the bad guy’s bullet or knife wound will or will not result in our eventual death. We might think we know and perhaps we are right but the immediate decision that must be made is; What do you do with the time you’ve been given? Perhaps it’s only thirty seven more seconds! Perhaps it’s only twelve more seconds. What – do you do – with the time? If you want any chance to live out the rest of your natural life you first must stop – the – threat! Use whatever time you have to win the fight, leaving the business of your life or death up to the good Lord.
To conclude this business isn’t merely about appearing competent, confident, and prepared. Rather it’s about being competent, confident, and prepared. It’s not about posturing up which may facilitate an early grave or a lengthy stay in your local prison. When a threat is undeterred by a strong and confident bearing it’s often a winning strategy to posture down and sandbag buying you the element of surprise. Sandbagging can cause a bad guy to underestimate you and in his own prideful overconfidence begin giving you opportunities to gain advantages in positioning, timing (think initiative), and in the will. Surprise when coupled with speed and violence of action may facilitate achieving and maintaining relative superiority to secure the win. The principles, tactics, and strategies that work do so for both the good and the bad men and women of this world. The critical moral and legal questions then come down to what was the will of each man. In the video example above the will of the unjust aggressor was domination, incapacitation, and robbery. Innocent people have the will to protect and defend against such immoral, unethical, and illegal attacks. Begin by seeking to acquire knowledge relating to fundamental principles of building a solid foundation, then seek to answer the questions; do I have a legitimate potentially violent problem, and if yes, what do I do about that problem?
Think about these things.