Moderator: Van Canna
There is also "target glance." Cops learned the hard way over the years that if a man casts a furtive glance in a certain direction, he may well be checking his avenues of escape: his quick look has just told the officers where he is likely to run. Is he staring at your chin? In a hostile situation, he's not admiring your Kirk Douglas chin cleft and he hasn't noticed a zit you missed this morning in the mirror. More likely, he's thinking about sucker punching you right "on the button." If his eyes go down to your crotch, he's probably not a gay guy scoping out your package...more likely, he's actively considering opening the fight with a kick to your crotch.
A brief aside to the shooters in the audience. You know how when you see a cop, you immediately look at his holster to see what sort of sidearm he's wearing? Have you noticed that every now and then when you do that, you get a dirty look from the officer, who may step back or otherwise change his physical orientation to you? The reason is, he has been taught about pre-assaultive behavior cues, too, and he has learned to interpret a look at his holster as a "target glance" that may indicate the person is thinking about snatching his service pistol.
Now, let's perform a process of elimination. There is no common danger that threatens those at the scene. You have done nothing to threaten him. Neither has anyone else. He has not been exerting himself. Yet, his blood vessels are pulsing violently and he is breathing heavily. By this process of elimination, we can determine where the fight or flight thing has come from: He has already decided that he is going to fight. (Or, if you are lucky, that he is going to run.)
The adrenal system instantly releases powerful chemicals in a fight or flight state, including epinephrine ("adrenaline"). One side effect of this is tremors, often violent ones, which will usually manifest themselves first in the non-dominant hand, almost immediately thereafter in the dominant hand, and then in the legs, particularly the knees.
If you observe tremors in those locations in a situation that you perceive may turn hostile, go through that process of elimination again. Could the person be simply shivering in the cold? Do you have reason to believe he has Parkinson's disease or some other ailment of which trembling is symptomatic? If not, you know the diagnosis, and you know the first step of treatment—create distance.
Facial expressions and body movements can give you early warning that the person you face has gone into fighting mode. All the way back to Dr. Cannon, certain cues have been recognized as classic.
The person is likely to "quarter," that is, step back with one leg, turning his hips to something approximating a 45-degree angle. In this posture, the body is best balanced to take or deliver impact in any direction. Fighters call it the "boxer's stance." Martial artists call it the "front stance." Shooters call it the "Weaver stance." Cops are taught to stand this way, prepared immediately to react and fight, in an "interview stance."
The hands will typically be up, between hips and face, usually level with some point on the torso. The fingers may be partially closed. (The hands clenched into fists, or opening and closing into fists repeatedly, is a particularly blatant sign that the "fight" side of "fight or flight" has been internally engaged.)
The knees may flex slightly. This is the true "combat crouch." The head is likely to be slightly forward of the shoulders, and the shoulders forward of the hips. Combat trainers call this posture "nose over toes." It's what they teach their students to go into intentionally when they prepare to fight to the finish. When someone does it instinctively, it has given you what we in police work call "a clue"...
Street cops watch for subtle tattoos and other "subculture signals." In the gay community, a handkerchief prominently hanging out of one hip pocket or the other indicates whether you are a "top" or a "bottom."
In some neighborhoods in Los Angeles, wearing red means you're with the Bloods, and wearing blue means you're with the Crips, and innocent people have found themselves dead or horribly injured for unknowingly wearing the wrong color in the wrong place.
A decade ago, I was an expert witness on the defense team for a police officer who was tried for murder after he shot and killed a man who attacked him, beat him, and tried to snatch his gun and slay him with it. A key factor in winning his acquittal was that he was able to articulate that before he was attacked, he recognized his assailant's distinctive gang tattoos and correlated that knowledge with his remembered training, which had taught him that inner-city gang members often trained themselves how to disarm and murder police officers.
Teardrops tattooed on the face mean one to five years per teardrop of hard time served in prison, for example, depending on the given subculture and locale.
The tattoo "AFFA" stands for "Angels Forever, Forever Angels," and marks either a genuine member or a wannabe member of the quintessential outlaw motorcycle club, Hell's Angels.
A patch—whether motorcycle club patch, or police department shoulder patch—worn upside-down on a biker's vest signifies in the outlaw subculture that the wearer has taken it from a legitimate owner he has vanquished in combat. These things are good to know if you end up fighting someone who is "wearing the sign."
Van Canna wrote:Facial expressions and body movements can give you early warning that the person you face has gone into fighting mode. All the way back to Dr. Cannon, certain cues have been recognized as classic.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests