Recently I ran a contest in which I posted a picture of a confrontation between two men. I asked for people's thoughts on the positives and negatives of both parties in the image in regards to self defense. Meaning I wanted people to offer what each person was doing well or poorly if it was analyzed from a self defense perspective. I was not even looking at it from the angle of who is the good or bad buy, just evaluate the body language from a still shot. We had some great responses and the prize was a free Rich'N Roberts video from our SAFE International shop.
I thought I might offer some of my thoughts on the picture as well. Remember this picture is just a moment in time and in reality would be changing constantly, but I think a picture can still offer a greater insight into the overall analysis. Okay, so check out the pic for yourself and then I will offer my thoughts.
So here is what I see as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.....
1) The guy on the left appears to be the aggressor (but maybe not as I mention later), but not the smartest aggressor lol. He has his left hand tied up grabbing the other guy's shirt which we teach is not always a smart strategy. Sure it anchors you making any strikes you throw more effective, but also ties up one of your tools in their clothing which allows the other person to possibly trap it through tactile senstivity. And by tying up his hand in the clothing the likelihood of it being a primary or even secondary threat is most often removed. Sure, it may have some judo or jiu jitsu applications, and anything is possible, but most often, not be the best strategy for the guy's left hand.
2) Secondly, he has made it quite obvious what is primary tool of violence will be. In this case the right hand is already cocked and ready to punch which again is a huge telegraph of intent. Now in real violence, your adrenaline is always increased and very hard to eliminate all telegraph, but one should do their best in training to show as little telegraph as possible so when it may come time in real life, the telegraph is minimal. Also, he may be telegraphing because he has never faced many real conflicts so his primal response just comes out with no thought of strategy OR he is so over-confident in who he has chosen as his potential victim that he feels no need to be strategic and will just impose his will without any thought the person he has attacked will react effectively. Not many aggressors choose to attack people they feel they can "beat them".
3) BUT if you look at the guy on the right his face also indicates he may be over-confident so it is a toss up who the original aggressor may have been. Neither guy appears to be very bright lol. You may also think by the look on the guy's face on the right that he may have said something like, "You don't have the balls to stand up to me", or "Come on, bring it on!" Or something to that effect.
4) Now another area of concern for the guy on the left would be if there were any bystanders or witnesses who may be taking video of the incident because the guy on the left looks like the aggressor and if anyone was outside of range to hear the conversation, it appears as if the guy on the right is most likely the victim if one was explaining to the police or judge as to what they saw. In this day of social media and video of fights or attacks, you can and should assume you are being videotaped.
5) The guy on the right has both his hands down at his side which is a great way to ensure you get struck. The hand is truly quicker than they eye and if the guy on the left decides to throw, even an average speed punch, the guy on the right would have a very slim to no chance of blocking it because the man on the left is both closer to the guy's face with his fist than they guy with his hands down at his side. His ability to react effectively to a punch at this close proximity is very limited which is another reason we teach to always keep your hands up.
6) It appears that they guy on the right is antagonizing the guy on the left daring him to throw the first shot which maybe he is doing in an effort to get hit, then sue the guy on the left for a lot of money lolol! But seriously there does appear to be that dare.
7) Now, I don't think he is trying to be strategic, but the guy on the right is in a good, not optimal position to trap the hand on his clothes and maybe deliver a simulaneous ear or head slap with his left hand, but I am not confident that's his intent.
8) Neither guy appears to have really tried to verbally de-escalate the situation. With body language being the majority of communication, you can see that both got caught up in a battle of ego.
9) Not sure if the guy on the right would have a clue, but having his back to the exit has advantages for escape, but having already got himself into the physical aspects of the conflict, he would need to deal with the person in front of him first, but at least he has less of a barrier. Now if he was to turn his back without dealing with the threat he would expose his back to the other guy which would put him at a great disadvantage. But again, I think neither guy is truly aware of their environment.
10) In the end I would say neither guy is really very strategic and like many fights, whoever throws the first strike is likely going to "win" for lack of a better word cause there is really no winning in violence, only survival.
As always, please send your thoughts, comments, agreements, or disagreements with the post.