View Full Version : Pre-incident indicators of violent, civilian events
I would like to discuss pre-incident indicators of violent, civilian events in order to identify factors that differentiate potentially violent events that are unlikely to escalate to severe levels from events that quickly evolve into critical, life or death encounters. Experience and familiarity with violence play a huge role in correctly differentiating these two scenarios and early recognition of a life or death situation will greatly increase one's probability of survival. The problem is that civilians, unlike LEOs or deployed military, do not get much exposure to violence and are therefore prone to over or under react to potential dangers.
I've read Gavin De Becker's book, "Gift of Fear," and he does a good job addressing this topic, but your background is different from his and I'm sure we would all benefit from hearing your thoughts on obvious red flags that would get your attention during a potentially violent situation.
Thank you for contributing to this forum and for everything you've done throughout your years of service to Australia and the USA.
Thanks for the question.
This is a really interesting subject and one that gets little attention from most interested in developing their tactical skills. I see most people focus on the kinetic aspect of training far more than the mental side. Yet it is the metal side of conflict for most civilians that represents highest amount of relevance for most encounters with violence.
How to identify a potentially violent encounter, how to avoid a potentially violent encounter, and how to be victorious should you become engaged in a violent encounter.
There is far too much to discuss here on this thread regarding this topic as there has been many thesis' written from anthropologists to those that study hoplology.
As a recent student of hoplology and combative behavior, I now have a better understanding of human combative behavior and its origin.
Your topic really refers to the two types of Combative Behavior,
Affective Agression and,
During our combative training we talk about the predatory mindset and its effectiveness in the wild with super predators such as big cats like the Lion. There are other animals that display predatory behavior but it is displayed in a defensive role rather than an offensive one.
This is consistent with human predatory behavior, and its evolution through time. The major difference is the unprecedented access to weapons and combat systems to aid us.
For civilians that do not train this side of combative behavior and do not possess the predatory skills of some, they revert to the affective aggression often displayed by prey in the wild as a defensive measure.
Most low level violent acts encountered on the in the street are performed by low level predators that display more of the affective aggression.
They display the following characteristics:
Adoption of defensive or threatening postures,
Making threatening sounds
Angry attack that wounds not kills
Fluctuations in readiness
Often restricted to intimidation
Substantially influenced by hormones.
This is a description of your standard street thug.
Characteristics of Predatory Aggression are:
Absence of threatening sounds
Nape of the neck attack to kill
No variation in reaction
Always directed to success (the kill)
Very slightly influenced by hormones.
This could be a hardened criminal with very specific needs or could be one of us on the good side that can recognize the need to display predatory aggression to resolve a situation. Being able to differentiate these two types of aggression is key to understanding the potential for violence and the type of predator you are dealing with.
For most of us that display predatory behavior, we rarely see or are influenced by other predators as we can see them before they see us. This is important for activities in social situations. Those that do not display these behaviors become victim to violent crimes as they are the prey of the predators.
Minset plays a large part of this and when asked to perform combatives, one must have not only have a warriors mindset and skill, but the conviction to kill when necessary and presence to maintain forward momentum, dominate the throat and control the head in order to break the will of his adversary.
I am by no means an expert in hoplology and I am sure that there are many others out there with a better understanding than I. Nevertheless, I hope that I was able to be of service and provide you with an insightful answer to this interesting topic.
Thank you for the in depth reply. What book, articles or other publications would you suggest for someone who wanted to learn more about hoplology and combative behavior?
The International Hoplology Society (IHS) is a good place to start. Our combatives SME came over to the U.S to study under Hunter B Armstrong who has worked with the USMC and U.S Army to recreate and develop Modern Combatives. Hunter also worked with our CQF SME to bring a new dimension to the program.
As it is today, our SOF Combatives program is light years ahead of anything else out there.
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