Use posturing, when the situation has reached an impasse and you think it is going to become physical, to psych out the aggressor using extremely aggressive physical gestures and verbal reprimands. This step may be left out if circumstances demand it, but posturing should be used since it does not involve physical violence. When the aggressor is trying to bridge the gap and take down your guard, shove the person away with your lead hand while simultaneously stepping back to create a big gap. The shove is used to trigger an adrenaline release in your adversary making him or her feel the urge to run away (flight response). Reinforce your shove with a very aggressive verbal lashing, such as "Stay there and do NOT move!" This is a direct order. It does not give an option, whereas "Stay there or else!" give an option that you may not be willing or able to back up. Once you have created the gap, begin aggressively pacing side to side, back and forth without taking your eyes off the aggressor, while reinforcing the movements with verbal reprimands and finger pointing. This tactic very often causes indecision. Your adversary wants to move forward because of peer pressure to fight, but, as his or her body lurches forward, the feet will not move because his or her natural fear instinct is telling him or her to run away. Even if the does not run away, the fact that he feels like doing so will create more confusion and self-doubt. This may be a good time for you to escape. A problem with posturing is that you give up the elements of deception and surprise should you decide to attack or if your adversary is not psyched out by this tactic.
Rituals of violence
Most attacks involve the "rituals of violence," which are the precursors to an attack. If you can identify them, you can stop your adversary's imminent attack with a pre-emptive attack of your own. These rituals are the bodily signs and verbal cues that an aggressor will telegraph preceding an attack. These rituals involve the four D's of entrapment: dialogue, deception, distraction, and destruction. Prior to an attack, your adversary's dialogue will probably be aggressive and used in an effort to deceive and distract you before the attack. Some of the bodily actions are aggressive staring with the eyes bulging, chest expanding, arms splaying, fingers beckoning, head nodding, neck pecking, eyebrows dropping, standing up in a fighting position, and gradually closing the gap. Verbally, the aggressor may start using single syllable words such as "yeah," "and," or "so."