Self Defense/"Hard Targets?"


Hello Marc.

1.  In the context of self defense, from your experiences, how would you personally define a "hard target?"  

2.  How do you become/carry yourself in a way which communicates that you are a hard target?

Thank you.

A hard target is basically anyone who has their act together enough that the potential risk to an attacker is too high. It's not a guaranteed loss, but it's certainly not a guaranteed win.

As such, unless you make it personal to the dude, he'll find a softer target.

The problem is too many people who are trying to 'act tough' to scare someone away break those fundamental rules. When you do that, even if you're a hard target, the guy is going to have to move on you.

The second question is one I get a lot from people looking to fake it. The answer is you can't. You actually have to be someone who knows what's going on and will react accordingly.

Th reason is the signals that a predator recognizes as danger aren't what you think they are.  They're mostly about not getting freaked out and stressed worrying that you don't have the resources to handle the problem. Unless you have the resources, it's really hard to present the correct signals.

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

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