Self Defense/carrying yourself


What's the best way to handle stuff like the old what r u looking at line one gets from people also there are a bunch of crazies in.street like in north east where there's subways and public transportation galore people talking to themselves acting erratic panhandling I mean aren't these perceivable threats?

That's a simple question that doesn't have a simple answer. And looking for one makes it even harder to understand what's involved, much less how to handle the problem.

Start with there is no 'best way.' There's only does it work or not work?

People have developed this fucked up standard of 'best' is less about not having to throw someone through a window or getting their ass kicked. Did you have to go hands on with someone? No? Then it's a win.

But this quest for the 'best' is about how they 'feel.' This fantasy 'best' way actually translates into "what can I do so I don't feel scared when dealing with this kind of noise?" It over emphasizes not having uncomfortable feelings instead of not ending up in the hospital or a jail cell.

Then it's all complicated when you start throwing in "And I don't want to feel like a wimp" and/or "Why should I have to do that?" If ANY of these aspects are present in your question, then you've tied an anchor around your neck and are jumping into the deep end of the pool.

The subject is further complicated by what strategy works on one person won't work on another. (In fact, if you pick the wrong strategy it can piss the guy off and something that could have been deescalated will escalate up.)  It's mostly about recognizing the type of situation you're facing. People go off for different specific reasons (including mental illness) but these reasons can be broken down into broad categories. There are responses that work with one category, but will escalate other. The general categories are

Fear is the person is going off because something is scaring him.
The answer to this is to work towards calming them down (while telling them that you're not going to hurt them and what you're doing ["I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to get up and move away. I'm getting up now...")

Frenzy is the guy has lost boundaries. Something has set him off and he's roaring and threatening trying to regain control
The answer is to roar even louder and give him boundaries. Boundaries he must follow if he wants to get what he wants. But then you have to focus on finding a reasonable solution. This only works if you can back it up. Where most people screw it up is they are bluffing when they do this. They're more scared than they are willing to put the guy down. As such this strategy blows up in their face. So don't do it unless you can drop the guy, because other wise it will just escalates shit.

Tantrum is the one that people fear most. It's the guy is looking for an excuse to go off.He'll squirrel around looking for the slightest reason to take offense.
(This is the guy who creates a WTF? feeling and fear feeling in people by his unpredictability. Look for escalation of demands until no matter what you do you're in the wrong --for example, gimme a cigarette! Gimme a Kool! I said a Kool are you dis'ing me?")

The counter to these guys is to stay cool. I'm talking like Arnold Schwarzenegger "Terminator" You don't follow their logic, you just become more and more focused on the original point. (for example, "I don't have a cigarette") Thing about these guys is they are looking for fear. Going deadpan, polite and on task doesn't give them the excuse they're looking for to go off.

Here's the trick about these guys. They can go off, rant, rave, howl and bark all they want... OVER THERE. It's real simple. Make all the noise you want at a distance, you move into attack range and I'll drop you. It's not a threat (in fact you don't say it). It's just in your mind that A) you're not going to fight him and B) he can step anywhere in the world, but for the next few seconds if he steps right there (attack range) you're going to drop him like a prom dress.

This is where we run into the problems that I mentioned earlier. If you think you shouldn't have to have to deal with these kinds of problems. If you want it over NOW! If you lose your cool and start responding with emotion. If you are more concerned about your fear than resolving the problem without it going physical. If you try to roar and threaten. If you want to teach this guy a lesson. If you object to being polite.  If you think you shouldn't have to do something. If you just HAVE to get in that last word to his final dig -- that is where you're going to step on your dick

Calm, polite, reasonable and NOT allowing yourself to be dragged along with his squirrelling to find an excuse.

Criminal, give me or I'll hurt you.

Renegotiate the deal. If you try to take it, it will be... unpleasant.

In all of these situations, LET THE GUY walk away. That is the win. No violence. Not your feelings. Not wanting to show the guy what's what. You both walk away unscathed.

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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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Too numerous to list here. My CV (for my expert witness work in court) is at

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

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