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Self Defense/How do you push off someone with evil intent heading toward you in attack range WITHOUT getting charged for assault?


Over 6 months ago, you mentioned in my sneak attack question:

"Bit of news, real hard asses DON'T let people they are having a problem with get up into sneak attack range. Because they know that up close, bad shit happens. I call this 'compression' and one of the signs of an experienced player is that when he tells someone to stop before they get up close, they're ready to rock and roll if the dude takes one more step. You DON'T let someone with evil intent close the distance."

I've been following your advice in NoNoneSenseSelfDefense website and reading various laws.

I just learned in my state, you can get CHARGED for assault simply for touching someone (even unintentionally)!

Fuck I even learned you can get charged for "threatening" or "taunting" someone just by going into proper fighting stance when you realize they have aggressive intent and are trying to close in on you because they want to be into "sneak attack range" as you call it and are trying to catch you completely off-guard to the point you won't be able to react in time (EG as they are close enough to stab you with a knife at your kidney) depending on your state. In my state you can be charged for both depending on how you specifically react when you're ready to rock and roll when someone up to no good is closing in and positioning himself.

I already know you'll say the obvious answer is to LEAVE the area before he can close in and try to find a crowd or some authority figure around to report it and stay with them until the attacker is deterred.

But there are really specific circumstances where you truly cannot escape  such as a narrow alley where he completely blocked your way.

YES I already know the BEST solution to avoid such siutations is to FUCKING stay out of such places in the first place!

But I'm  in a what-if monkey mood right now so I'll ask.

How do you deter would be sneak attacker from coming close to you without "assaulting him" or "threatening" or "taunting" him? Just putting on your hand at your sheeted knife or hoistered gun would already be grounds for "threatening" in some state even if you don't pull it at all-hell at least one state I seen a law saying if you put your hand in your pocket just before someone attacks you, you can be charged for escalating a fight simply because the courts assumed you were going to pull a pocket knife out! Even if you were simply going ot pull out your credit card to pull out cash from the ATM when the guy suddenly attacked you and you weren't able to get your a wallet out in time fo rth ecamera to clearly show our nonviolent intent of just getting some cash.

THose people who you mention who are ready to break your face if you get to close are   members of gangs or former convicted criminals so the RoE are WAY different from say a civilian like me without a criminal record who DOES not want to be ass-raped in the prison showers. So "rock and roll stance" cannot apply in my (and most people's) scenariors.

WHat would you recommend ? Its already difficult to prepare on what to do because simply pushing someone away so you can make a quick escape is alreeady shaky grounds for self defense in my state (literally the law BELIEVES you must not have physically TOUCHED the person for it to be self defense beyond a reasonable doubt without hiriing a lawyer!).

I came up with the scenario of hitting someone where cameras won't detect (such as shins) so you can quickly run away but the guy could simply state you hit him and it will be a rough battle in the courts (even if footage shows you had not touch the guy).

Even merely dodging a punch and pinning him to the wall so he can't attack and you could find an avenue of escape is not a guarantee for self defense in my state.

The answer comes in three parts
Communicate and

Yes you can get charged. So what? If you know how to talk things down, you can usually prevent it from getting that far.

If you know how to communicate your willingness to play show and tell with their vital organs, them most of the time they'll break off and go find an easier target. This pretty much has to be done other than threats, blusters or acting tough.. because that sends another message entirely. I can't explain how to do this in writing

Third is you need to know how to talk to the cops so they arrest the other guy. Again, not something that can be written about in such a short medium

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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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