Self Defense/Leadership


This is mostly a personal question but I am curious. Among your peers were you often the leader of the gang back when you were in the street life? Also how much of a cardinal personality do you personal consider yourself.

This link has the definition of cardinal.!zodiac-sign-profiles-/czko

"Cardinal signs have energy, drive and charisma and will often be found in leadership positions whether leaders in their field i.e. science and business or in public service and politics.  Cardinal energy can be the driving force for political and social change and progress in all areas of life.  Cardinals are not content sitting still or with the status quo.  They will always be on the lookout for a new project and are not afraid to push the boundaries out and set themselves challenges.  Their initiations can leave others working out how to actually achieve the goals, but their initiation skills are vital in the world.  Cardinal signs need to be careful not to be too self-orientated."

Do you fit the definition in your opinion?

The reason I ask is because so much of your writings often involve dynamics about leadership skills. Even in your books strictly focusing on techniques and strategems in violence, you mention how a charismatic thug can completely alter the situation to the point you have to shift your gears to handle the crises. I recall you even specifically stated tat in multiple opponents, you may kick the ass of three men but should a charismatic "sergeant" of the group arrive in the scene, the three hooligans you just beat up not only may suddenly change from fleeing to attacking you but (depending on how much they look up to the leader) they may even be so fanatical about taking you down they'd actually let themselves die in the process as you shoot at them while they rush at you.

Not exactly what you wrote but thats how I remembered what the book stated (sadly I can't remember which book its from). So I am curious if you were a sort of "head" of a group during the street life years. I mean someone at a martial arts forum even bashed a poster for being an :"acolyte of the Church of Marc MacYoung" because he kept referencing you.

Now related to self defense. Why is leadership dynamics so neglected in the self defense world? Even those programs that focus on de-escalation often overlook the role one charismatic individual can do to completely change the violence into a whole new situation. You're the first leader to emphasize leadership and its role in relation to violence.

On a plus question, what books do you recommend about leadership that can help specifically for self-defense and violence?

Thank you.

Contrary to what one might think, leadership is very much an issue of age, experience, resources and looking out for folks.

I was usually surrounded by older people who'd earned their positions through those attributes. So I spent a lot of time listening to them, modeling my behavior off their successes. In time, I moved up the ladder. I didn't become a leader because I wanted to, I became a leader because I paid attention to what the leaders did, why it worked and modeled my behavior on them

I knew a lot of people who tried to be leaders before their time. Usually they ended up flaming out because they lacked what is called Kentucky Windage (the ability to assess a situation from experience and come up with the solution.)Charisma without Kentucky Windage or having the interest of the group at heart, leads to bad places.

As for leadership specific to violence, that's too vague of a question  

Self Defense

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

See CV

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.

Awards and Honors
See CV

Past/Present Clients
See CV

©2017 All rights reserved.