The transcript below is from the video “When ALPHA EGO Loses COOL… What TRIGGERS Street Fights?” by Fight SCIENCE.

Fight SCIENCE (ELEVATING YOUR FIGHT IQ: Videos blending Martial Arts, Crime Science, and Psychology):

Guy KNOCKED DOWN because he made simple but AVOIDABLE MISTAKES!!! This week’s ‘how to Fight Breakdown’ looks at READING and UNDERSTANDING what TRIGGERS street fights. Psychology in action, applied to self defence. We discuss the problem of being corned in confined space by a Bad Guy. We teach some simple self defence techniques learnt from this case study. Especially in a confined space.

Fight SCIENCE (ELEVATING YOUR FIGHT IQ: Videos blending Martial Arts, Crime Science, and Psychology):

Alpha Ego loses control. But why? Keep watching and I’ll explain exactly the signs of attack and why this happened. There’s often two aspects to violent encounters you need to know. The first one, are the drivers of the action, the drivers of the violence. And the second is the triggers to the violence. So, we’re gonna look at both of these and explain this simple act in terms of triggers and drivers. But I’m going to ask you a question. I want you to leave the answer in the comments. Do you think the red shirt guy would’ve reacted the same way when his wife wasn’t present? Let me know in the comments below. But make sure you sit to the end of the video. We’ll give you a solution what to do and how to defend yourself.

Fight SCIENCE (ELEVATING YOUR FIGHT IQ: Videos blending Martial Arts, Crime Science, and Psychology):

The first thing that sprung to mind was that this was a classic social situation. A supermarket. So, my initial thought that this was an ego battle, a dominance dance. But here’s the question. What triggered the attack? What initially stood out to me was a touch on the back. The trigger, if you like. But then when I looked into it a little bit further, I realized that wasn’t actually the trigger for the attack. It was something that was harder to see. Have a look and see if you can see it yourself.

Fight SCIENCE (ELEVATING YOUR FIGHT IQ: Videos blending Martial Arts, Crime Science, and Psychology):

Pushing the guy in the white shirt to one side is an indication of dominance. It’s an act of dominance. He’s essentially been dismissive of the other guy. Perhaps, he even sees him as a low status male. So, when he returns the gesture, he attacks without hesitation. And that’s the point to note. He doesn’t hesitate, or does he? It wasn’t just physical contact that triggered the attack. It was actually eye contact. The reason why I used the word Alpha is I think this attack was inevitable. The bad guy had the posture of dominance. You could clearly see; he exudes physical presence around him. Even to the extent after he attacks his victim, he stands over, stands away, looks back, and then takes his wife by the arm and walks her away. To me, this is a classic challenge of ego status. The touch on the back was a challenge. A challenge to his ego status. Eye contact was a trigger for the attack.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

Head-butts are a consequence of being close.

Fight SCIENCE (ELEVATING YOUR FIGHT IQ: Videos blending Martial Arts, Crime Science, and Psychology):

In this case, the environment facilitated the attack. It was the nature of the situation, the space closure. The head-butt was inevitable because of the initial eye contact. It’s an easy, accessible weapon when attacker have their hands down. Think about it. Your hands are down; it disarms the other person and you’re relatively close. It was a quick sudden attack. But hard to see. Now, I know everybody in YouTube says, ‘Get your hands up.’ But I always say, sometimes it’s not as easy as you think. And this is a classic example of the inability to get your hands up, especially in a surprise attack. So, what could the victim do better? Well, first drop your head. Keep your chin down.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

To defend the head-butt, the best way to deal with it is to put your own down. I know it sounds counterintuitive but if you put your head down, when the guy goes to headbutt you, okay, he headbutts the top of your head. I remember once, someone wants to head-butt me and the guy lifted his head up, which obviously if I was quick enough, bam! I could’ve probably caught him, but I didn’t because I was dumb. Right? Young and stupid. But he head-butted me, I put my head down because I saw it quick enough to put my head down. And as I put my head down, he head-butts at the top of my head which actually caught the low part of his face and when I looked up, he was just quite dazed because, you know, he was coming around like this, because obviously he head-butted the top of my skull. So, my first piece of advice always, is when someone goes to head-butt you is to drop your own head. Just keep your head down and frame straight away.

Fight SCIENCE (ELEVATING YOUR FIGHT IQ: Videos blending Martial Arts, Crime Science, and Psychology):

Secondly, get your hands up. Although the victim was unable to do that because of the space closure and sudden attack.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

Obviously, always having your hands up is a classic idea because with my hands up, really, if you’re trying to head-butt me, boom! I’ve got a frame. Okay, can you see that. So, if you keep coming around, you can see, basically, that I’ve got the frame and the frame is what’s really keeping them off me. So, from this position over the shoulder maybe, as he’s coming in, bang! You okay? Sorry.

Student:

It’s alright.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

It’s just my throat, my forearm, went straight into his throat. Now, most of the common follow-up thoughts would be, ‘Yeah, but what if the guy’s grabbing your clothes and he’s head-butting you?’ Well, again we’ve done videos on this. Check out some of our earlier videos where we talk about jamming the arms. Don’t touch the threads or I’m gonna kill you.

Student:

No problem.

Dr Mark Phillips (Criminal Psychologist, High Risk Security Consultant, Martial Arts and Defensive Skills Instructor):

Are you sure? So generally, we spoke about jamming the arms and framing to stop the guy from getting his hands out because that’s my best weapon. I bend my knees, I turn my hips, because obviously, in this situation, the guys want to knee me, attack my groin. So, I want to frame, keep my head down to keep it nice and safe. Generally, I guess the point of what I’m trying to say is head-butts are easy to defend, providing you contain your space, you keep your hands up, you frame with your elbows and your forearms, and at the end of the day, you at least keep your head down, they’ll find it really difficult to head-butt you.

Fight SCIENCE (ELEVATING YOUR FIGHT IQ: Videos blending Martial Arts, Crime Science, and Psychology):

So, what’s the take away? Being aware of the distance, triggers for attacks, can come in any shape or form. But one major for attack is eye contact. Sometimes, the slightest look can be taken the wrong way. The driver to this violent encounter was ego and alpha status. And this is something you should look out for when you’re a self-defender. Hopefully, this has been some use. Thanks for watching. And let me know in the comments below if you think the bad guy would have acted the same if his wife wasn’t there. Thanks for watching.




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