In the first post of this series we talked about our objective; to be able to out think, out talk, and if necessary out fight any opponent(s) we encounter. In this post we’ll begin to discuss MAKE aspect of the Ask, Tell, Make decision tree we discussed in the posts on verbal skills. There are several layers to making someone with malevolent intent choose another victim and we’ll start with a physical position most folks refer to as a Fence. I prefer to use the verbiage; Athletic Protective Posture. I want them think of this position as a proactive position, ready to act. A fence can be many things to many people however, most will tell you a fence is a neutral physical structure that establishes a boundary. That’s okay for some but for me, I like to think of a fence as a physical structure that causes pain when crossed.


Sort of like trying run over a line of guys holding pointy sticks. That’s my kind of fence!!

During an encounter with a potentially violent person, there are a few things we’re going to want to do physically. We want our feet shoulder width apart, slightly bent knees because we don’t know which direction we’re going to have to go. Think of the posture of a NBA point guard on defense or a Safety in the NFL. From the waist down we need to be prepared to absorb or generate force in any direction. From the waist up we want our hands up, arms slightly extended in front of us, palms out. I keep my right arm slightly closer to my body but that’s personal preference. Your hands are the fence line. If the unknown contact physically tries to move your hand, or move around your hand to get closer that is a huge signal that it’s time to make your move. Don’t hesitate. A person with no malevolent intent will respect the verbal and now physical boundaries you’ve established, a person with malevolent intent? Not so much. They ignored your verbal no, and they will probably ignore your physical no. The active physical posture is simply to help you control the distance. There is a rule of thumb in JiuJitsu that the person that controls distance controls the fight. The active physical posture helps you control distance. If they never move past your hands then they probably won’t go physical. If they do attempt to get past your hands, then that’s the trip wire you set on your perimeter and it’s time to respond accordingly.

We’ll talk more about physical responses in the next post. Until then do no harm, but know harm. Be dangerous.