Prescribed Responses

The next stage on a physical level is to inflict intentional damage – to attack. The degree of assault can vary quite dramatically. Ranging from a mere slap to attempted or actual murder. In the preliminary phase of the attack spectrum, a desired effect is sought after. This may vary, depending upon the situation and circumstances, but all actions are with one aim in mind – to succeed/survive. By using knowledge, a ‘prescribed response’ ideology can be employed to bring about a fast resolve to an altercation.

It must be understood that the verbal section will already have been conducted, or still ‘on-going’, as the ‘contact’ element comes into play. If we look at a confrontation from a defensive point of view, by applying specific techniques, we can dictate the flow and outcome of a situation. Right from the onset, control has to be established. By doing so, a degree of uncertainty can be instilled in the attacker (a useful asset in a violent encounter). This state of mind gives way to enormous possibilities. Once in this mindset, it will soon spiral a person down to the depths of self-doubt. Having a mental advantage over a person will affect their physical performance. To stay in context with this section, I am referring to physical control, although it is possible to achieve a degree of dominance by the use of the correct verbal skills. How you achieve this physical control is something for you to work on within your own capabilities. My personal preference is to ‘trap’ (to control their movement and attack path) and ‘enter’ (close down the distance), getting in as fast as possible. Once there, I will begin to execute precise and deliberate techniques, literally ‘blitzing’ my opponent. My intentions are numerous. To induce an ‘adrenal’ effect, cause pain, frustration, panic, disablement (not necessarily to put them in a wheel chair), feelings of helplessness, even regret. All of these are to acquire a specific reaction, some of which have been mentioned in the past text. On a physical level, everything I do should have a desired effect, begetting a prescribed response. If, for example, I push a finger into the attacker’s eye, it is because, as well as wanting to cause all the aforementioned feelings, I want to provoke a specific reflex. It may be that I use sufficient pressure as to cause severe discomfort, but not blinding them, in order to make the person pull away or abort their ‘game plan’. At this point my next action will maximise upon the situation I have just created, maybe using a head-butt or elbow strike to the face. Each technique is employed with a definite objective in mind. As I deliver one strike, I have already contemplated my next. All the time being conscious of the responsive movement of my opponent. The next strike I use will be appropriate to the circumstances and will compliment the previous technique. This course of action will continue until the threat has been either controlled or subdued.

It is important that each executed technique ‘flows’ into the next. The movements should fluently lead into one another, in order to capitalise upon my initiated ‘defensive’ attack and minimise the opportunity for a counter attack. Each reaction achieved should be of a deliberate nature, giving prescribed access to the next. The force exerted should be of an appropriate level as to be consistent with your intended outcome and reasonable in the circumstances. It’s futile to use a technique that is either out of context with the predicament, or leaves you in a dangerous position (i.e., out of range, unable to continue or off balance etc.).

An understanding of ‘body mechanics’ (subject to be covered at a later date) is a fundamental part of this acquired knowledge. Knowing how the body manoeuvres and which limbs co-ordinate with each other (with regard to specific movement) is a desirable feature if you intend to fully utilise these attributes.


To intimidate someone does not necessarily mean that physical action has to be used. In most cases, people are ‘frightened’ into capitulation on the merit of reputation alone. This immediately puts this topic on a psychological level. The reputed prowess of the aggressor facing you, can, quite often, be such a daunting prospect that you loose the will to defend yourself. The main cause of this affliction is a direct result of adrenaline induced negative thought. Physical presence is another form of intimidation. The build or shape of the antagonist facing you is, in the majority of situations, enough cause for submission. Even though in actual fact size is no guarantee of strength or fighting ability, the belief is another by-product of a negative thought process. Another contributory factor to be considered here, is anticipation of reprisals from the antagonist’s ‘connections’. These associates may be friends or family members who hold a substantial rep for violence. There are people who I’ve known, who always use a ‘name’ as a form of threat or leverage when trying to dominate or influence a situation. The ‘pre-post fight fear’ is a rapid ‘confidence wrecker’, giving the issuer a prescribed response without even directly involving themselves. More often than not, a person who reverts to these cowardly tactics has little or no confidence to deal with a predicament personally.

People who do not have a threatening demeanour can still capitalise on the intimidation factor by the display of aggressive body language, in particular through the exhibition of ‘posturing’. This is a topic that Geoff Thompson has been exploring and detailing extensively. I do not intend to pinch his material, but I feel I must mention this subject to allow me to cover the full spectrum of intimidation. Posturing is an exaggerated manifestation of hostile body language. Splayed arms, expanded chest, head ‘pecking’, fixed stare, sharp movement and an arrogant/dominating stance are all characteristics of posturing. These trait’s, accompanied with a threatening dialogue, portray a very menacing opposition. This behaviour triggers the fear induced chemical response, which as before, once activated, causes negativity and self doubt.

Throughout the past text, I have attempted to highlight the individual elements which, when used singularly or in any combination, bring about some form of confrontation. A skilled practitioner will have the ability to ‘read you like a book’. By assessing facial expressions, body language, voice level and dialogue, a person is able to dominate the situation, acting on the information displayed to them. Understanding this concept, utilising the knowledge and endeavouring to include its strategy, will enable you to disguise your fear, avoid adrenal overload, and with practice, reverse the tactics, using the aforementioned information to control an incident towards your own benefit.

Over recent years I have utilised my knowledge of ‘instinctive reaction’, developing it and using it as part of my protective strategy. Through consistent mental conditioning and repetitive physical practise, I have embedded this game plan into my sub-conscious mind. As a result of this I can adapt to a situation and, through my own instinctive behaviour, deal with an encounter quickly and efficiently. The benefits of learning and incorporating these concepts are many fold, the main advantage being, no time, or energy, is wasted, therefore reducing the possibility of unnecessary damage being sustained. This train of thought is emphasised when considering the probability of being faced by armed or multiple attackers. With no direct escape route available, definite and precise techniques must be adopted if personal safety is to be conserved.

I hope that you find what I have written is thought provoking. If it guides you towards developing positive relevant resources, then I have, for the purposes of this literature, achieved a prescribed response.