How To Spot Critical Pre-Attack Assault Cues

How to Spot Critical Pre-Attack Assault Cues

We’ve all come across situations in public where a person is behaving aggressively and antagonising those around them, seemingly looking for a fight!

We’ve all come across situations in public where a person is behaving aggressively and antagonising those around them, seemingly looking for a fight! This can happen anywhere: at a nightclub, at work, at the shops… You name it.

Now, how do you recognise when a conflict is getting out of hand? More importantly, how do you spot a potential attack before it happens?

Let’s look at some critical EARLY WARNING CUES which signal an attack. These signals are vital for your self defence training. Make sure you watch the video below for a better understanding of what to look for in a confrontation for a street fight.



Someone who is trying to provoke someone into a fight is likely to exhibit a range of aggressive behaviours and body language which telegraph their intentions. Let’s look at the bad guy in our video. You will notice:

#1 Puffed-out chest
#2 Balled-up fists
#3 Ranting loudly
#4 Erratic movements

His behaviour is all about asserting dominance over those in his vicinity. He adopts an upright, exaggerated posture and invades his victims’ personal space. The balled-up fists indicate his anxious state as he prepares to attack.



An attacker may try to engage their potential victim verbally, goading them with insults to start a fight. The guy in our video does this on a loop; when he fails to engage one person, he moves onto the next.

This verbal exchange actually feeds into an attacker’s ego, allowing them to become more worked-up and likely to attack. It also serves as a DISTRACTION by making the victim drop their guard and be exposed to the imminent attack.



The victim in our video unfortunately made several mistakes which led him to being attacked.

Firstly, he failed to be aware of the situation outside while leaving the shop. He walked straight into the scene and was then accosted by the bad guy.

Secondly, he entered the ego face-off! With the bad guy now standing in his personal space, he made the decision not to leave, but to remain there and square-up against him.

Thirdly, he became distracted and missed one MAJOR assault cue: the aggressor pulled a fist and stepped off to the side to wind a heavy punch.



Not all assaults are as bold as this one, but they do all contain many of these key assault cues to some degree. It is important to recognise them early because as this footage illustrates, ignoring these signs can lead to disastrous consequences.



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