While in a sports combat we have more and more occasions of collecting a large amount of information about our opponents, on the street, time is a luxury that we can not afford. For the sake of intellectual honesty, the first thing to admit is that there is no reliable way to recognize at 100% (in a handful of seconds) the danger level of an opponent (experience, technical preparation, athletic abilities, attitude to struggle, determination, speed, etc.). There is an endless number of variables that can alter our assessment:
Prejudices (linked to age, sex, style of struggle, physical conditions, etc.)
Incompetence within other eventual disciplines mastered by our opponents (sports, combat, etc.)
Aptitude of the opponents to conceal / misrepresent their abilities -...
Generally speaking, it's not a secret that only amateur martial arts practitioners tend to emphasize too much their preparation (with the idea to scare). In all the other cases illusion and ignorance are respectively the father and mother of the defeat. An example (strictly related to us) of what we mean is, for example, the fact that the 6DKF's practitioners themselves are called to conceal as much as possible their real martial skills (even with people who have the highest level of trust). This is recommended not because our style is secret or because we want to be extremely humble, but simply because in combat, it's a big advantage. Said this, knowing how and where to look, some details / informations (properly crossed) can give us significant clues about the persons we are facing. So let's quickly see what elements it is useful to keep under our attention in an evolving personal defense situation:
Body conditions / signs on the skin (deformities, scars, etc.)
Physical fitness (weight, musculature, etc.)
Mobility / balance / posture / breathing (before and during the clash)
Eyes / mood / pace of speaking (stress level, brain capacity, etc.)
Words / tactical organization / errors (conscious and unconscious)
Any collateral information (job, social relations, vices, hobbies, etc.) -...
Taken alone these data have no meaning, they are never decisive in getting what really interests us (a risk indicator) but, if combined and processed by an investigative mind, they can provide us with remarkable results. In the next article we will be able to go into detail about what to look for and how to link the items just listed and finally, we will set a risk indicator related to us.