Tuesday, February 24, 2009

HOW CRIMINALS POSITION FOR ATTACK - Article 3 on Criminal Behaviour

KRAV MAGA - We believe the most powerful self defence weapon you possess is your thinking. So continuing our analysis of criminal behaviour of last 2 weeks, let’s know POSITIONING.

Before your imagination runs riot, let me elaborate POSITIONING. This is how criminals place themselves, to surprise and overwhelm you. What apparently is a casual, innocent movement by a person may in reality be a well planned manoeuvre to get into an advantageous position, to launch his attack.


CLOSING - the most common positioning tactic. The criminal tries to come near you, under some pretext. If a stranger tries to come closer than 6 feet, give a clear disapproval by voice or action. In spite of your obvious discomfort he keeps closing, the criminal has made his intentions clear.

CORNERING / TRAPPING – The criminal places himself between you and a possible exit route. This tactic becomes more critical, when he restricts your retreat, by forcing you to backup against a wall or a vehicle.

PINCER – As I often emphasis in Krav Maga class, criminals don’t operate alone. They try to ensure success by enjoying numerical superiority.
You should get alert, when you see a pair, approaching you, splits up in a manner to place you in the middle. In short, any positioning which forces you to pass a pair or group in close proximity is a clear indication of trouble.
Another variation of PINCER - One criminal will distract you while the other launches the attack from behind you.
More elaborate manoeuvre is a guy walks behind you casually; in a predetermined place, his colleague waits to close in from front.

SURROUNDING – This is a gang tactic. Your antenna should go up when you see apparently unconnected guys standing spaced out along a passage way. They are just waiting to close the trap from both ends, once you are in the middle.

If these positioning happens in a FRINGE AREA it becomes a loud and clear signal of imminent attack.

This is NOT the end of my series on Criminal behaviour. Let me warn you, there is more to come.

Monday, February 16, 2009

ABOUT 'FRINGE AREAS' AND '10 SECONDS WINDOW' - Article 2 on “Criminal Behaviour”

KRAV MAGA - If we can predict a criminal intention, we can avoid being attacked. So in the last blog, we tried to predict an attack using the AOI triangle – ABILITY, OPPORTUNITY & INTENT.
Before we move on, we have to know about FRINGE AREAS, which is where most of the attacks take place. A FRINGE AREA is the quiet area near to a crowded place like a parking lot, stairway, ATM, side streets especially blind alleys and public toilets. The criminal has better chances of not being disturbed.
Another reason is, one is not surprised to see strangers in these locations. By the time the victim realises the stranger is not innocent, the criminal hopes to overwhelm you with shock and fear.
Normally a criminal requires just 10 seconds to do whatever he aimed to do like robbing and get away. He hopes to shock you and overwhelm you before you can react, in this window of 10 seconds. So WHENEVER YOU ENTER A FRINGE AREA, SCAN THE SURROUNDINGS, and become aware.
The common criminal is NOT interested in fighting and prolonging the time with you. Because, for you it is just a matter of losing some money or jewels. But for the criminal it is several months in jail if he is caught. So if he senses that you are aware of his intentions and he cannot overwhelm you within the 10 seconds, he will go away to choose some other soft target.
In the next blog we will analyse how criminals POSITION in fringe areas.

Friday, February 6, 2009

How to predict you are going to be attacked? Article 1 on “Criminal Behaviour”

You know some kicks and punches. You also know the basic defences. You are reasonably intelligent to judge people. So you assume this combination should carry you safely through life.
You assume wrong!
You can become a victim if you are NOT prepared. You would have heard this so many times before “Things happened so fast that I was taken by surprise.”
One of the critical keys to safety is to predict violence. The experts in violence like police, criminals have outlined certain Elements to combine for a violent attack to happen.
Do you remember the Triangle of Elements for a Fire to happen – Heat, Fuel & Air. Even if one of these elements is taken out, the Fire stops.
Similarly there is a Triangle of Elements of Violent attack.The three elements are – ABILITY, OPPORTUNITY & INTENT.To remember this easily lets call it AOI
ABILITY – The attacker should feel he has a superior ability than you. It may be strength, more people on his side or he is in his locality where you are a stranger.
OPPORTUNITY – Are the conditions ideal to commit a crime, i.e. he will not be disturbed.Ideal scenarios for an attacker are - Woman alone at home, deserted road, darkness where identity can be concealed, many places to hide and even a crowd in which he can disappear.
INTENT – Is there anger, desperate need or mental instability? Indications are previous enmity, poverty or alcohol/drug usage.
If these three elements of AOI combine, your antenna should be up and ready. You should immediately try to remove at least one element. That should prevent you being at the receiving end.
I have just started this discussion and given you some basic introduction. We will be analysing more on Criminal behaviour in the coming weeks.
Please do post your comments – You can encourage me or argue with me.
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