Even though it’s already been in the news for weeks, it still seems like you can’t turn on your TV without hearing about the latest victim of the “Knockout Game.” In fact, I was in California over the weekend doing a seminar when someone told me it had recently happened to a man in his 40’s.
Obviously, this is a horrible trend and it’s great to hear about the cases where the victims have fought back and been able to defend themselves. But what I want to quickly cover today is how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of this game in the first place.
The fact is, there are several “pre-incident indicators” that criminals do to alert you that something bad is about to happen. In other words, in many of these cases (not all of them) if the person had been more aware they may have been able to prevent the attack.
The first pre-incident indicator is people staring at you too much. Criminals stare at you way too long when they’ve targeted you for an attack. If you see a group of youth staring at you way too hard as they’re approaching you, then immediately cross the street or go somewhere else.
In fact, a major problem with society is that we’ve all been brainwashed about not making others uncomfortable and being over-polite. What I mean is, if you saw a group of youth walking towards you and you had the bad feeling in your stomach, a lot of people would be afraid to quickly cross the street for fear of offending the youth or looking awkward.
In these situations you need to forget what society wants you to do and you need to trust your instincts and not care if it looks weird if you turn the other way or quickly dip into a store or building.
The second pre-incident indicator is that criminals match your pacing. So if you’re walking on one side of the road and you see a group on the other side that seems to be matching your walking speed and then they start making their way towards you, be aware. Only people with evil intent will match your pace.
The final pre-incident indicator I want to cover is “distraction.” Criminals will try and distract you before they knock you out or rob you. In one of the cases I read about, a kid asked a man for a cigarette and as the man reached for the cigarette the kid punched him out.
If someone comes up to you, try and keep your distance as much as possible, quickly glance around you and then keep your eyes on them and their hands. In fact, a few weeks ago I was walking out of the grocery store when a woman started approaching me. It was clear she was coming right at me so I stopped before she got too close and said “hello.” She proceeded to ask me if she could have a ride somewhere. Since this is clearly an odd request I quickly checked behind me and around me to make sure it wasn’t a set up. I told the woman I wouldn’t be able to give her a ride and thankfully that was it and nothing else happened.
But what it all boils down to is this: Maintain your situational awareness at all times and keep your head up to watch out for these pre-incident indicators. Hopefully you’ll never find yourself getting attacked by a group of youth, but it seems that many people in society are becoming less civilized as each day passes.