Wolfing and Agitated Gesturing
Managing the Clutch Confrontational Behaviors
Threatening and name-calling from a distance is an invitation to respond. Most wolfing males (this is generally a female activity) will fade away if you do not verbally respond. This is a clutch behavior in the ghetto and will be explored in detail.
When a man shouts a threat at you from a distance, or addresses you or asks you a question from a distance with a threatening tone, be wary. There are three components to wolfing. The first is being verbal, the second visual and the third situational.
The most common verbal tactic is the insult, intended to intimidate you or anger you. If the intent is to intimidate and you act fearfully then he has tested your will, found a weakness and can be expected to attack or otherwise aggress against you now or in the future. Intimidating insults will generally contain references to your fear of him, the fact that you should continue to fear him, and perhaps should continue on your way.
In no way banter or otherwise exchange words with this person. Continue on your way, more slowly than previous to the threat. If at any point he attempts to close the distance with you, or whenever you have isolated him so that others may not see your actions, then turn on him and fight to maim*. Inflict a permanent injury on him, preferably to the foot or hand. As he follows you, you should treat this as hunting him by way of using yourself as bait.
*This is advice I am not supposed to give. I am defining a maim not as disfigurement but as permanent damage to a joint. You must always deny intending to maim. But, if you are the subject of threats, action often follows and you want your attacking limping or limp-wristed, if possible. If it’s good enough to end an NFL career, it’s good enough to stop some punk from stalking you.
Insults Intended to Anger
These will usually be made in order to get you to fight. The insulter has either misjudged you, judged that he can take you, or is trying to get you to commit to fighting so that his friends will be able to pile on. The latter is increasingly the dynamic in the modern urban setting. Indeed, this person may simply be a decoy to draw you into a mob attack or a criminal ambush for gain.
Threats from a Distance
[Note: I have placed a separate threat category above this section, reserved for the quiet proximity threat, the phone threat, the drive up threat, etc. will generally be more serious nature than the wolfing threat. This will be addressed in its own future installment.]
Threats cast from a distance may be made for either of the two reasons stated above but serve the same basic function. Alternately, they might be true wolfing, which is an attempt to establish a territory and to keep you away from this area.
True wolfing is an indication that you are feared and that he has some intent to attack based on your increased proximity and should be taken seriously.
If this is not a territorial issue, and the threat caster is some random turd beating his chest in public, then he is simply attempting to inflate his own image at your expense. My advice is to let him.
The most serious distance threat is a threat to harm a loved one or to burn your house down or some similarly dastardly and cowardly act. At the point this threat is made, the demise of your would-be attacker should be set in motion.
Be wary of attacking outright as such threats are often made to convince reluctant men to act out angrily in public in order to bring legal or mob violence against them. At whichever point this man threatens someone other than you, you should seek his proximity by the least obvious means, by feigning deafness, by leaving and waylaying him, etc. If you have the means to run him down, and he is not within the range of timely help from law enforcement or his mates, then run him down and kick the teeth out of his mouth. The most possible damage short of killing is deserved by any man who threatens noncombatants under your protection. Mild infractions deserve deliberately broken fingers. Moderate threats should warrant a broken ankle. Be careful to avoid damaging the spine or disfiguring his face when dishing out more serious deserts.
This idiot is trying to pick a fight. Leave, turning cautiously, ready to deck him if he grabs you. If he follows, drop him. Never hurl insults in return. Never object to insults. By insulting you, he hopes you will insult him, so that he will feel emotionally okay with launching into the attack he so keenly wants to engage in.
These are the most worrisome, and we will discuss the visual cues here, which may also be used in other confrontational situations.
Wide Eyes: Wide eyes are generally a sign of fear in humans. Autistic people often avoid eye contact for the very reason that the whites of people’s eyes set off danger signals in their mind and make them anxious. If his eyes are wide then he is either afraid or insane. Just because someone is afraid does not mean they will not act. Some of the most vicious prize fighters in history: Jack Dempsey and Mike Tyson, fought afraid.
Even Eyes: A person demonstrating normal eye contact is likely to be showing restraint and unlikely to attack. This is someone you may wish to converse with in even, non-threatening and non-insulting tones, being mindful that they could be setting you up for another attacker.
Narrow Eyes: A slit-eyed person is prepared to take action against you and is very possibly calculating your demise at any moment. Turning away from or standing square to, this person is a mistake. Shift slightly to an oblique orientation to the adversary, not standing with all of your target in front of him.
Make your right hand unseen even as you make distance between your core, neck and head and his right hand. In most instances, you should shift slightly to the outside of his left foot, which will put both of your hands in position to deal with his grabbing left hand (which is what it is usually used for) and place his left foot in between you and his rear foot. This means he will not be able to punch hard or strike effectively with a knife without reaching around his own body or stepping out with his right foot.
Any look down or away by him, or any turning or stepping, is a possible attack signal.
In most modern settings, aggressors do not act alone. Even gunman typically have an unarmed accomplice (or two). You must not rule out that bystanders may be associated with the attacker, unknown actors entering your peripheral field of vision, or people who are of his own race or ethnicity, especially if this distinction between you two is at the crux of the situation.
The typical—and overwhelmingly common—American aggressor is the black youth, often urban but sometimes suburban, usually packed up three or more deep but sometimes in pairs and in larger mixed-gender groups.
Be particularly mindful of the presence of a guide in a group of three to five youths. This guide should be of your own race, and is often present in situations where black youth have newly taken over strong-armed robbery and mob violence territory in mixed-race and predominantly white areas. The purpose of the guide is to provide intelligence on local police as he is often a local drug user purchasing his dope from these or other blacks. He is also instrumental in selecting you, and getting you off your guard thinking you are safe because these black are with him.
Agitated Gesturing (7)
Agitated gesturing is an indication that the person is having a difficult time controlling their urge to attack you.
Note: This stage easily slips into raging, which is a more narrow spectrum of behavior that needs to be addressed in specific ways in its own section.
The unstable nature of this aggressor places the object of his aggressive attention (that’s you!) in a management role.
Say nothing, particularly if he is black, or if there is any language gap between you. Blacks are raised by women to build violent action and group cohesion via verbal aggression. They will feed off of anything you say and it will amp up their agitation level.
The wider the eyes, the less control they have. The higher their hands the less specific functional intent they have. The lower and more hidden their hands are, the more likely they are to sucker punch or stab you.
Against low hands, always take the oblique posture discussed under Proximity Threats above.
Against a person losing control as they gesture widely or with high hands, consider stepping back, and if they follow, punch them in the chin with a jab while their hands are passing above guard level. Immediately steep back again or off line. This type, if hit, and not dropped, will have a tendency to go for the clinch or waist tackle. The jab is the perfect sucker punch for this type of aggressor.
I once used a finger jab to the throat, and then a slap jab to the forehead to get one enraged moron to back off, and I did it in slacks and tie in front of my supermarket costumers.
When dealing with this type of agitated aggressor be cognizant that you may have an ally among his friends. I have had numerous black youths and females pull aggressors away from me as soon as the third person with some perspective saw that I was not belligerent, but coolly sliding to a narrow-target, good-leverage position and narrowing my eyes.
Two links to relevant links:
Come back next week for the next volume or check James’ latest writings at www.jameslafond.com!