Anyone who is willing to listen, read on. If you already know better, then pass on by. And quit bleeding on my floor.
Listen to me: Get. Your. Sodding. Hands. Up.
There is no way on either side of the Bifrost Bridge that you can defend yourself with your hands by your side. Period. Full stop. End of statement.
Had an individual get thumped on the snot locker today -- and he knew it was coming. Saw the threat displays, saw the measuring glances, saw the work-up, the whole enchilada.
And he stood there, hands hanging by his side. Why? Because "He didn't want to escalate things."
Well, my little Hor d'Oeuvre on the Table of Life, looks like things didn't really give a damn if you wanted them to escalate or not, you think?
It's a simple thing. If you are dealing with unknowns, or if you are in a situation where things might just go rodeo, take your left hand and lay it on your chest -- 'bout elbow height. Little higher or a little lower doesn't matter -- whatever makes you comfortable.
Now, take your right hand, cup it a bit and place it over the back of your left hand. I like to extend my thumbs and touch the tips together, but that's a personal thing.
This does two things. The first -- and most important -- is that it places a psychological barrier between you and whomever you're interacting with. Most of the population -- whether consciously or no -- will react to this barrier by moving so that you are on the edge of their comfort zone.
The second thing this does is move your hands from their useless place beside your legs and up to where they're actually useful for defence.
From the chest, your hands can raise the short distance to protect your head and face. They can drop to protect your abdomen and groin. You can drop an elbow or raise an elbow to do the same. You can do any number of useful defensive things -- as long as your hands are where they need to be, and not down between your hip and knee.
I want you to do something. I want to find someone you trust and stand face-to-face with them, about an arms length away, both of you standing with your arms hanging loosely by your sides.
Now, whenever the person standing opposite you gets the urge, he should flick a hand past your ear -- either hand, his choice.
When he does, I want you to tap his arm before it clears your ear.
Bloody damned difficult, yes?
Now, do the same, but you have your hands folded on your chest, arms relaxed.
When you see him move, I want you to move your hands so that your middle fingers arc up your chest, past the outer end of your eyebrows and stop with your middle fingertip pointed at your temple and a couple of inches out. Think of it as a really sloppy salute that comes off your chest.
Away from your partner, practice in front of a mirror. Pretend the person in the mirror is rushing in to grab your legs and pull you down. From your chest, shoot both hands past one of his ears and shove/pull down on his shoulder/neck with your forearms. Now, live practice this and you've just sprawled a leg take-down.
Or you can shove your left hand into the face of the guy in the mirror, dabbling a finger-tip or four in his eyes, as your right hand skins your handgun out of the holster. Get a Red Gun or something similar and live practice it.
Fire both hands off your chest into the face of the guy in the mirror, scream "Get back!" and jump back.
With a little pondering, a good imagination and live practice, you can come up with any number of simple, direct defences based on just having your hands on your chest.
The beauty of this is that no innocent thinks that you standing there with your hands folded on your chest is even remotely aggressive.
When Reno does this, he plays with his wedding band -- all any citizen ever sees is a big, sleepy guy probably thinking of his wife. But his hands are up where they can do him some damned good.
Hands up -- Good. Hands hanging by your side -- Bad.
Thus endeth the lesson.