Anyone who has trained in some kind of effective combat method that focuses on violence and self-protection has heard the sentence “Be A Hard Target.” or something close to it.
What exactly does that mean? Well, when it’s said that be a ‘hard target‘, it doesn’t mean that you must look all tough and big and strong and mean and have an iron body. Nope. It just means that to a predator who is scouting for a prey, you must look like someone who will put up a really good fight making it harder for the predator to get what it wants.
It doesn’t matter if you’re big and mean looking, if an experienced predator sees that you won’t put up a fight or that you don’t know how to, the predator will capitalize on that.
There have been many instances where a bunch of smaller individuals or just one average size individual have brought down bigger guys, the only reason for that being is that the bigger guy didn’t want to put up a fight because he was afraid of hurting the “little guy” and so became a victim himself, that’s what happens when you don’t know when to use force and how much force you should use. There have also been cases where the bigger guy couldn’t put up a fight due to not knowing how to, he was frozen, especially when overwhelmed by more than one “smaller” guys.
If you haven’t seen any instances like them in real life, you can see a similar example of what I wrote, on sites like you tube and worldstar where smaller guys take down bigger ones. Of course, that kind of violence is different than asocial violence. But similar principles do apply. Thing is, size does matter, but only if it’s used properly, a big guy who can‘t or won‘t put up a fight, will become an easy target regardless of the size of both the predator and the victim. Sometimes due to sheer numbers or due to a vehement violent act.
Being a hard target is not about your body language screaming, “I‘m a big tough guy!!! I‘ll beat your ass up!!!!” No, it’s just about sending a subtle message of, “These are my boundaries and if you cross them, I will be forced to take drastic steps”. That’s what your body language should communicate. It shouldn’t be forced, it’s a natural thing. Once the message is received by the predator, it will choose another prey.
Regardless of size or gender, anyone can send this message. Even though an average individual might take some time to get that message, a predator, especially one with enough experience, will get it almost instantly. Selecting an easy mark is second nature to a predator and will almost never select a target who they think has a chance of fighting back. Why “almost”? Because sometimes desperate times, call for desperate measures, and if they are hell bent on killing you, it will be a different situation, like if someone has a personal vendetta against you and really wants to kill you, then body language goes out the window, but the hard target principles would still apply. In that case, the defender, will have to put up a violent enough fight, to either damage, injure and neutralize or discourage the assailant enough to hesitate or flinch due to fear, giving you the time to act and escape. That’s a different topic though.
Just a simple rule to follow is, ‘Don’t stick out like a sore thumb’. Those are usually the obviously easy targets.
Anyway, that’s it. This topic came to me while I was in the shower. TMI? Well, it’s the truth. I had some other points but they don’t come to my mind now. When they do, I’ll write a part two to this post. Thanks for reading.