Archive for November, 2011

Gestures – non verbal communication – what are you really saying about yourself…

Monday, November 14th, 2011

posted by admin 


Unlike postures, gestures are generally confined to a specific part of the body and are relatively quick motions meant to emphasize a certain point or to reinforce or de-intensify the perceived strength of emotions.

A typical example of an “Illustrator” gesture would be hand motions while giving direction, pounding on your desk, or shaking a fist. A hand or finger in a baton-like motion to emphasize or accent particular words or phrases during a conversation is another example.

Even though illustrators are used with your conscious awareness they can still convey subconscious information about mood, self-confidence, and power. A decrease in the use of illustrators during communication can indicate waning interest, non-dominance, a decrease in self-confidence, or an indication of deception.

On the other hand “Adaptors” are gestures that are done almost subconsciously as a reflex action. A typical example is nervously scratching your face. Adaptors communicate a great deal about an individual’s attitudes, anxiety level, comfort/discomfort, and self-confidence level. Since communicators who exhibit adaptors aren’t using them with the intent to communicate, they’re usually unaware that they’re using them. As a result, adaptors are an important source of involuntary information about the psychological states of individuals who exhibit them. It’s important to be familiar with these signals, become aware of your usage of them, and begin eliminating them. Let’s look at the two types of adaptors and the signals they convey:

  • Self-Adaptor: A self-adaptor is a gesture that involves the hands to another part of the body and provides reliable information about the current level of self-confidence and self-esteem. A common example of a self-adaptor is any gesture that involves the hand-to-face. Gestures, such as covering the mouth, decrease both the beta and alpha-signals because they signal insecurity about what is being said (or about to be said) and indicate possible deception. Other self-adaptors include: picking or scratching, rubbing or massaging (typically the forehead or neck regions), covering the eyes, or the combing of the fingers through hair.
  • Object-adaptors: The object-adaptors involve the use of the hands to touch, hold, or manipulate an object in the immediate environment. Object adaptors, while not as indicative of the psychological state of the person exhibiting them, do often reflect uncertainty. During police questioning, suspects frequently play with objects close to them at the moment of deception.

Let’s talk about “touching”. Now before you get too excited, let me clarify myself. I’m talking about a gesture that involves contact with another person. Like self-adaptors and object-adaptors, touch can communicate a great deal about a person’s psychological state. Unlike other gestures, however, touch is much more conscious and controlled and is an important means of communicating when up close.

Touching is one of the most powerful means for establishing and maintaining social contact because it effectively communicates caring, comfort, affection, and reassurance.

It also serves a major role in communicating power.

In touching exchanges between men and women, men typically touch women more frequently than women touch men.

But among same sex, touching among men tends to increase the level of discomfort and anxiety. High status individuals are more likely to touch and initiate touch with lower status individuals. This is viewed as a signal of exercising dominance. Therefore, touching is seen as a reliable indicator of status.

So here are some “Gesturing” tips to being an Alpha.

  • Avoid using any adaptors – especially touching your face or playing with objects.
  • Make sure your gestures are very controlled and deliberate.
  • Always initiate the touch (a handshake for example).
  • Simultaneously touch two areas to establish dominance. An example of this would be shaking his right hand while grasping his shoulder with the left.

Also, touching outside of the normal regions can show dominance over a lower status individual. A pat on the back to show approval is acceptable and clearly demonstrates dominance. A pat on the head, however, would appear very condescending, and would most likely be challenged. And well… a pat on the rear-end means you’re likely on very thin ice.


The fourth channel of nonverbal signals is sound, or “vocalic communication”. Simply put, sounds convey meaning. Aside from facial gestures, the voice is the most powerful channel for transmitting the emotional state of the communicator. Perceived personality characteristics and social class are also revealed through the various attributes and characteristics of the voice. The voice can be very effective in shaping whether the speaker is introverted, extroverted, likeable, dominant or submissive.

Here are some “Sound” tips to being an Alpha:

  • Speak with a loud, strong voice.
  • Pace yourself at a moderately fast rate with full resonance.
  • Articulation and correct pronunciation are very important for effectively portraying status.
  • Dominance can be displayed in crisp and clear speech, as though you were issuing commands.
  • Avoid “non-fluencies” words such as “umm,” “like,” or “you know” used between sentences or weak expressions such as, “I guess,” or “ok”. These dramatically decrease your alpha-level presence. Vocal cues of confidence are vitally important.
  • Throat clearing and nervous coughing are perceived as non-Alpha traits.

Let’s move onto when (and how) it’s possible to “cool down” a situation before it escalates into physical violence – that’s next time on

Hertfordshire Personal Safety is an initiative of Tring Martial Arts, our reality based self defence classes deal with real world threats, attacks and how to counter or defend them, see our website for more information or call 0845 094 8805 now for your free trial class.

80/20 Principle of Self Defence

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Posted by Admin 

The 80/20 Principle

This principle states that 80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes. Now of course this isn’t a hard and fast rule — it’s more like a rule of thumb – but it can have powerful consequences.

Let me see if I can clarify this for you with an example.

The Japanese used the 80/20 principle to concentrate 80% of their efforts on just 20% of the industrial cycle – that cycle being production costs and quality control. By focusing on a small but important sector – and doing a better job than any of their competitors – the Japanese lowered their cost of production while at the same time raising the quality of their product. The result? Well nothing too big… just one of the world’s most powerful economies. (more…)

Internal Conflict – the fight before the fight

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Posted by Admin

It’s time to get into a very scary place – inside your own mind.

Because that’s where the real fight takes place. It’s time to clear away some of the cobwebs hanging around in your cranium and take a fresh perspective.

Now I don’t want to get too technical, but my research uncovered something extremely important – a thing called “cognitive dissonance”. This is nothing but a fancy way to say that a person’s actual beliefs don’t match up with their actions.

This can cause extreme discomfort and indecision – something you don’t want rattling around in your head during a fight. To win, you must be clear-headed, know exactly what to do, and then do it with decisive action. You can’t afford to be “working things out” inside your head while facing down an adversary.

Internal Conflicts:

Let’s begin to change some beliefs that you may be hanging onto – and may ultimately hurt you. Some of these beliefs are nothing but simplistic myths instilled in us as young boys – yet we still hang onto them as grown men.

Here are four of the most common examples — although I’m sure as you examine your beliefs, you’ll come up with plenty more. I’m avoiding the sugar coating here – and you should do the same with yourself. Because hanging onto baggage and childish notions will result in deadly hesitation in the heat of battle. Let’s take a look:

1.John Wayne Syndrome – a “real man” never backs down.

Now, there are people who actually live to fight. In my 18-years of research I’ve met plenty of them – and I can positively say that spending any kind of time with them means that they’ll be continually looking to you for “back-up”. If you want to be friends with this type of guy then you’d better be prepared to take many trips to the hospital and jail. They will break into their own version of “West Side Story” at the slightest indication of insult or reproach. These guys actually believe that a real man never backs down — and his actions match his belief. I may not happen to agree with his notions, but the man acts on his beliefs. There is NO internal conflict here.

On the other hand, if you’re not one of these “fight-at-the-drop-of-a-hat” guys, and yet you still believe that a “real man” never backs down – then you’ve got a problem. You must try to match up your beliefs with your actions.

That doesn’t mean I’m suggesting you start fighting more. No. It means I’m suggesting that you re-evaluate your beliefs.

Here’s something that may help. Do mental exercises of situations in which you would and would not fight. For example, a freeway driver flips you the bird. Now, if you subscribe to the John Wayne Syndrome, you’d pull your car off of the road and fight – no matter if the guy is twice your size and wearing a “Hell’s Angels” jacket. You’re belief system demands that you duke it out right there on the side of the freeway.

If this is what you’d really do, then fine, your actions really do match your beliefs. Like I said, no internal conflict here. But, if your actions would be different, then you must be honest with yourself up front – before that scene plays itself out – and come to grips that maybe you really don’t believe that a real man “never” backs down.

The key here is an honest mental evaluation of the differences in your fantasies versus what you’d really do down here on planet earth. It will save you a lot of mental torture.

Here’s a real life example. I personally received a call from one Fight-Fast customer who suffered mental anguish because he backed down from a fight, despite watching many self-defense Fight-Fast videos and feeling that he was a well trained fighter.

Now, I personally believe he did the right thing – and I told him that. Nobody went to jail, the hospital, or the morgue. His opponent was a stranger and there was almost certainly no chance he’d ever see him again. The outcome of that confrontation turned out better than he could expect.

But, because somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind he hung onto this foolish notion that “real men don’t back down” – this guy suffered a lot of grief and sleepless nights. He simply never had done an honest evaluation of his own personal beliefs.

Here’s another way to think about this. Let’s say that the President of the United States– while whizzing by in his motorcade — is insulted and challenged by an angry citizen. Should the president really get out of his car and fight this guy? Should he feel ashamed for not doing so? According to the John Wayne Syndrome believer, the answer should be a resounding “yes”.

Now this example is obviously ridiculous only to make a point. Sit down and come to grips with your own beliefs beforehand – it’ll save you from making a stupid decision or the agony of dealing with internal conflict.

2.Never Hit First – Another notion from childhood – because what’s the first thing that your dad or a teacher asked you after a fight? Wasn’t it “who hit who first?”

Well research proves that hitting first means you’ve got a damn good chance to win the fight. You’ve initiated surprise, dismay, got the guy back on his heels, and have an excellent opportunity to keep up the pressure until you can end the threat. Everything you want.

Oh… but wait… that’s right… you can’t hit first. Teacher said so.

It’s time to grow up and get away from this kind of thinking – it’s just plain dangerous.

Let’s forget fist-fighting for a second and think about it as a gun fight. Would you allow an armed opponent the first shot? I sure hope not. Same goes with hand-to-hand combat. Do NOT freely give away your main advantage because of some misguided idea.

3.Fair Fight – This is more common than you’d imagine. Stuff like don’t hit a guy with glasses… no hair pulling… no biting… no eye gouging… and so on. If you actually believe this, you need to add one more to the list… no fighting.

It’s like the British officers who were so disgusted with the way “unchivalrous” American colonials fought. Those savages actually “unfairly” shot at them from behind trees and bushes. How uncouth.

Let me be clear… in a fight you want an unfair advantage. You never want to purposely give away anything that may give your adversary the edge.

In one of the videotaped street fights I researched, there was a young man who had his face nearly bit off in a vicious attack. He kept screaming out “no fair… he’s biting… he’s biting…”

I still get shivers thinking about that poor kid.

I only hope you will not be as naïve. You must assume that your adversary will do anything – and that he plays by NO rules. I know it’s an ugly thought, but you must treat every fight like it’s a life or death battle. The idea that you can somehow remain a “gentleman” puts you in an extremely vulnerable position.

4.Fight Your Fear – Fear is information; it’s not to be controlled or eliminated and is certainly not your enemy. Acting in spite of your fear is something called “courage”.

I’ve see too many “fight systems” that talk about “getting rid of fear”. Wrong-o. Understand that fear itself is a healthy emotion that’s protecting you.

You’d probably agree that being fearful of walking on the edge of a cliff is a fairly natural emotion to have – especially knowing that the “Bob Peirce’s One-Touch Death Move” is out there. It’s simply your body’s way of protecting you.

The idea that you need to get rid of it is foolish, and will either result in “brain freeze” or will simply put you in greater danger. The key is to “listen” to fear rather than deny it or attempt to suppress it.

Use fear as a way to trigger “external focus” – the key to avoiding “brain freeze” or the deer in headlights phenomena. You can’t afford to stand there drooling while waiting to “snap out of it”. I’ve got a whole section on this external focus technique in an upcoming chapter. It’s one of the most powerful ways to taking the fight to your adversary, and winning.

Okay… let’s conclude this “internal conflict” stuff for now. Use what you’ve learned to do some serious self-analyzing. Discover “gray areas” and where your indecision lies. Because with just 3-8 seconds to win a fight, indecision and hesitation can mean the difference between prevailing (and walking away), or taking that losers ride to the hospital… or worse… the morgue.

How’s that for positive ending?

Learn how to settle your internal conflicts and get yourself in the right mental attitude to defend yourself by enrolling at Tring Krav Maga now or call 0845 094 8805

Am I being followed?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Originally posted by Christopher Allen, Tring Krav Maga on Tring Anti Bullying

Question: Have you ever thought you were being followed? What do you do?

If you think you are being followed: Make a sudden turn, cross the street, accelerate, or go into a nearby business. If being followed by a car, reverse your direction – it will take them a much longer time to turn around and they will likely just continue on to find a different target. If you are unable to shake the follower, turn around and scream, “What do you want?” in your most indignant voice. This is likely to embarrass the innocent and frighten off a large portion of potential attackers. If this doesn’t work, now you must: