The Art Of Fighting Without Fighting!
By Wahib Bennis

If you have ever played poker you will notice that people have 'tells'. Tells are small, discrete body movements that people continuously use when they want to hide certain emotions or feelings, for example, a poker player may continuously play with their watch when they are bluffing. Just like expert poker players, martial artists should learn how to read and give off body language to their advantage. Most people read and give off body language subconsciously, the purpose off this chapter is to teach people to consciously read and give off body language.

Clothing and Dress Sense:

Clothes can reveal a lot about personalities and people. As a general rule people wearing mostly white are subconsciously perceived as being good and honest. People wearing bright colours are perceived as being good-humoured and extrovert. People wearing mostly dark and black colours are perceived as being sinister and introverted. Facial expressions: Most people read and interpret facial expressions subconsciously but more importantly one should also practice consciously reading facial expressions. Learn to tell if a smile is really a smile or if it is a smirk, if a frown is due to sadness or anger, if eyebrows are raised in anticipation or disgust etc.

Body Movements:

The way people walk can reveal a lot of things, including their personality and the way and style they use to fight.

Sizes and Shapes:

These simple examples should be used as the basis for your body-language reading practice. Study and note your own observations. Also practice using these examples to study the reactions of others.


Be aware of your surroundings as well as the human element. Naturally, short cuts through dark, potentially dangerous areas should be avoided. When in any building or public area always check for exits in the case of a fire, attackers or numerous other situations. Be aware before entering shops or banks etc. People have walked in on robberies only to be greeted by bullets. Be aware of potential weapons surrounding you (see chapter 3: Using your environment).

People in everyday life need to be more aware, but not paranoid. Paranoia causes the person subconsciously to give off body language to others who will sense their fear. At the opposite extreme one should not always appear overly aggressive, as some attackers like a challenge. In everyday life, constantly use drills to develop your awareness. The following are two examples:

Drill 1:

Observation When in a public place, look at everybody and analyse how they look and act. Note the people who seem likely to be attackers and those who seem likely to be victims. It is important however, not to be noticed staring at people during this drill as this could invite trouble.

Drill 2:

Memorisation While waiting for a person or at a bus stop etc., glance briefly at a car or person and then look away. If looking at a car, try to remember the make, model, colour and registration number. If looking at a person, try to remember what they wore, colours, what they looked like and how they seemed through their body language. With practice it will only take a second or two of glancing to remember all the details. As well as being aware of people around you and your environment it is also necessary to be aware of yourself. When walking always try to keep your hands free and out of your pockets. If carrying something, for example, a sports bag, then carry it in your weaker hand so that your stronger hand is always ready to use. Sometimes when people seem aware, attackers use a form of verbal, mental checking before attacking. For example, it is common for an attacker to ask a potential victim for a cigarette lighter before attacking. This can have several effects on the victim(s).

This is an extract taken from the ebook, 'How to Survive All Violent Attacks!'