Sometimes, an attack may come unexpectedly. You are surprised, totally unprepared, and may be limited in your response due to circumstances, such as children being present or restrictive clothing. These types of attacks are usually over in a matter of seconds. The best defense to avoid places or situation where this type of attack may occur. The next best defense is to escape as quickly as possible, possibly by using diversionary tactics. If there is time, you may try using submissive dialogue to deescalate the aggressor's hostility or to give the aggressor an "honorable" way out of the situation. During this verbal exchange, you should keep your guard up, but in a non aggressive manner. "Talk" with your hands in front of your chest. This is similar to a fighting guard except the hands are open and are moving in expressive manner. Although the action is not threatening, the aggressor is at least subconsciously aware of the barrier between you and him or her.
Guards may take several configurations. All configurations have the same feet placement: a compact 45-degree angled stance with the dominant-side back (a basic fighting stance). One configuration is a pleading guard where both hands are placed in front of you, palms facing the aggressor. This guard looks submissive but presents a solid physical barrier that keeps a safe gap between you and your adversary and it positions the fingers for an eye attack if needed. Another configuration is the staggered fence where the palms are facing forward but with the hands staggered by about one foot (similar to an open handed fighting guard). Another configuration is the exclamation guard where the palms are facing upward expressing exclamation with the lead hand forward and rear hand ready to strike.
The guard also serves as a sensor to your aggressor's intentions. He or she should not touch the guard unless making a forward movement to bridge the gap. Any forward movement should be checked by the lead hand to maintain a safe gap because it is a subliminal precursor to an attack. Use the three strike rule, one touch deserves a warning, two touches gets a stern warning, three touches demands a preemptive attack since the aggressor obviously intends you harm.
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