Using an Assailant’s Aggression to Your Tactical Advantage

Hank Hayes of No Lie Blades

In all areas of life where people are involved there is an emotional, mental and physical aspect to it. In a combative encounter we can fall pray to the emotions of the subject, we can get sucked into their mental gymnastics game and before you know it, we’ve let them gain positional or tactical advantage on us.

Tactical Advantage

There is also the flip side to this and that is remaining in the position of advantage emotionally, mentally and physically during the whole encounter. The skill to build is your appearance of a neutral position so you can gain more information on the situation than the average person, especially in the area of subject aggression.

It’s amazing to me how much information you can collect from a person in the way of cues, clues and tools when they’re angry and aggressive. The more upset the subject gets the more they tip there hand and wind themselves up to a state then developing a false sense of security. That can be the time when you propose either option a) calm down or b) have the situation go to the next level.Tactical Advantage


Like a dance you follow their lead based on the answer the subject gives they’re telling you which way to position yourself both mentally and physically. On the No Lie Blades training deck we talk about having your “right now power” ready to go at the first pre-incident sign (“right now power” is fight execute power you can use on demand). We would rather see you be ready to act and not have to as oppose to needing to act and not being ready.

On the physical level at a minimum we want to be at least 4 to 6 feet away and off at a 45degree angle opposite the subjects dominate hand side if possible. This 45 degree angle is so the subject must turn to you to strike giving you proper reaction and neutralization time.

Tying this all together is the key to maintaining the upper hand. To play the mental, emotional and physical hand against your opponent you must remain neutral and observant, ready to react without fail, harnessing your assailant’s aggression to tip you into the correct response for neutralization.

Remember there is no substitute for scenario based force on force training. You must hone your skills in the most realistic environment possible to gain the edge and your own “right now power” so your always prepared and can execute without fail your tactical advantage.

No Lie Blades has a partnership with ADS and is offering shoot house combat courses at ADS in Pennsauken, NJ visit for scheduling.

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Hank Hayes
Hank Hayes has been a fighting arts practitioner and instructor since 1973 and has spent 10 years in executive protection. He has trained with and alongside many of the most elite martial artists in the world. His resume reads like a "Who's who" of martial arts. As Hank's experience with weapon systems and weapon fighting developed, he saw the need for a training blade that marked and he invented the world's first tactical marking blade with safety edge for reality training. His company, No Lie Blades, is dedicated to helping the military, law enforcement, security and combative martial artist gain superior offensive and defensive tactical knife skills in the shortest time possible. No Lie Blades provides both training tools and onsite certification training programs to military, law enforcement, government and private sectors.