View Full Version : Yelling at someone who is attacking you

October 20, 2006, 10:23 AM
Would yelling at the top of your lungs give you a psychological edge over your assailant, or do you think it would make you lose your nerve and concentration in target aquisition?

October 20, 2006, 10:31 AM
I would yell because it would get attention. At that point, I want somebody calling 911 if I'm unable to do so. And I might get lucky and have some knight in shining armor come help.

This is not the time to keep a secret. Yeah, yell. Loudly.


October 20, 2006, 10:34 AM

The "kiai" in martial arts strikes serves a number of purposes. Moving large amounts of air through your lungs can boost your endorphines, relax your muscles, and synchronize your breathing with your body movement, all resulting in quicker, harder strikes.

At the same time, when you're moving that much oxygen, it's very easy to get excited. Running kata with good hard kiais can make my heart race, and in running kata, there are no attackers present!

That's a short answer. People have expounded for whole books on the pro's and con's of kiais. But, if your intention is to keep control of yourself, and to calm the situation, then yelling at an attacker is not the way to go. If your intention is to quickly overpower your assailant and render him inoperative, "KIAI!"

October 20, 2006, 11:13 AM
Agreed with Samurai. There have been alot of psychological studies about the effects of yelling and loud voices and the psyche. A loud voice tends to put people on edge. Yelling at someone who is not expecting it can cause them to momentarily stop. In alot of instances that is all you need. Anyone who has been in the military will tell you that yelling at your opponent in hand to hand can unnerve most people greatly.

October 20, 2006, 11:35 AM
I train Judo and hand to hand with some prison guards and cops in our area and most of them use a string of explitives before attacking some one who is dumb enough to come after them. Come to think of it they also use those when some on is dumb enough to run from them.

Bill T
October 20, 2006, 11:46 AM
You see a lot of cops doing this sort of thing when they make forced entries to serve arrest warrants. "GET ON THE GROUND!!", usually repeated several times. I don't think anyone could say one way or the other. It certainly is annoying to listen to. Bill T.

October 20, 2006, 11:49 AM
When someone yells at me like that I flip out... :eek: It really scares me. Yet someone can walk up beside me and fire off a 12 guage and I don't get that bothered, wonder what's up with that :confused:


Zak Smith
October 20, 2006, 12:01 PM

October 20, 2006, 12:04 PM
What you don't want to do is screach and flap about like a 12 year old girl who saw a spider.

October 20, 2006, 12:12 PM
Yelling is absolutely the very first thing you want to do. Predators don't like to be noticed so even if people nearby don't come rushing to your aid, you have the advantage of letting the perp know that there are going to be lot's of witnesses.

But there's something else I discovered by accident when I was in grade school. I was forced into a school yard fight by one of the class bullies who definitely had me at a disadvantage by weight, height, and aggressive attitude.
Well, I was screwed so when I realized I had nothing to lose, I really DID "lose it" and the moment I knew the fight had to happen, I acted totally crazy and went at him like I was totally intent on killing the SOB.
Now keep in mind that this is a story about 12 year olds, but the moment I went nuts and attacked him like I didn't care if I lived or died, it really unnerved him and after my getting in a couple of fast and hard lucky hits, he said "f(expletive) you, man, you're crazy" and got out of there as fast as he could. He never bothered me again nor did anyone else of his type.

So right or wrong, I have this notion in my head that there "may" be a situation that warrants acting not only loud, but totally crazy.
Of course, I haven't had to apply this theory for quite a while, although if you ask my wife, she might tell you that I apply this philosophy daily... ;)


October 20, 2006, 12:32 PM
What you don't want to do is screach and flap about like a 12 year old girl who saw a spider.

When did you see me do that and why would you tell everyone?


chris in va
October 20, 2006, 01:12 PM

For some reason that conjured up images of a penguin. Screech and flap about. :p

Blackwater OPS
October 20, 2006, 01:32 PM
I would yell, "GET BACK PLEASE DON'T HURT ME, NO GET AWAY HELP STOP!!!!" ect. This might seems silly coming from an armed 230 pound male, but what you say is what people will remember, and testify to in court.

October 20, 2006, 01:38 PM

Good technique and an important point.

Why do I have this smile on my face, am I thinking of you screeching that in falsetto before you cap a goblin :)?


October 20, 2006, 04:47 PM
Yelling adds one more thing to your defense. That's why policer officers do it. It also serves to disorient a person, so you get a few moments of additional time to do what you're doing to prepare.

Plus, as pointed out, if you're yelling , "get back" or "stay away", it imprints on a witness (and there is always a witness somewhere). Verbal commands are good.

Sometimes, you may get the sequence wrong and it may actually be the gun saying "BANG" followed by you saying "Stay Back"! But, as witnesses are usually not perfect in their recollections, they will still recall you did give a verbal warning/command.

Obviously, it doesn't work all of the time. There are a variety of reasons why a person will be unaffected by anything you say.

October 20, 2006, 07:18 PM
If they're high on crack, meth , alcohol they won't respond !!

October 20, 2006, 07:24 PM
Actions speak lounder than words, and .45s speak REALLY loud.

October 20, 2006, 07:27 PM
I'm afraid that under stress I can't think of what to yell while I'm making a deadly force decision and getting ready/opening fire. I probably should keep my mouth shut because what I would say would not be real nice in retrospect when witnesses recall it with the expected inaccuracies.

Don H
October 20, 2006, 07:49 PM
Yelling at your assailant may be your only option (besides running away) in some locales.

October 20, 2006, 08:26 PM
I am more the silent type.

October 20, 2006, 08:33 PM
A few months ago I pulled my weapon - the police later said I was justified.

I yelled very loudly at the person I was aiming at. I told him in no uncertain terms to stop his attempted/threatened assualt (he was approaching a woman and threatening her and she was asking for help) or he would be shot in about 2 seconds.

He stopped and I retreated with the woman and called 911. He had a knife but I did not know that at the time. Funny how he was able to control his "uncontrollable rage" in the face of a fire arm...

I would not yell in all circumstances but in this case I thought I could avoid a shooting - and it worked.

If he had been holding a gun during a robbery I would have just shot him in the head (if close enough) or center of mass (98% of the time) with no yelled warning. I would not give him the chance to swing around and shoot me.

You have to treat each circumstance individually.

October 20, 2006, 09:03 PM
Go ahead and yell. If it gets the scum's attention or feaks them out, great. If not, it can't hurt the situation so you might as well.

What is bad, however, is attempting to give commands while yelling / growling. You see cops do this a lot. "Get on the ground" turns into "Yuurg unna rouuuuun!". They then get angry because the person does not follow the unintelligible command. What is even worse is when they scream a whole series of contradictory / unintelligible commands:
"Freeze! Get unna ground! Get your hands up! Get on your knees! Yuuurg unna round! Freeeee! Gee yer han up! Don't look at me! Get back in the car! Freeze!"

If this ever happens to you, drop spread-eagle on the ground and wait for them to calm down. Keep your mouth shut and stay absolutely still and they will say something coherent eventually :rolleyes:

October 20, 2006, 09:10 PM
Talk softly and carry a big stick.

tony pasley
October 20, 2006, 09:25 PM
I would use bad manners and point at the person ( my mother said it is not polite to point at some one) then bang.

Deaf Smith
October 20, 2006, 10:38 PM
I can see shouting when the situation has not escalated to deadly force yet. Say when three BGs are trying to surround you before they attack. But once they attack, well, people scare better when they are dieing.

October 20, 2006, 10:38 PM
Yelling makes you look like the victim. Which, hopefully, you are (better than being a criminal). That helps when you have to explain why you shot him so many times.

I thought "KIA!" did something about tensing the ab muscles to help not get the wind knocked out of you?

October 21, 2006, 07:15 AM
LOL. Like oldbillthunderchief said, sometimes you can give too many commands in a rather haphazard blurting of words and you end up confusing the person to the point they have no clue as to what their response should be. And that can turn a situation into something ugly real fast. Or worse, you are giving commands to someone who doesn’t speak English. You’re probably not going to get the desired response.

It’s even worst when there are two or more officers present and they are all giving different orders. “Don’t move”, “Get on the ground”, “Show me your hands”, “Don’t move” Get on your knees”, “Drop it”, “Don’t move” (or the dreaded “Freeze” because of all of the Flash Gordon reruns ;) ). Of course, adding in colorful four-letter words into the whole thing makes it even more entertaining. :D

But, yelling “get away” or “get back” or even “don’t hurt me” aren’t bad choices if you are confronted with an incident.

My wife attended a defensive tactics class that I went to as an observer. They recommended yelling is a good tactic to incorporate into one's response. While it may not be the right thing to do in all cases, no one thing ever is. It's just one more opinion to consider.

October 21, 2006, 07:46 AM
I done quite a bit of force-on-force training. Even when you know and plan the scenario and set up, violence quickly executed with yelling and things breaking and falling will still have a psychological impact.

Apply that yelling and violence of execution to the real world and the impact is even more pronounced because not many expect it.

Glenn Bartley
October 21, 2006, 08:50 AM
You see a lot of cops doing this sort of thing when they make forced entries to serve arrest warrants. "GET ON THE GROUND!!", usually repeated several times.

Police speak in very loud voices, or yell, when they make an entry, in order to do a few things:

Make sure everyone inside hears them over anything else to assure their commands have been heard clearly. This helps asure a few things. They make certain to be loud so their orders are complied with, not because the louder one is the more compliance you get, but because they need to be sure everyone hears them over anything else. They need to control a hectic and confusing situation quickly.

By being loud, they also cover their behinds liability wise. Any witnesses, who later decide to tell the truth, will be able to testify that yes indeed, they heard the police loudly announce and identify themselves, and then order the subjects to comply.

The yelling is also an outlet for nervous energy, and it sometimes has an initimidating effect; but in both instances it must be channeled properly to be effective. A grown man screaming at the top of his lungs in a high, whiny, squeaky, pleading voice will not get the same result as someone who yells out commands in a cool steady stern and deep voice. Anyone can add a deeper tone to their voice, a sort of I mean business tone. You also have to realize when to shut off yelling and tone it down to loud, slow, clear, calm talk, otherwise you may give the impression of being so scared and out of control as to only be able to yell. The perfect example of this was to be seen in a video of a police officer making a traffic stop on some whacko in a PU Truck. The whacko assembled a rifle, loaded it, and shot and killed the LEO as the LEO screamed like a scared child almost throughout the whole ordeal. Even in the beginning, when hge first gave commands, his voice was trembling.

Yes, using your voice in certain ways, such as yelling, can be a quite effective tool; but you have to use it sensibly and not helter skelter.

Dr. Courtney
October 21, 2006, 10:55 AM
I think that yelling "NO!" or "STOP IT!" can be useful at times. In mugging type of situations, it puts the attacker on notice that you intend to resist, as well as possibly attracting attention. In rape/sexual assault situations, it makes the question of consent beyond any doubt.

How many date/acquaintance rapes could be stopped if every girl/woman started yelling "NO!" or "STOP!" prior to the rape? Some of the assaults might happen in spite of the yelling, but no one could argue that the communication wasn't clear, and yelling increases the odds that there would be witnesses who could either come to the aid of the victim, or at least testify that the intercourse was not consensual.

I've alse been in a number of situations where giving a stern command of "NO!" (or the equivalent) has ended several potential animal attacks. I raised cattle for a number of years and once in a while one of the males would bet ornery and threaten me. A firm "NO!" changed the animal's demeanor, although sometimes the message was delivered with a gun pointed at the animal's head. I also ride my bike a lot in some areas near my home where I am frequently chased by dogs. My habit is to deliver a stern "NO!" or "STOP!" as I put my hand on my pistol. The attacking dogs have stopped every time before I needed to draw.

I think both animals and humans understand the message behind a firm command in resistance to a bodily threat. It might not always solve the problem, but it does help a lot of the time, and puts one in a stronger legal position should self-defense become necessary.

Michael Courtney

The Canuck
October 21, 2006, 03:08 PM
Voice of command... STOP! STOP! STOP!

Compliance gets him the orders to drop the weapon, kick it towards me and then get on his knees then on his belley and put his hands behind his back. If somebody calls 911 for me great, if not I would do it then. :D

If he does not, he gets stopped by me. :(

October 22, 2006, 07:32 AM
I took Southnarc's PUC course and he incorporates a very loud agressive yell into the defense. It has to be simple, it has to be very agressive and it has to be loud. And it has to be practiced if you expect to use it or it comes out as a squeeky whisper.

"STOP! BACK THE *%&@ OFF!" is preferred to "Please don't hurt me!" because it gives an easily understood command using an expletive that get's the criminal's attention causing them to pause. Never cuss the person, "BACK OFF YOU %#$#@^%!", but be certain to to incorporate that expletive to get them to refocus, "GET THE &^% OUT!"

Sure made sense to me.

October 22, 2006, 09:46 AM
I can tell you from personal experience that if I am startled at close distance (and I DON"T startle easily), I will yell whether I want to or not. A real primordial scream. Hurts my throat, but I bet it will make a BG poop his pants!

October 22, 2006, 10:18 AM
If you think you have an edge, you do!

October 22, 2006, 06:30 PM
Blackwater hit the nail on the head. When witnesses are interviewed if the only thing they hear is you saying please don't hurt me or don't rob me I don't have any money ETC. they kinda help your cause.

A friend and I followed a shoplifter into another pawn shop (we chased him and lost him temporarily finding him as he walked into the competitions establishment). He was told to comply until police arrived or he would be maced. Of course the police took forever and this guy was getting antsy. He picked up a large master lock that the store used to close their shutters and put his hand into the shackle like a pair of brass knuckles. My friend and coworker commanded him to drop the lock that he was putting him in fear of his life all as he reached for and placed his hand on his sidearm (concealed in his waist). The man complied instantly. We later discussed how what he said would help in court should we have had to shoot this idiot.

October 23, 2006, 06:25 AM
If they're high on crack, meth , alcohol they won't respond !!

I call BS. In my line of work, our FIRST line of defense is verbal commands. If that means yelling, DO IT!

My voice is my first and most important weapon. I'm 6'4, 280 pounds, and I carry a big ass .45. But Yelling "Get the [email protected] BACK!" at the top of my lungs, whether the person is doped or not, usually works. It makes me seem a lot bigger than I really am, which is pretty big.

I've seen 110 pound women do the same thing. If you can use "Command Presence" in any situation, do it. Plus, any cop will tell you: In a takedown, there is ALWAYS a witness. ALWAYS. Yelling "STOP RESISTING!" or "BACK AWAY SO I DON'T HAVE TO SHOOT YOU!" works.

Also, commanding presence WITH a gun is just the best of both worlds. "GET ON THE GROUND NOW!" is universal.

October 23, 2006, 08:09 AM
I've gotta "A-men" that last statement. People who are high or very intoxicated usually will exhibit phobias for loud noise and/or bright light. A good battle-cry will usually make them start pretty hard.

October 23, 2006, 09:19 AM
As part of a distraction, say someone was in front of you and was mugging you with a knive/gun, and you decided that you were going to draw on him. If you did something like point over his shoulder and yell "look at that," so that he turns his head and gives you the spilit second that you need. Do you think they would fall for it? I bet for the most part they would, especially if you were creative enough.

October 23, 2006, 02:20 PM
The drunk and drugged DO respond. I deliver in Madison Wi. around bar time (2 AM). And every so often I'm approached by one or more college age males who are chemically altered. My only defense is a steel hook I use to move my product around. When I'm threatened I've been known to place the hook end of this rod just below the belt buckle of the person doing the threatening and saying very calmly but purposely "this is going to hurt" I get almost instant retreat from every one close enough to hear my words.

October 23, 2006, 02:41 PM
As part of a distraction, say someone was in front of you and was mugging you with a knive/gun, and you decided that you were going to draw on him. If you did something like point over his shoulder and yell "look at that," so that he turns his head and gives you the spilit second that you need. Do you think they would fall for it? I bet for the most part they would, especially if you were creative enough.

I imagine you just have to glance past him like your looking at something behind him before laughing and asking, "Do you always mug people in front of the police?"

October 24, 2006, 01:26 AM
I would yell in a very commanding voice, "STOP! STOP! I HAVE A GUN! SOMEONE CALL 911!

If the threat does not stop, then my gun will be doing the yelling! BANG! BANG! BANG! :)

October 24, 2006, 01:42 AM
I live in AZ so I can open carry plus Im a pretty big guy.
Id imagine if Im screaming at someone with a 1911 on my side they might back off befor it even went as far as one of us drawing our weapons.

Shawn Dodson
October 24, 2006, 03:18 AM
Zak Smith writes: Ooda Precisely! Imagine an attacker hollering: "You can't shoot me, I'm unarmed!" or "Get out of the way, I'm leaving!" while closing distance with you. Would it cause you to hesitate as you reevaluate the situation?

On patrol, whenever I encountered a suspicious person, I'd holler (using a command voice): "Stop! Show me your hands! Stay where your are! Don't move!"

IMO, Massad Ayoob is correct in his advice to play to the public audience with your verbalizations. Something like: "Sir/Ma'am, Stop! What are you doing?! Please stop trying to hurt me or I'll shoot you! Help! Somebody call 911! I'm being attacked!"

October 25, 2006, 09:00 PM
I train to yell, "STOP". "DROP THE WEA-PON", and "POLICE, CALL THE POLICE"

I really hope I don't get to the point of saying drop the weapon as that means my first 2-3 shots didn't do anything depending on distance.

My instructor based his training on IALETA guidelines.

At contact distance that "STOP" is accompanied by a upward palm thrust or straight arm to the face.

November 16, 2006, 07:53 PM
I am in high school presently, and I am telling you, I have called off alot of fights by doing this. When someone walks up to you and starts talking about how they are going to kick your butt and stuff like this, i just yell really loud. i usually say something like " You want to fight me, b****, fine then come on, i'll beat your ***" and if you yell it really loud then they back down pretty quick.

November 16, 2006, 08:14 PM
under attack you say? I believe in that case, I am going to do whatever it takes to stop the attack, and then yell at him. Of course he may not be hearing things by then............

November 19, 2006, 05:30 PM
From a legal perspective, its always good to yell in a commanding voice. If it ever gets to trial, you will be asked what tactics did you use before you used deadly force. Whereas if you state that you had commanded the assailant to stop/freeze and warned him that you will fire, it sounds more like a self-defense situation. If you simply opened fire without a warning, then you sound wreckless and criminal.

If you saw a man on your property who did not appear to be armed, but you opened fire then that doesnt seem like a reasonable act. The correct response would be to call the police and then barricade yourself inside a room with your weapon covering the doorway until the police arrived. If you absolutely had to confront the indvidiual, then you should cover the individual with your weapon and yell in a loud commanding voice to stop or you will fire.

Each situation calls for a different response. The only reason to open fire on an individual without warning is if your life or someone else's is in clear and immediate danger. For example, the man is holding pistol in his hand and it appears he is intent on firing it at another person.

There have been some misunderstandings in the southern parts of the united states where homeowners shot at strangers on their property without warning which resulted in senseless loss of life. For example, a trick or treater on Halloween night who came to the door.

You should attempt every alternative method before firing on an individual. Yelling at them would be an alternative method.

November 19, 2006, 11:02 PM
Would yelling at the top of your lungs give you a psychological edge over your assailant, or do you think it would make you lose your nerve and concentration in target aquisition?
Ask a feline predator...Mountain Lions and Panthers "petrify" their prey just as they attack...
Yelling will "maybe" work to shock the perp for a moment... :eek:
But, after the first yell?... :rolleyes: