How To Read Attacker’s Face In Fight

Here are some sketches I’ve done to show you the faces of attackers might have during a life or death confrontation. I’m not an expert, but it might help some.

Read Faces of Attacker in Fight

Read Faces of Attacker in Fight



1. The attacker is just puffing up his chest, showboating. If the attacker is armed, he might even fire some “warning” shots to show how tough and bad-ass he is. He wants you to think he means business. In actuality, he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. An attacker with the intent to kill would kill someone without hesitation without any of this macho theatre. Of course, I’m not an expert. Don’t go putting yourself in front of a bullet’s path.

2. The attacker is enraged, possibly preparing for actual fight or flight mode. A lot of fear at this stage. May even be the expression during the actual attack or fight.

3. The attacker has been defeated or realize he is mortally wounded. There may be shame in his expression.

If you manage to stop an attacker and for sure know he’s got a defeated expression, no. 3 above, on his face, then you can confidently move along. But an attacker isn’t completely subdued until he’s gone blue and stopped breathing or bled out. Humans can survive much physical trauma actually. Use your best judgment. In most cases, you want to avoid any fight completely.

A. If the attacker is concealing their eyes, it’s probably because they are a trained killer, or understand that their eyes give away their emotions. You might notice soldiers who wear shades to conceal their intent so their enemies or targets can’t “read” them. But sometimes you can tell by their exposed face like the mouth, if the attacker is frowning or screaming. The point being, you want to avoid people who have a gun or knife on you but also has shades on. It might mean they are dangerous people because they’re in this fight or flight situation all the time and know about how to read people, the psychology of combat. Cops are dangerous like this too.

B. If an attacker has a cold, focused, zoned-out look, it means they are willing to kill or have killed before. You should never face off with people like this. There’s a world of difference between a gangster who looks like Face #1 above and Face B. Granted, you don’t want to interact with any attacker who has the drop on you, but the point is, if you can read the attacker correctly, then you can react correctly and possibly make it out safe and alive.


Most attackers are in Face #1 or #2 and are only bluffing. They’re out to scare you only, rob you, intimidate you, and don’t intend on shooting you or killing you. However, if the attacker physically “hurts” you with the intention of saying it’s a warning, it means they are actually working themselves up to killing you, so they are an immediate danger. For example, if an attacker shoots you in the leg or cuts you or pistol whips you and say they don’t intend on killing you, that’s a lie because they’ve just caused you physical harm. They’re testing you to see if you’re willing to let them kill you, see your reaction. But I’m not an expert. This is just my personal experience. You can never predict how an attacker reacts. But it doesn’t hurt to know how to read someone’s face during a fight. It’s about survival. I’m still alive.

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