When you look at the normal lines of movement in everyday life with people who are minding their own business, most paths are somewhat predictable and to not require further thought. Think about what people are usually doing in the context of a target location such as a convenience store or gas station: coming, going, or passing through. With those examples it’s either by foot or to/from a vehicle. Sometimes you know someone is approaching you because they take an irregular line of movement, and it’s just different enough to register that how they are moving is not normal.
A few examples:
- You see a change in trajectory towards you
- You see an irregular line of motion to include you in the person’s intended path
- You’re in a large parking lot and someone is taking a line towards you that is not in the direction of other vehicles or not towards the store(s).
- You pass by someone who was stationary (loitering) and he starts walking in your direction immediately after you pass
Let’s tie this into a recent teaching example:
While finishing up teaching a self defense lesson for 4 ladies in a park area, 3 guys walked up the stairs near where we were training: late teens/early 20s, baggy dark blue jeans, over-sized white t-shirts, styled in a conforming manner, they walked on a line parallel to our direction where there is only one path a trail to continue walking that leads to the street and some apartment buildings. I could tell that the ladies in the group got really uncomfortable as the guys got closer to us.
by NOVA Self-Defense