03 October 2008

What is the most likely attack on the street?

What is the most likely attack going to be on the street? That is the big question. And do you practise counters to it? In theory, you should spend the greatest amount of time training for the most likely attack you may come up against rather than less likely attacks.

The last poll that was held here on this blog was titled, 'What is the most likely attack on the street?' From the Poll,
9% said edged weapon, 18% said multiple attackers and both King Hit and Blindside had 36% a piece. This Poll and the mixed responses was the catalyst in starting a series utilising statistics from large bodies of people.

Use of Statistics

The following will be the first in a series of a close look at statistics from around the world and what they can teach us about what is happening out there. This information can assist us in having a realistic perspective on threats and higher threat environments.

This first post in the series utilises statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The ABS is a government body that collects statistics from
a wide range of economic and social matters, serving government, business and the general population. It is Australia's premier statistics body.

t is likely that results from one western country will be similar to others. However, in future posts, statistics from other countries will be used and comparisons made.

Differentiating Assault and Robbery

Separate results will be shown below for both Assault and Robbery in order to differentiate between these two very different threats. See my previous post on the Alpha Male v Predatory Threats for a more detailed explanation of the difference in Alpha Male v Predatory attacks and how that ties into human combative behaviour at a fundamental level.

All that is needed to know at this stage, is that Assault and Robbery are two very different things generally committed by two very different types of people.

Most victims by age group
  • Assault, 25-34yrs,
  • Robbery, 15-19yrs.
So already, we can see that younger, easier prey, are targeted in Robbery, whereas the older 25-34yr olds, are more likely to become victims in Alpha male, or Assault type encounters.

Did offender know the victim?
  • Assault, 47.3% of offenders did not know the victim,
  • Robbery, 70% of offenders did not know the victim.
A clear distinction here. It is quite possible to know your attacker in some way in the event of Assault whereas in the event of a Robbery, you most likely will not know the attacker.

Multiple Attackers?

For both Assault and Robbery, you are most likely going to be attacked by just one person.

However, of interest, for both Assault and Robbery, you are more likely to face three or more attackers than just two attackers! Something to be aware of for sure.

Location of Attack
  • Assault- Pretty close for location of assault being between work, home, place of entertainment (including car park) and on the street,
  • Robbery- By far, the most likely location is on the street or other open land.
Assault doesn't just happen on the street or at a night venue. It is just as likely to happen when you are at work or even at home. That is, unless you spend a lot of time at night venues or places of entertainment. It is important to take this on board so as not to be surprised by it happening in other places. No real surprises here regarding Robbery.

Weapon Use

For both Assault and Robbery, mostly no weapon is used though it is trending more towards weapon use each year. Of all weapons being used, the knife is the most likely.


The weakness with using statistics lie in the fact that they are taken from a wide range of people. Like has been mentioned, if you spend more time than is average at entertainment venues and go out regularly on weekends, your chances of becoming involved in either Assault or Robbery go up.

On the flipside to that, we can actively do things to minimise our chances of becoming victims of crime. That is what Self Protection is all about and these statistics can ensure our understanding on what is happening out there is based on reality. Statistics is but one way of doing this.

The second part of the series is about U.S. Stats on Assault and Robbery and touches on the similarities noted between the two continents. At this stage it appears that Assault and Robbery have some common fundamental aspects to them. Check out the above link.

What are your views and opinions on these statistics? Are there any surprises? Comment below.

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  1. Great statistics, it's always valuable to bring in a little hard data. A lot of common beliefs about confrontations is speculative because, like you say, it really depends on the day to day situations you find yourself in.

    I wasn't surprised by the knife statistic. I'm sure guns got their healthy share, but knives are just so easy to conceal and use.

    Looking forward to the future posts in this series.

  2. The statistics regarding knife use was from Australia. The next post in the series, at this stage, is looking like being from the US.

    Will be interesting to see the difference regarding handgun use. Stay tuned!

  3. I still don't know what the most common attack is...

    What is "King Hit and Blindside" that got the most votes? These terms do not translate in Canadian very well. :)

  4. Hi ttruscott,

    This post was not so much about any particular technique. It was more about the fundamentals such as what age group for each type of attack, do they generally know each other and where these attacks occur plus more.

    These areas havn't been looked into too much before.

    So Assault is more likely than Robbery but generally has less consequences.

    This post focused on the fundamentals rather than looked too much into what technique each type of attack uses.

    To answer your other question, a 'king hit' is a big right hand. Generally swung wildly with full force and is generally used as the first strike in an attack.

    A 'blindside' is a big punch thrown from someones blind spot such as from behind the target or the side. Essentially, the target has no chance of defending it. That is where 360 degree awareness comes into these types of scenarios. The blindside attack often comes from a friend of two fighting males, typically the losing side.

    Multiple attackers must be considered. Especially as the stats indicate that there is more likely to be THREE attackers than two.

    Hope that helps ttrruscott :)

  5. It should be noted though that any confrontation should be avoided whenever possible. You might be a quadruple red belt but if you die it really doesn't matter.

    It would be really interesting to know of these people surveyed, how many of them are trained in self-defence (not martial arts).

  6. Definitely Benros. To avoid a confrontation is always better than emerging the victor. I cant remember if it was Musashi or Sun Tzu that said,

    "To have 100 victories in 100 battles is not the highest skill,
    To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill."

    These days, it is very risky to get involved in street confrontations. It is becoming more and more likely that there will be large numbers of people involved. It is a big ask for anyone to be able to fight off 5 or more attackers.

    There was no data regarding if the victims were trained in self defence or martial arts or anything at all from any of the statistics I researched for the series from Australia, the UK or the US.

    As far as I know, this information is simply not available. If anyone out there does know of this information I would really appreciate a link by commenting below.

    My estimate Benros would be that the percentage of the victims trained in self defence or even martial arts would be quite small due to the overall small percentage of people that engage in this type of training in the general population. Sorry I don't have anything more solid in that regards.

  7. "This Poll and the mixed responses was the catalyst in starting a series utilising statistics from large bodies of people" --- ugh, learn some literary composition skills, buddy.

    Number of pollants? Demographics? Countries? Economic levels? Age range of pollants? Nah, you don't need this info. It's the internet!

    Aside from the poor wording of the sentence quoted above, we know nothing about where these statistics come from, other than that the people polled are using a computer. So people of a middle to upper middle class, in countires with developed infrastructure, etc.

    Hardly comprehensive, since these people live in relatively sanitary, safe environments where help is a 911 call away. Attacks are rare, compared to the violence people in less-weathly areas face everyday. I'm not thinking Africa here, more like inner city Detroit, the muslim slums of Paris, or the poor rural areas of the Eastern Europe.

    It's incredible how you can compose a a legitimate sounding blog out of random factoids and anonymous "polls".

  8. Anonymous, all you had to do is ask...

    The full details of the source of these statistics can be found from the government website of the ABS at the following link.


    All the demographics and number of people polled plus lots more can be found there and you can also download the whole thing.

    I left that out of the post in the interests of making the post easy to read and not get bogged down with details. But for all to see, for sure, go check out the source.

    Hope that helps.

  9. Well, it be interesting to know how often victim in both a) two and b) three or more multiple attacker assaults, actually see more than one of them in initial phase


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