SOME INTERESTING POINTS ABOUT STREETFIGHTS
Watch these videos.
Response to presented violence can be described in a few words. Fight, Flee, Freeze, Submit, Posture.
Fight is simple...as soon as you have seen enough to justify preemption, you go. I have seen enough street fighting that I know when that point is and I will always, if possible, preempt the fight. Every time I have seen men wait for more...for the first punch to be thrown, it goes poorly. More on that later.
Flee is also simple. As soon as you see the glimmering of the emotion bubbling up, its easy to leave. Its not a "swallow pride" thing either. It is quite simple as well. Me personally, I have never lost a street fight nor a gunfight. Not because I am a particularly gifted fighter, but because I always preempted it if I could...and I usually could.
I know how to hurt people...even fatally. But unless that is what I am there specifically to do, I have no desire to do so again. So I leave...and the aggressor goes home whole and alive due to my mercy, not my fear.
Freeze is something those unaccustomed to violence will do. Even police freeze now and again when their minds are not switched on. It is a product of the inability to accept that which you are seeing. A sort of mental "Wait - What?". Not good.
Submit. See above. Unless it is to the police...again, an analytical choice, submitting to an aggressor is not something that should be in the DNA of any readers here.
Posture is an interesting one. What we are seeing in many of the videos is a posturing on the side of the aggressor. Posturing is an emotionally driven action. You do not see a wolf or a lion posture. A posturing contest is a silly thing to become embroiled in as it is difficult to extract from. Avoid posturing, but use the other man's posturing to your advantage. It signals his intent to get physical. As soon as you see posturing presented, decide to either leave or stay...but if you stay, ready your conclusive and preemptive blow as soon as he gets within your reach.
All the street fights shown begin with an emotion-based confrontation. Not all fights are like that but many are. Many guys do not want to fight and posture (what I call "Babooning"), making a display to create a reason to not fight (ie., you back away), or bring their blood up to where they can fight. This is the fear biter at its best. Same as when you hear a police officer screaming (not yelling with authority) at a suspect. So the best practice should be to recognize the beginning of the posturing phase. If you can withdraw, do so out of your own choosing. He lives because of your mercy, not because of his bluster.
But if not, recognize the posturing and the tentative closing of distance as an attack in progress and stop it at its beginnings.