This tip is for when you are at mid to long range with someone you feel is getting aggressive and might attack. Typically, if they are at a long range and I have room to run I will. No sense adding violence to this world or a disorderly conduct charge to my name. But if you can't avoid a physical confrontation and it is imminent, be aware of the assailant's feet.
It makes sense. He can't hit you unless he steps at you. When he moves his feet, move yours. Don't stand there, but begin to move offline (remember to protect your centerline?) This will disrupt him a bit and give you an opportunity to assess what his hands are going to be doing.
If you are in close quarters, even a slight shift of your body position will do. This will keep your centerline from being bombarded and again hopefully disrupt your opponent's intent just a second or two for you to launch your defense.
Training tip: Have a partner and yourself stand facing each other. Have your partner step and you mirror that step or simply move to give proper spacing to feel safe. Keep doing this and learn to see the feet out of your periphery vision. This 'dancing' is simple to do and well worth the effort to making it an unconscious habit.
Thanks for visiting. My Dharma name is Shinzen. I began studying Goshindo Karate under the watchful eye of Shihan Paul Dean in 1969. Yes, I now have gray hair. I am also Lay-ordained in Soto Zen under the tutelage of Rev. Nonin Chowaney of the Nebraska Zen Center.