Quote: If an aggressor indicates an intent to harm me, whether through verbal or non-verbal means, then yes. Self-defense.
Verbal is just that words; remember the old saying, "sticks and stones my break my bones but names will never hurt me"? An altercation isn't 'on' until somebody throws one. The first one to 'go physical' has just lost any respect I might have had for them. In my way of thinking its the mark of a coward, because they were the first to lose their composure and self control. If a person cannot control themselves, their emotions, ego or fear what is there to suggest they are capable of, or have the right to control another individual?