the wanted to kick my ass... if you read closely its more a matter of me wanting to kick their asses
Self-control, man. People have been confronting what you're feeling for thousands of years.
"I want to hurt this man, but it is wrong."
Be the bigger man and walk away, even if it means you get punched in the back of the head.
I'm not telling you to not defend yourself, but I will say it's probably not a good idea to escalate the situation by yelling insults back, or brandishing a weapon, even if they do first.
a) Don't escalate the situation, try to calmly leave.
b) Don't brandish a weapon, even if they do first.
c) Defend yourself, but don't have anything you can be blamed for, like exasterbating the situation.
People fight or attack others on a personal level because they are unable to control their emotions. The inability to control emotions, is pure weakness. Usually these are the people who have to 'shove their weight around' or carry weapons in an effort to appear 'tough', although they are emotionally weak.
All that anger you felt in the moment, the adrenaline pumping? Just a chemical reaction and electrical signal in your brain. It can be ignored. It's an old evolutionary instinct called 'Flight or Fight'. When a living thing is confronted with danger, it's body prepares to run away(flight) or defend itself(fight) by pumping adrenaline and causing suspicion and distrust in an effort to preserve itself. You can ignore all that. It's only a chemical reaction and electrical signal in your brain. All emotions are. You control them, don't let them control you.
Control. Stabbing someone or getting stabbed just isn't worth it. Flying off the handle and hurting other people is weakness. Pure and simple.