What Self-defense is about
Self-defense is fun, interesting and valuable. Self-defense comes with so many benefits, and they’re all positive! Apart from the obvious skills you are learning, you will also achieve an understanding of self-discipline, self-respect, self-control and self-awareness. You are learning valuable life saving skills, what to do in case you are attacked, how to gain that momentary edge over your attacker so you can get away or find people who can help you.
Prevention is the best defense and being situationally aware is your first line of self-defense. By avoiding certain situations you can minimize your risk of being attacked, such as scanning your environment for suspicious activity and being alert at all times instead of just blindly walking around. Avoid dangerous places like poorly lit, isolated, late at night, in unfamiliar territory, and stay away from people who might be prone to violence such as drunks or gangs.
What Self-defense isn’t about!
There’s a huge difference between Self-defense and fighting! If you are attacked your number one priority above all should be to get away as quickly and as safely as possible, your goal is not to try to win a fight but escape unhurt. Of course in order to escape you may need to disorient, distract, stun, and even disable your attacker. But once you see an opportunity to escape, take it and get out of there, don’t hang around and admire your handy work. Do not give your attacker a second chance to come at you, next time you might not get the chance to escape.
Self-defense should not be about teaching you how to `go the distance` in a street fight or how to `teach someone a lesson` and is most certainly not about using your skills in the wrong way such as being a bully or attacking others when unprovoked. Just because you know you have skills don’t misuse them! Self-defense training should have also given you the discipline, self-control and understanding concerning this.
You haven’t learned these skills to turn `psycho` or `put the boot in` and start kicking the attacker all around the ground or generally using excessive force, if you do this then you have taken this way past the point of self-defense and now have become the aggressor! Many attackers will happily play the role of victim and get you sued over something they started! So self-control is a huge factor. Do not go over the top!
Act quickly! Your life may be in danger
Unfortunately, even if you are street smart, there are too many incidents of random, unprovoked violence nowadays. If someone attacks you, your life may be in danger. You must react quickly and confidently. The longer you wait, the harder it may become to free yourself. There is no time for social graces, or being polite and reserved, you must respond as the situation requires.
Bottom line is do what is necessary to escape, after all, an attacker is not coming for your autograph! Do whatever is necessary to gain an advantage and get out of there quickly and as safely as possible.
Become situationally aware
I’m sure you’ll remember your dear old mom telling you as a young kid about not talking to strangers, getting in cars with strangers and walking down dark alleys alone, yet so many people forget this kind of advice years later and put themselves in unnecessary danger.
Many victims of assaults say afterwards that they saw it coming, so the problem is not being able to spot the danger they have put themselves in, but rather, unable to act on it once they see it coming. The thinking of `that kind of thing happens to other people, not me` is a very dangerous attitude to have.
The lack of common sense in avoiding these potentially dangerous situations is very evident by the choices people make. For example, Friday or Saturday after the bars close can be a huge area of concern, fast food joints are where you’ll see many fights, the drunks are out in force and many looking for trouble!
Poorly lit or lonely areas are very hazardous at night, some are well known and some even have a bad reputation, but yet people will blindly ignore these red flags if it means getting home a few minutes early by walking down a dark lane as a short cut, many times fueled by alcohol their brains are telling them “It’ll be ok, no problem just this once” and it might be ok just this once, but you can definitely reduce your risk of danger by avoiding these areas. Just a little thought can save you a lot of trouble.
Quite often, you might encounter a gang of teenagers hanging out on the street corner at night who are doing just that and don’t intend anyone any harm, but if you feel uneasy about walking past them then don’t, seek another route to take.
It is very easy to tell if someone could be trouble by their demeanor and attitude, if your instincts are warning you it’s for a good reason, don’t hang around if you feel threatened, if it’s at all possible to leave before any confrontation can happen, then it’s best to do exactly that. Always be scanning your horizon for possible dangers. Think ahead, be one step ahead of any possible danger.