When in a life or death situation, the goal is to survive. This means there is no “fighting dirty”.
In truth, there is no such thing as a dirty fight. All fights are to win.
There are 4 keys to self defense to understand a self-defense scenario. They include preparing, anticipating, responding, and getting the hell out of there.
When you could be a victim from a violent situation on the street, you need to come ready.
Disclaimer: Remember to only use lethal force if you absolutely have to, or you’ll be in a world of lawfare.
4 Keys to Self Defense
Know Your Physical Limits and Develop a Plan
Things like how many combatants you could take on at most with your equipment. While also taking into consideration whatever weapons they have that you can clearly define. And preparing a plan for how you would handle those situations.
Truth is, no one knows exactly how it will go down before it happens. But having a few key situations in your mind will help you develop an idea of what you can handle and what you should do right in the moment.
Example 1) You’re in a bar and have pepper spray. A handful of guys pick a fight with you. If you are able to move quick, you should be able to effectively use the pepper spray. You should be able to defend yourself in this situation. And then have enough time to escape after they’ve tasted some Oleoresin Capsicum.
Example 2) You’re in an alley and someone approaches you with a gun. You have a knife. You won’t be able to use this effectively unless the guy is right in front of you and you know how to disarm a gun. Would be best to hand over the wallet in this scenario.
Consider these and a few other common scenarios. Think of how your equipment and physical ability would be able to handle them. This way, even in the spur of the moment, you’ll have a faint idea of what to expect and what you can handle so you don’t get yourself in more trouble.
Have the Right Equipment
Whatever you decide to use, whether it be a handgun, knife, pepper spray, or any other alternative, make sure you always have it with you.
And that you know how to use it.
Nothing is worse than seeing those videos online of someone trying to defend themselves and then they accidentally pepper spray themselves in the face.
Or when the Berkeley rioters tried to use a smoke screen… but the wind was going toward them.
Not a smart move to buy something and not practice with it. Logic 101 here, guys.
This involves three steps:
- Watch your surroundings
- Know the type of attack most likely in this current surrounding
- Act in a manner to limit that possibility
You need to be constantly re-analyzing the area you’re in. This sounds like a lot of work; I sure thought it was when I first got into this niche. However, once you’ve done it constantly for about a month, it comes second nature. You’ll do it without noticing.
Knowing the most common type of attack can be tricky, but stick to obvious examples.
Example 1) If you’re a female walking through a busy shopping street in East Europe, it’s unlikely you would randomly get shot. However, someone attempting to grab you and drag you to an alley could be a possibility. For this reason, you’d want to keep your distance from others. You should avoid being near hidden entrances, preferring the middle of the path (to alert others if you are grabbed). And you should be paying attention to other people watching you.
Example 2) You’re out late walking home alone. It’s unlikely you’d find yourself in a terrorist attack or riot here, so no need to prepare for those (should be common sense). Common possibilities might include someone with a gun (mugging), someone with a knife, or a car pulling up and thugs jumping out. Your alertness level should be high in this type of situation, and you should focus on not crossing paths (close contact) with anyone, if possible. You should also take special care to pay attention to car speeds. If one comes up behind you and slows down, you should put yourself on red alert and act accordingly (depending on what self-defense equipment you have).
Other Helpful Observations
Other things to include in the anticipate category are:
- Always maintain a comfort zone, especially with strangers.
- Don’t be on your phone in potentially dangerous areas.
- Don’t wear earphones/headphones when jogging alone, or at least have one ear free to hear your surroundings.
- Watch others, especially their hand movements.
- Develop a personal sense of security that doesn’t lower your situational awareness.
- Know where exits are in buildings.
- Reconfigure your overall plan from step 1 to fit the new surroundings. Adjust as needed.
Follow Your Plan, But Adjust As Needed
No plan will make you 100% safe, but it should give you a solid starting point in a violent encounter.
Act out how you expected to follow it, but adjust as new insights arrive.
Example 1) You have pepper spray and your plan is to use it preemptively on an attacker, then escape. The situation arises where someone tries to grab you. You use the pepper spray, then notice there are actually two attackers. You could either A) pepper spray them as well or B) try to run now. Your original plan stated to use it, then escape. However, it would be best to hit both attackers (option A). You don’t know what kind of weapons the other attacker has, nor if they would follow you. Get them both down, then get out.
Use Your Training
Remember, I mentioned above about training with your weapon of choice? Yeah, use it. I have to reiterate this point to make sure you all get the importance of it.
Stay as Calm as Possible
This should be included in your training regimen. Get out there and practice something like Krav Maga, so you aren’t a mess when you get put in a self-defense scenario.
Calmness will help you stick to your plan, act according to a threat, and escape with enough sanity to compose yourself to notify authorities.
Distance yourself from the attackers
After you have taken down a threat, get the hell out of there. Don’t stick around and wait for the police to show up.
You can always take the police back to the area if you have to deal with them at all.
You don’t want to be waiting around, in case the attacker has friends. Or in the event that the attacker regains his strength (pepper spray wears off, adrenaline starts pumping through him after a gunshot).
It’s best to distance yourself a great amount, find another person or group to stick around, and then:
Notify authorities if needed
Call 911 as soon as humanely possible after the attack if needed. This helps ensure to them that you’re the victim (and not the assailant), and gives you a safety net if the attacker is still trying to find you.
Wait in the location, preferably with other helpful individuals, until they arrive.
They’ll take it from there.
Otherwise, get distance with the situation and reassess as needed.
4 Keys of Self Defense Conclusion
So there you have it: The 4 Keys of Self Defense: Preparation, Anticipation, Respond, and Leave.
No one is fully safe against a violent encounter. Many occur randomly and without explanation.
But these four main aspects of self defense will greatly increase your chances of surviving a violent attack. Be prepared, anticipate, respond effectively with your plan, and move.
And always remember: No one should be forced to be a victim. Stand up for your human right to self defense. Fight for that right for others.
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