What is Self Defence?
95% of self defence is in fact avoiding confrontation; the remaining 5% is physical to combat an attacker. It’s important that, especially in this day and age, you use common sense and never put yourself in a dangerous situation that you could have avoided.
- The best self defense is prevention and not being there in the first place.
- The first rule of self defense technique is to run.
Only when neither of these two options is available do you use physical self defence.
Awareness of potential dangers
Personal space alters depending on who enters it and circumstances. Remember no one should enter your personal space that you don’t want to be there. Try and suss out immediately any threats by people invading this space and try to maintain it. Close attacks are hard to defend against and always happen so quick, so be more aware of this in everyday life.
A lot of attackers and bullies intimidate people by invading this personal space and getting up in your face. The army uses this technique to break people down. Simply step back and try and deflate the situation. Also be aware of other people’s personal space. By stepping into someone else’s space you can make them make uncomfortable as well and especially when people are under the influence of alcohol or drugs this can often cause unprovoked aggravation.
The gesture of raising your hands is a submissive one and hopefully will try and deflate the situation. It also gets your hands closer to your face to help protect your head.
How to reduce danger
Be aware of your situation. Often the best way is to join a martial arts club to boost your confidence, improve your fitness, reflexes and physical skills. People who attend such clubs often are able to react a lot quicker than normal everyday people.
Weigh up your attacker
If you are ever in a situation where you may need to use self defence, you need to weigh up your attacker very early on and sometimes this may only be seconds. Your reaction to a drunk putting his arm over your shoulder and how you would deal with a knife attack would be totally different.
Use assertiveness and direct commands ‘Keep away from me’. A slow calm voice is more effective than any other. Also never threaten it only adds fuel to the fire. Lifting your hands in a surrender motion gives the attacker a way out. A lot of fights and attacks are started because someone feels they can’t lose face. It’s better to lose face than to be beaten or fatally attacked.
When to use self defence
So we’ve discussed how to avoid confrontation the best we can so when do we use self defence? Every single person has the right to defend themselves with reasonable force, as the law states. If someone puts their arm around your shoulder and you blind them by attacking their eyes that would obviously be classed as unreasonable behaviour. Shrugging their advances and maintaining your personal space on the other hand would be reasonable. If they then decide to move into that space and grab you, a blow by yourself would be deemed reasonable.
It is very difficult, especially when attacks happen so quickly, to think before you act. However it’s better that if you feel threatened that you act and then think afterwards about the consequences, otherwise the ending could be quite different.
What about serious cases of self defence like GBH and rape
Serious assaults are very rare however they do happen so you have to be prepared. You have to be mentally strong and 100% determined to protect yourself. Anyone going into a battle with the attitude that they are fighting for a cause have an unwavering passion that is hard to beat. EG Mothers protecting their young. You will need to take every opportunity to take down your attacker in their vulnerable targets and make sure that any attack you make is strong and as accurate as possible as you may only get one. Remember groin, eyes and throat are easy targets to find and have the maximum impact. Concentrate and attack hard and fast.
Even if you don’t necessarily win the fight, if you know that you have given 100% effort and commitment you can still live with yourself afterwards, no matter what the outcome. The attacker may be able to hurt your physically but they cannot take your mind, that’s yours to control.