Nobody likes confrontation. At least nobody that is in the right state of mind. None of us want to end up in a situation where we have to defend ourselves from an attacker but we cannot predict future. A physical confrontation is something that can happen to you without any provocation from yourself. There are all kinds of people in this world and some just don’t know what to do with themselves so they like to engage in violence.
While I hope you will never have to apply self-defence tips – I’d like to share some that I find are useful to know. These are 5 tips and if they can help you at some point to save yourself – I consider my job done. Let’s start with the first tip which takes place well before any confrontation.
1. The mind set
Before we discuss any specific tips, the most important thing for self-defence is your state of mind. Mind is a powerful mechanism that has unbelievable capability of influencing someone. Everyone understands this to some extent and has witnessed it in one form or another. I’m sure you can remember a time when someone walking into a conversation and just completely changed the tone of it – for better or worse. Or someone who has, perhaps received an insult, but remained completely unreactive and indifferent, as if the insult was never done. I want you to understand that your mind set will be the most important factor in guiding any interaction – whether hostile and tense or calm and happy – in where you want it to go. It all starts with a state of mind and is key to make hostile situation disappear.
2. Being aware of your surroundings
If you find yourself in a situation where you may be attacked, the best thing you can do is make sure you have awareness of the surroundings. When being aware of your surroundings, you can quickly figure out your exit route from a dangerous situation. If you’re in a club or any social gathering, crowd will be your obstacle and you want to understand how to leave if you had to do it suddenly. Aside from spatial surroundings, you want to assess the people and whether they are holding anything. Is the potential attacker one person, or is there someone shady-looking nearby that might be with them? You don’t have to go far (youtube) to see someone being sucker punched since they were not aware. Also, can you see their hands clearly and are they holding anything in them? Are you not backed up against the wall? You don’t want to get trapped and you don’t want to be trapped when they may have a weapon.
3. Create distance
To prevent harm, you want to create a distance between yourself and the attacker. This means having anything in-between yourself and the attacker that can hinder their direct attack and will act as a blocker. Any objects around you that you can get hold or get in front of? Going for an attack in a straight line is much easier than manoeuvring objects to attack. If you cannot create distance with objects, make sure to create distance with your hands. Don’t hold them up in fists unless you know for sure they are going to strike. Holding them up out and to your sides can seem as gesture but really you want to have your arms block any attacks in case of sudden movements.
4. Fight dirty
If you end up being attacked and have no way of avoiding the fight, your safest option is to fight dirty. While this is an absolute last resort in any situation and should be used if you actually are attacked – make sure you don’t fight clean. Eye-pokes, shots in the groin, scratching their face, holding an item in your hand – is all good ways to end the fight quickly and escape. You may only have a couple of seconds until the attacker delivers a shot that takes you out unconscious. React quickly and go for the vulnerable spots. Eye-pokes is considerably one of the best and even in MMA fights this very quickly can disarm an opponent (although fight will be paused because the opponent needs to recover from such accidents).
5. Don’t defend – attack and escape.
If you are in a situation when you are already being attacked – you don’t want to simply defend yourself. Defending yourself from an attack is good, but as soon as you see an opportunity – attack quickly and with power. Once you’ve caused a defensive reaction in the attacker – escape. Remember, you may only have a couple of seconds. You don’t know anything about the other person and they very well may have weapon. It’s best not to test this. Deliver your blow and take off. Better safe than sorry.
As you can see, only 2 of the tips are about the attack itself. This is because most fights can be easily avoided by the first 3 tips. Preventing a fight is by far the most successful way to ensure you walk out safe in the situation. You don’t want to be in the newspapers, so remember – if you have a choice, look for an exit route. If you have to fight, make them regret it before you escape.