Regardless of how polite or friendly you are, you might have to physically defend yourself or a loved one at some point in your life. It’s one of those unfortunate realities of life, and such confrontations tend to occur when you least expect them.
It might be that lovely Saturday night you go on a date or at a best friend’s party. Most likely, you have already seen such a confrontation happen to someone you know. It can be a quite disheartening experience to have someone display aggression towards you when you have not even done anything wrong.
There are many reasons why a person might decide to get physical with you and it often has nothing to do with your behavior. Your attacker might simply be a person with a mental illness, a drug addict that’s desperate for a quick buck, or a career mugger.
The first step towards being able to defend yourself against such an attack is understanding a confrontation can take place at any moment. When your mind accepts that reality, you become more aware of your surroundings and you will have better odds of successfully defending yourself.
Here are two crucial concepts that tilt the odds in your favor if you get attacked.
1) Observe Your Potential Attacker
You can learn so much from a person’s body language, yet it is one of those things most of us rarely pay any attention to. The first thing you should do when you sense danger is to pay close attention to the person.
You should try to analyze the person’s fitness level, stance, motive for approaching you, and his/her general mental state. Each self-defense scenario is unique and these observations can be used to diffuse the situation or prepare for an impending attack.
Pay attention to little details like the person’s hands. Are they clenched? That might be a sign an attack is inevitable. Is the person holding something that can be used as a weapon? If things get physical, you need to be aware of it and disarm him/her as soon as possible.
The reason why the person approaches you lets you know if the situation can be diffused. For example, you might be able to calm down a person who approaches you because they felt you did something disrespectful towards them. A simple, sincere apology is all it often takes to bring such confrontations to an end.
If a stranger approaches you at night breathing hard, with bloodshot eyes and clenched fists, you might have to make a run for it or defend yourself if there is no escape route. Analyze all the little details like:
- Does the person have others with him/her?
- Are there things in the environment that either of you can use as weapons?
- Is the person nervous or calm?
- Are the person’s feet in a fighting stance?
- Can you outrun the person?
- Will anyone nearby help you?
- Does the person appear to be under the influence of drugs
Observing all these things makes it easier for you to make good decisions like trying to calm the other person down or run away from the attacker. These observations can also alert you to the fact a sneak attack is incoming. You want to be ready for such attacks and in a position to reply with a fight-ending counter attack.
You can improve your observational skills by looking at people and trying to figure out their characteristics based on their body language. It does not take much practice for you to become aware enough to detect when someone is looking for a fight.
2) Flight And Fight Are Both Valid Options
Running away from a fight does not make you a coward. It is a smart thing to do, especially if you are able to get away. Sure, some people might make fun of you for not entertaining them with a fight, but running away also means you do not get beaten up or get in trouble.
Having a never-back-down mentality is not brave. It is a stupid way to look at things, and you might end up with your hands full someday. True bravery is based on making intelligent decisions and having the courage to fight when it is unavoidable.
Every scenario should be analyzed using the things we mentioned earlier, then you should make the most intelligent observation. If your attacker simply wants material things like your wallet, and you can’t avoid the situation, let him/her have it. You probably do not have much cash in it anyway and it only takes a phone call to place holds on debit and credit cards. There is no point risking your safety simply because you do not want to lose something that can be easily replaced.
Predators tend to choose the weakest person the can find to be their next victim, and you can avoid confrontations by projecting confidence. Walk straight, look people in the eyes and always remain calm when someone confronts you. The fact you remain unnerved by their aggression is often enough to get an attacker to rethink his/her plan.
You never know when the day might come where you will have to use these self-defense concepts. Preparing yourself to defend yourself if the need arises is responsible and important. Training martial arts on a regular basis is the best way to ensure that you know what to do if attacked. Give martial arts a try today!
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