Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.I started off with a rather aggressive quote but my ultimate goal with this post is to help you avoid getting hurt by someone acting aggressively towards you. Gen Mattis' quote above is from the perspective of a warfighter, but I think it applies to the realm of self-defense in everyday situations as well. We don't generally live in a hostile environment with bodily threats happening in a normal day. We do have a rather thin veneer of civilization though and people tend to behave poorly in times of turmoil. You should not underestimate the speed at which a seemingly peaceful area or situation can turn ugly and have a plan to avoid harm to you and your companions.
- Gen. James Mattis USMC(ret.)
MCDP-1 Warfighting publication that guides the overall philosophy of the Marine Corps. Replace the word "war" in the pub with "life" and you'll find this to be an excellent guide for the civilian world as well. MCDP-1 is not about specific tactics, techniques or weapons--it is about mindset. I had an instructor tell me to look at the world through a lens of MCDP-1 and that message stuck with me. Self-defense is also first about mindset. Here are some of my suggestions on how to cultivate self-defense into your daily physical training:
Be a hard target
First of all, be aware of your surroundings and avoid situations that are dangerous. Whatever your training level, don't foolishly spoil for a fight. If you look for a fight, you'll probably find one with someone meaner, tougher or more skilled in fighting than you.
|She has confident posture; not sure the clothing is practical though.|
Wear practical clothing that doesn't restrict your ability to walk easily, run briefly, jump or climb. Bring along more stylish shoes or clothing to wear when you get to your destination if necessary.
Defuse the situation
|Be cool to defuse a situation|
If you become trapped in a confrontation, abandon property to the attacker without hesitation. Stealing from you may not be the ultimate goal of an attacker but give them any property they may ask for. At the least, it could distract the attacker and give you an opening to flee. Never comply with going to another location with them though--relocation never works out for the victim.
Practice for physical confrontation
Drill punches, elbow & knee strikes and kicks in your physical conditioning program. Work to be quicker, stronger, and more precise in all your movements. Where you hit someone is more important that how hard you can hit someone. Take courses on grappling, striking and general self-defense to develop skills but more importantly, help develop more self-confidence thus making you a harder target. Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), Judo, Muay Thai, Krav Maga are all practical combative disciplines. My limited background with fight training is in wrestling and ground fighting techniques based on BJJ while in the Marine Corps.
|Practice techniques that are designed for real-world situations|
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
- Isaac Asimov, Foundation
|While the mongoose is really the aggressor towards the cobra, channel its ferocious spirit when necessary|
You can't rely on the police or anyone else to respond quick enough to keep you from getting hurt. Channel the spirit of a caged monkey and react ferociously. Strike weak parts on your attacker hard and often. Withdraw just as decisively and aggressively. Return to your hard target posture as quickly as possible and calm your mind.
You chose to be a victim if you don't seek out ways to avoid being one.