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My approach to self defense

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posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 03:55 PM
Self defense: What does it mean?

Well, self defense to me means "Do what it takes to survive." The line doesn't start and stop with owning a gun. There are many things to consider about self defense besides the weapons aspect. This is my personal philosophy of self defense.

1. Avoid dangerous places and situations.

This is your very first line of defense. There's nothing in this world that will get you out of more sticky situations than not getting into them. Depending on where you live, you might manage to avoid a dangerous place or situation every single day. Every day... compared to however many times you have to use a gun for defense. I just can't stress enough that if you want to stay safe, you need to stay out of trouble. Don't wander down dark alleys. Don't loiter in dangerous neighborhoods - don't even go there, if it can be avoided. Don't hang out with dangerous people. People who tend to commit criminal behavior also tend to attract it. Don't confront violent people if there isn't a darn good reason to do so. Common sense things like this can keep you out of a world of trouble.

2. Always be aware of your surroundings.

Sometimes, a situation that looked safe will just go bad. Maybe you parked in a well-lit area of a parking lot, and when you came back for your car the light was out. Even if you try to avoid trouble, sometimes it just manages to find you. Being able to see trouble coming and walk away before it arrives is a key issue of self defense. Once again, you're protecting yourself from harm by getting out of harm's way.

3. Know how to resolve conflict.

Not all violence is about people trying to get something out of you. Sometimes a dangerous situation will present itself in the form of conflict. Maybe somebody at the bar seemed like an okay guy, until he accidentally bumped into you and spilled his drink on your shoes. Now Mr. Okay Guy is blaming you for bumping him, and he's ready to pummel you. Apologizing and buying the guy a new drink will go a long way towards avoiding a drunken brawl. Instead of getting a few black eyes and possibly ending up in jail, you could end up making a new friend. It's not worth getting in trouble and putting yourself in danger over something as petty as a spilled drink.

4. Be ready to surrender and run away.

While you always have the right to be safe, you don't always have the right to use force to protect your safety. It's not right to shoot somebody because they tried to pick your pocket - the guy might be a thief, but he's not a killer and doesn't deserve to be killed. I'm not suggesting you should let somebody walk into your house, pick up your television, and walk out the door with it. I'm just saying that sometimes the better option is to just give a robber your wallet and run. You have to use your judgement on this one though. Does it look like he's going to kill you even if you cooperate? Is he asking for too much? Does he want something from you, or does he want to hurt you? You have to learn how to read people. If the other guy gets your wallet, you can cancel your credit cards and call the police later. If the guy takes your life, your game is over.

5. Be prepared for the conflict before it happens.

It's not enough just to have a gun. You have to have it with you when you need it. You have to get into the "Kill or be killed" mindset. When you're going toe-to-toe with a violent criminal is NOT the time to decide whether or not you're going to feel bad about your actions later. If you've already made it through the other four steps, and they've saved your life, then that's great. If they haven't saved your life yet, that means they have all failed and they are not going to help you. Only the will to act and survive will save you now, and you need to act accordingly.

In addition to the mental abilities, you need the skills. You have to be able to use that gun effectively. That means knowing more than just how to point it and pull the trigger. You need to be able to aim, shoot, assess, and aim and shoot again. You might even need to reload - quickly. You need to know how to clear a jam, and you need to know what you can expect from yourself and your gun. Can you hit a target at 5 yards? 10? 20? And most importantly, you need to be able to do all of this while under duress. What your brain can do on a range is not the same as what your body can do in a life or death situation.

And finally... if you have a gun, keep it legal. You have the mental mindset. You have the physical skill. Before you even get any of that, just get the legal paperwork. It's not worth the trouble you can get in for skipping it. Have the permits you need, even if you're opposed to the idea of the permit. You don't want to carry a felony weapons charge for the rest of your life just because you slacked on some paperwork.


posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 04:32 PM
Nice post, and some very good tips there.

Especially the one about not getting into trouble in the first place. Some people seem to go looking for it, but no matter how handy you are yourself, theres always someone bigger and better round the corner.

So avoid it at all costs unless you really have to.


posted on Aug, 27 2009 @ 05:07 PM
Excellent Post...and very much in line with my own approaches in regards to Self-Defence.

To me the key fundamental of Self-Defence is Self first and foremost.

To give some background:
I've been in numerous conflict/threat situations, both in my own personal life and very much so in my areas of employment - working in Security and also for many many years within Mental Health.
Working with psychiatric crisis situations, working within Secure Forensic Inpatient Wards and the like dealing with unwell and at times highly agitated and agressive yes indeed...being in situations of conflict and threat isn't at all uncommon for me.

My own personal experience/skill-base has been as an avid student of various Martial Art forms, competeing occasionally in MMA Tournaments and the like.
While in my country (New Zealand) we aren't permitted to carry weapons on our person, or even really own any form of firearm apart from hunting rifles, shotguns etc.
Yes we can own such firearms as semi-autos and handguns and the like, but the restrictions upon such weapons and the required licence-class/storage for such weapons pretty much means they aren't something the average Joe has an option of having speedy access to in the interests of protection.
I have however been raised as a Hunter, enjoy and regularly hunt, so do have a number of firearms within my household as well.

I'm also a Calming and Restraint (C&R) Trainer for the Hospital I work for.
As a C&R Trainer I take other Mental Health Staff through training on how to more effectively deal with conflict situations, techniques for diffusing conflict, environment/threat analysis and management.
And how to - if so necessary - intervene and restrain to do it as quickly, effectively and most importantly SAFELY as possible...not just for them but certainly for the Patient as well.

...what I drum into them right from the start is:
Every conflict/threat situation is comprised of three key elements.
1. The other person
2. The environment
3. Yourself

Altering/controlling the other person is of course the hardest of the 3 to achieve quickly.
Environment can be changed within reason...but the key element most easily changed/controlled is yourself.

Its certainly ourselves that can be the largest controllable factor...and as such can be the most influential factor...on the outcome of the situation.

So certainly its about management of ones own responses, about removing oneself if possible and mitigating oneself if not.

As I also tell them: Step down wherever possible if you can - but be prepared to step up if you can't. The default setting in your response should not be to engage...but rather to disengage.

At the end of the day - as you've pointed out in your post - many conflict/threat situations don't have to end in tears. Yours or anyone elses.
There is NO shame in walking away. NO shame in quietly and calmly handing over your money, possessions, they are replaceable.
Best defence is not to even be in a situation that may require one.

Too often I think that conflict/threat situations are escalated due to pride, due to fear of being seen as a p---y. Heh, the only person you need to answer to is yourself.

Great thread.


[edit on 27-8-2009 by alien]

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 05:48 AM
reply to post by mattifikation


I'm not sure why this thread hasn't got more replies because its very well written, thought out and contains valuable information.

As CX mentions its good you have included the part about not getting into a tricky or dangerous situation in the first place.

It sounds soft but crossing to the other side of the road when you see a gang of 5 youths/men walking towards you is a good idea.

Another aspect is try not to look like a victim, don't walk around with your head down staring at the floor with your back slouched.

Walk confidently with your head high. Obviously you don't want to appear cocky or that you want to invite trouble but theres a happy medium.

My personal approach is the first stage of self defence is awareness.

Sadly though not all self defence situations can be seen before they happen. Martials arts/boxing or some other type of self defence training then needs to be relied upon.

I think everyone should have some form of self defence training.

Anyways good thread!

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 06:24 AM

Originally posted by alien

Too often I think that conflict/threat situations are escalated due to pride, due to fear of being seen as a p---y. Heh, the only person you need to answer to is yourself.

[edit on 27-8-2009 by alien]

I agree to the fullest. I have witnessed and been involved in way too many confrontations where ego's were the only reason to fight.

Its never a survival thing. As a more developed species, we humans fight for fun and ego, not survival anymore. Unless its life or death which does occasionally happen.

Self defense? Do what you have to do to survive. My sensei (R.I.P.) taught me that a long time ago.
He also taught me that if you are in the situation where they attacker will hurt you, You inflict pain first! Don't let them attack first.

Just my humble opinion.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 06:31 AM
reply to post by mattifikation

That reminds me of the priciples of engaging multiple opponents that was taught to me by my Sifu:
1)take out the most vicious threat first.
2)Do not get caught between 2 opponents
3)Correct weapons, utilized to correct targets
4)correct use of terrain
5)Do not go to ground intentionally
6)Stay singularly commited- yet, group conscious.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 06:34 AM
reply to post by havok

He also taught me that if you are in the situation where they attacker will hurt you, You inflict pain first! Don't let them attack first.

Unfortunately that isn't always possible in a self defence situation.

However, pre-emptive strikes are legal and I agree 100%; if you can hurt your attacker first then go for it!

If you feel you are in a position of danger and your going to be physically hurt, robbed etc then do not hesitate getting the first shot in.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 06:34 AM
Excellent post.

AND so true!

I see everyday how some people take their self-defense teachings from Hollywood.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 06:37 AM
reply to post by KRISKALI777

Thats a very valid and effective set of principles

Taking out the most viscious threat first is definately the right thing to do.

You want to get rid of the one who could, potentially, do the most damage.

Another benefit is that in group mentality the most viscious is usually the ring leader. Sort him out and the others will be easier to deal with.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 06:55 AM
reply to post by Death_Kron

Hi death,

Another benefit is that in group mentality the most viscious is usually the ring leader. Sort him out and the others will be easier to deal with.

The definition of ring -leader may be different at times:
Just say in a scenario where there are 3 guys, whom have you cornered wanting your money......who do you attack first?
The guy screaming at you saying "give us your cash before we bust you up"; or the guy standing next to him nodding in his acknowledgement; or the guy quietly 'milling around, whom cant keep still???
My Sifu says: Bash the Miller first!
This is the guy whom will throw the first stray, unexpected punch from the side- while your attention is diverted.

The other thing is : take the fight to another location.
I.E:Run, but be prepared to fight.
It has been statisically proven that if you are facing-off with an unfair number of assailants, run for a bit; then take stead of who follows.
Rarely will the whole group follow; there may be a few- take this short run as an opportunity to compose yourself;a brief warm-up; and readiness to explode!!!

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 07:02 AM
reply to post by KRISKALI777

You have a good point there, we are talking about street fighters/criminals who don't abide by any rules.

I used to train in various martial arts and also used to box, I know its very different fighting on the street as opposed to fighting against only one opponent with rules and a ref in a ring.

As you say the ring leader can change at different times in the encounter.

Your also spot on with the part about one guy shouting to divert your attention and then another to get in a sucker punch from the side. I have experienced this first hand unfortunately.

Like I said, we're dealing with ciminals here. They have adopted and practised various ways of getting what they want and have their own little tips and tricks.

Good point about running and taking the fight to a different location.

Cus D'amato said, if possible, let your opponent come to you. Never the opposite way around...

Running to a different location and then stopping if needed would be a good way of bringing them to you.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 07:14 AM
reply to post by Death_Kron

Hi again death,

Like I said, we're dealing with ciminals here. They have adopted and practised various ways of getting what they want and have their own little tips and tricks.

Thugs have one main predictability: they choose their victims. If you look confident, (unless they are in numbers) you probably wont be singled out.
They normally have no heart, so if you look like you can pack, they will probably think twice- which is why Old ladies/men, and women are so often targeted.
I agree with you: You can take the fight to a different location; but NEVER let yourself be taken to another location for a fight!
E.G: guy in night-club says ( for whatever; Step out-side.)
Smash him there and then.

[edit on 8/28/2009 by KRISKALI777]

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 07:39 AM
reply to post by KRISKALI777

Yeah I agree mate, more than 99% of the time thugs pick on vulnerable looking people i.e. young kids, old people etc

As we've both said the trick is to look confident. Stand tall and all that...

Good point about the nightclub example!

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 08:30 AM
reply to post by Death_Kron

Of coarse we can waffle-on about theory this, and thoery that. Yet, you hit the nail on the head before: when you wrote about the unpredictabilty of fight situations!
We can be as trained as we like; but when it comes to tango, you are never really sure about whats gonna happen!
Peace to you man!

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 08:58 AM
Self defense and avoidance are great discussion material. Some very useful posts, and I must also add my $.02.

A little about my background, started martial arts in 1984. Have studied Taijutsu, Aikido, Bushido and Gracie Jujitsu before mastering Army Combatives, which it is based on. I've been taught that, if a fight lasts 3 seconds, it is taking too long.

The replier who mentioned multiple opponents, more probable than any other situation. When someone gets into a physical confrontation, some one is outnumbered. I've been there, know it first hand, and won.

From personal experience, I swear on Aikido being the best martial art for defense. It teaches one to deal with multiple attackers, ten being what I was able to handle with confidence. The fact that Aikido is purely defensive with out one attack is amazing.

Being able to use it, with other forms with attacks is devastating. I highly suggest every one interested in greatly increasing their confidence and skills in physical confrontations to study Aikido as a martial art.

Just imagine Steven Seagal and Hoyce Gracie combining fighting techniques. That's what you get with that combination.

Just hope that gives an idea of options available. It's better to have a specalised tool in your tool box and not need it. Than it is to need it, and not have it.

Avoidance is the best course of action, and often the easiest way to bypass an obstacle is to go around it. Just be ready when the obstacle refuses to get out of the way.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 09:13 AM
reply to post by ADVISOR

Good for you man!
One thing I know is when you discuss fighting or martial arts; everyone is convinced that the art/style/system whatever they've trained:is the best.

Training takes discipline; becoming a great fighter takes everything you've got! I respect that!
Nothing good, ever came easy!

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 12:08 PM
reply to post by KRISKALI777

My strategy in that night club situation would be to find a place to dance that's closer to the bouncer. He's there to deal with rowdy people, that's what he gets paid to do. Let him do the smashing if any smashing needs done.

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 04:58 PM
Some great points in this thread!

In reference to 'Ring Leader': In my own experience of unfortunately being involved in numerous physical altercations. Honestly can't recall how many...such was my upbringing and the environment I lived in up until recently.
The supposed Ring Leader wasn't the was, as another poster pointed out...the 'Miller'.
The one who doesn't say anything, who just hangs back and sizes you up and then moves in for the cheap-shot which then - like a pack of sharks in a feeding frenzy - starts everyone else in on you.
THATS the guy I tend to be most conscious of.

I've also found the 'Miller' is also the guy easiest to put down...and once the rest of the group see him be laid out without too much effort then they tend (not always of course) to back off enough for you to extract yourself if you can.

I'm by no means any Mr Bad-Ass...I've had my butt handed to me before a number of times.
That also is a reality - unless you're either the toughest, baddest, more highly skilled and/or luckiest guy on the block...chances are sooner or later you'll be faced with someone or some situation that you're going to come out worse for wear.

Another point to be conscious of is the Law.
The Law is not always on your side.

Certainly most countries allow the use of 'reasonable force' to defend yourself. The definition of 'Reasonable' however is debateable - fought over not by you or any assailant, but by Lawyers.
Thats where it can get the fight you have on the street, in a bar or in your home can often just lead to the fight you're about to have in a Court Room.

From experience:
Some years ago I was jumped by 4 guys in town.
I was somewhat innebriated, having had a little bit more to drink that usual and was making my way to the taxi stand to catch a taxi home.
I walked past these 4 guys, and they commented on my jacket. I thanked them and kept walking...bit too oblivious about the real intention of their comment initially.
I then made a VERY stupid move of cutting down an alleyway linking two walked into a dimly lit area, out of view of the public.

It wasn't until they came up behind me and told me to hand over my jacket that I realised I was now getting 'mugged'.
Again...being semi-drunk I told them to, umm, yeah *censored*.
One pulled a knife and demanded my jacket or he'll stab me up.
Again...semi-drunk and thus quite stupid I guess, I again told them/him to 'go forth and multiply'.
He advanced on me, I snapped out a kick straight into his abdomen which booted him backwards and through a large shop window behind him.
One of the others rushed at me with a knife, I didn't actually register he had one until I had blocked his thrust...flat palm to the face and busted his nose open, wrapped up his knife arm, hyperextended and broke his elbow.

The other two guys ran. In doing so one of them in his haste to get away leapt over a park bench, collected his foot on it as he jumped, tripped and landed heavily face-first into the concrete doing some major damage to his face.

The Police and ambulance attended. The guys claimed that I had attacked THEM. That they were minding their own business and I had rocked up and started a fight. That they had pulled knives on me to defend myself.
The guy who tripped on the park-bench claimed that I had done that damage to him.

I was arrested and charged with Grievious Bodily Harm/Serious Assault.
To complicate matters further, that wasn't the first time I'd been 'in trouble with the Law'. As said I had an interesting upbringing...and so in younger/stupidier years I was no stranger to Police. I do have a record, but that was years ago and not so much as a parking ticket since...but hey, it all counts against you when you get such serious charges such as GBH.

Had to go to court to challenge the charges...and it wasn't until some security footage from a neighbouring carpark was presented, showing that I had walked past this group and down the alleyway. Showing that they had followed after me, one even in the footage showing a knife to his friends before they followed me...that the charges were dropped against me.

But yes - sometimes you defend yourself...and have to defend yourself again.

[edit on 28-8-2009 by alien]

posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 05:46 PM
reply to post by alien

Sad isn't it- the way the law works sometimes.
I suppose though, in the end its better to attempt to defend yourself, rather than be on the end of someones knife etc, or just hand your goods over in an attempt to avoid the situation altogether.
In Australia we also have the concept of 'justifiable force'- for example if someone verbally threatens you, you may defend yourself except you cant get away with kicking them in the head etc.
If someone pulls a knife or gun, then you may use vicious force (just don't kill them for goodness sake)- it then becomes; as you said another fight. The only one that'll win that are the Lawyers!
For something a bit OT, herein Australia we have had cases where burgulars have tripped inside of a house while trespassing with intent to steal, the sued the home ownwer for damages! WHAT

In conclusion though: I believe its better to at least have a go at defending yourself; than to wind up potentially or literally dead.

[edit on 8/28/2009 by KRISKALI777]

posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 03:00 PM
reply to post by KRISKALI777


Who was it? Ice Cube who said "Rather be judged by twelve than carried by six"

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