The Science and Psychology of Self Defence

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The Need for Self Defence

Today’s world seems to get more dangerous by the year. The number of muggings on the street rise steadily, fuelled by a foundering economy and the increase of pocket-sized personal valuables such as mobiles, earbuds and other handheld electronics. In addition, the number of attacks on private citizens by teens is up, making the streets a dangerous place for everyday normal people.

Why Humans Attack

A look at the history of species through time shows a definable pattern; predator vs. prey, fight vs. flight. Avoiding conflict is common among animals - non-lethal alternatives are often used to determine superiority and the submissive ‘loser’ leaves without serious injury.

What Makes a Victim

Various factors may contribute to an individual being identified as a possible victim by a would-be predator. Many of these are things the victim is utterly unaware they are presenting; actions and reactions that make them look weak and vulnerable.

Understanding the Gift of Fear

Fear can be your best friend in a dangerous situation. Gavin de Becker, author of The Gift of Fear, says, “You have the gift of a brilliant internal guardian that stands ready to warn you of hazards and guide you through risky situations.”

When the threat becomes reality - the stages of an attack

There are four main stages to an attack. Each stage represents an opportunity for you to break the cycle and regain control. Knowing what the stages are enables you to recognize and deal with them appropriately and in a timely manner.

Avoiding an Attack

If you can recognize the early stages of an attack, you can often avoid interaction with a predator altogether. This is where real self defence training starts - not with hand to hand combat moves, but with a defined and deliberate attempt to trigger your own natural defences at the first sign of trouble.

Fight Backing Back

When all attempts at defusing or deflecting the situation fail and you find yourself cornered, you may have to resort to violence in self defence. Again, the goal is not to win the fight. You win by getting away. Therefore, your goal is to distract and disable your attacker enough to enable you to escape. A few points to remember: