Have you built a plan for the “What Ifs”? I want to share with you some example strategies to use in self-defense scenarios where you are with someone you interact with regularly, such as a friend, roommate, or partner.
When we think of self-defense, most of the time we think of “fighting skills”. We think of weapons, knives, guns, sticks, movements, even which style is best for self defense… There is another skill that is important and life-saving in self-defense: Communication.
Communication isn’t just about using words in the moment—It also covers talking about potential scenarios, building plans together, and ensuring that everyone knows what to do, so that you can operate effectively together, as a unit. If you take the time to communicate with the people around you and are able to command your surroundings vocally, you will significantly improve your chance of survival and success.
Here are examples of where communication and building a plan together become critical self-defense tools:
Scenario 1: You and your friend are in a public space and are being approached by an aggressor. You have been unable to diffuse the threat, and now need to act.
- You create space between you and your friend. This results in a split problem for the aggressor as you are now two individuals in a 2 vs 1 scenario, which immediately increases your chance to prevail.
- At least one of you should have pepper spray/gel. While the aggressor is engaged with you (for example), your friend has time and space to pull out the spray.
- Your friend holding the spray calls out a code word or command that tells you to duck or dodge left, which you do. This creates the opening for your friend to spray the aggressor, and for both of you to immediately escape if possible.
Scenario 2: You are being assaulted and are now engaged in a physical fight. Your partner is nearby.
- Your partner should not run away to call for help because doing so wastes time while you are being hurt – every second counts.
- Your partner should shout loudly anything to get attention in a way that identifies the good guy / bad guy, “Stop! Get away! Leave him/her alone!”
- Your partner should get involved in the safest, most strategic way possible. If your partner has no or little self-defense or fighting training, your partner should kick (long range strike) the attacker as hard and as fast as he/she is able, aiming to the groin or body of the attacker. If the kick does not stop the attacker, it still has a good chance to distract him or delay his actions, which may allow both of you to escape.
- By exploring self-defense and emergency scenarios, and then creating a basic protocol to use in each case, you increase your chance to prevail, protect yourself and others, and even save lives. Take the time to discuss difficult topics, and communicate about your response plans regularly. If you can plan a party, you can plan for these “what ifs”.
Don’t wait to build a plan—Communicating under stress is not as easy as we think. I hope you find these ideas to be a good starting point for discussions. I wish for us all that we would never have to act on those plans.
Have a safe and happy holidays, and remember, we train “so that one may walk in peace.”