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  • Writer's pictureBrad Parker

Self-Defense: Now You MUST Be Familiar with Fighting

Updated: May 12

Violence Has Become Normalized and the Old Rules of Self-Defense Don’t Work Anymore

photo of woman knocked out on a sidewalk with her attacker walking off
The increasing violence we are experiencing is demanding we take a more active role in our self-defense.

Now that it’s right in front of us, you can’t unsee it. Violence that used to be uncommon is now normalized:

The Old Self-Defense Rules:

• Walk away

• Don’t resist

• Be a good witness

• Call the police

The old rules do not work in an environment of social, cultural, and political fracturing. We are living mostly in low trust, high crime environments.

And I’m looking at our cousins in the UK and Europe. They, too, are having high levels of violence not seen in perhaps a hundred years. Sweden is experiencing grenade attacks. Grenade attacks? In Sweden?

“In most European nations violent crime reached its lowest recorded levels in the second quarter of the 20th century. Beginning no later than the 1970's, however, violence and robbery surged upward in almost every Western nation.” Historical Trends in Violent Crime: Europe and the United States (From Violence in America, Volume 1: The History of Crime, P 21-54, 1989, Ted Robert Gurr, ed.)

The 5 Tips to Survive a Physical Fight

There are no easy or steadfast rules when it comes to interpersonal violence and combat. You have to be familiar with fighting.

If you find yourself in the middle of some kind of altercation, here are five tips to help you survive the physical fight during and the possible legal fight after:

1. Get your hands up to protect your head!

  • Surviving the initial clash is your primary goal so you can continue to respond appropriately.

  • When you take shots to your unprotected head, you are seriously in danger of being knocked out or worse.

  • When you get your hands up, it forces the attacker to swing around your guard vs. punching straight up the middle.

  • Now you can expect a looping/hooking punch. Looping punches are slower and give you more time to respond.

  • Having your hands up in a defensive posture ("hey I don't want any trouble here") signals to onlookers that you are not the attacker and you are simply trying to protect yourself.

2. Move back or circle to the side away from the attacker's power hand.

  • We are trying to get out of hitting range.

  • We need to be either all the way out or all the way in to stay out of the most dangerous distance.

  • Gaining distance buys you time and time buys you options. Your movement back or to the side forces the attacker to track you to continue the attack.

  • Circling away from the attacker's power hand can someone negate the attacker's power by drawing out the time it takes for the blow to land.

  • This also buys you some milliseconds to recognize and respond to the blow. If this movement deters the attacker and he moves off to another target, then you win.

  • You are also signaling to onlookers and responding law-enforcement that you are not the aggressor.

3. Keep your mouth shut.

  • An open mouth means you are more susceptible to a broken jaw.

  • Talking takes up critical brain-processing power when you need to be focusing on the physical forces at play.

  • You are less likely to get more emotionally involved.

  • Cops can tell you are not the aggressor.

  • So, stop talking trash.

4. Keep your head on a swivel.

  • If you get so target focused on one guy, you risk getting clocked from the blind side by his confederate or an excitable onlooker who jumps into the fray.

  • We have to make sure we glance or scan around us to see if there are multiple attackers.

5. Get fit.

  • Physical skills are invaluable for your survival.

  • Speed, power, flexibility give you the ability to respond effectively to an attack.

  • Your fitness, by itself, can give your opponent pause to consider if he thinks you might not be an easy victim.

Where to Get Started

The PFC Training online portal offers personal safety and security industry training solutions 24/7/365. Now you can get an overview of a number of security and personal safety topic online.

When you decide you want to improve your self-defense skills, go to the PFC Training page here and then go to the Training tab to see which classes you might be interested in.

There are no easy or steadfast rules when it comes to interpersonal violence and combat. You have to be familiar with fighting.

If you haven't started training yet, what's stopping you? If you trained in the past and have not continued, what's stopping you?

Train like your life depends on it. The coming decade is not going to be all unicorns and rainbows.

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