How to defend yourself effectively and legally and tips you can use right now.
You have the legal right to defend yourself and your loved ones against violence. While specific laws vary there is common confusion over your legal right to use force to defend and protect yourself against a violent attacker.
You are allowed to defend yourself and others if you can prove your attacker had:
INTENT, MEANS and OPPORTUNITY.
Many misconceptions on this subject have been perpetuated by experts in the martial arts. The notion that you have to “wait for your attacker to strike first” or that some techniques, like an elbow for example, are illegal to use. The truth is there are no LEGAL or ILLEGAL moves and you don’t need to wait for your attacker get the first shot. In fact, the mere threat (either verbal threat or implied by your attacker’s actions) to cause you physical harm, justifies you to use reasonable force – and this is where the experts in the arts get it wrong.
While there are no specific legal and illegal moves or techniques, there are use of force standards when it come to a REASONABLE response to a violent threat.
First you have to determine is your attacker has intent and is capable. Intent could be anything from threatening you in person (verbal or nonverbal) or communicating the threat in advance through anything like social media, messaging or even a phone call. Once intent has been established then you must establish ability – is your tracker able to carry out his or her threat?
Does your attacker possess the physical ability to cause you harm? If you’re a 300 pound man being threatened by a 100 pound woman and she doesn’t have a gun or any other weapon – you better be ready to prove that she had the skill and the training to harm you. However if and argument could be made that she possessed the ability to cause you physical harm (martial arts or self defense training) then you might be able to prove your case.
finally, is your attacker in a position to cause you physical harm? A threat from a person with a gun from 4 feet away is a lot different than a threat from an unarmed person across a parking lot. Simply put – CAN YOU ESCAPE without risking physical harm to yourself or others.
In most self defense situations, if you can escape – YOU SHOULD. Even if your state doesn’t have a “stand your ground” law.
So what should be considered “good self defense”.
In this brief overview we will give you common sense guidelines to defending yourself and your loved ones.
First, studied show that people who know how to defend themselves have better mental health and are generally happier and more confident than people who do not. Further more, victims who have resisted attacks not only have a high success rate (90% of omen who resisted sexual assault were successful) they also have less mental health damage.
How to exploit the three things every criminal fears: getting caught, getting injured or getting identified. Even the most hardened criminal wants to avoid these things. So anything you do to incase the chances of this happening, the less chances you will be attacked.
All self defense starts with awareness. Here are some tips to help you increase your awareness and present yourself as a hard target to any criminals who are sizing you up.
The Criminal Size Up
Victims are not chosen at random. Criminals make a risk-reward decision to determine if you have what they want and if they can take it without being caught, identified or injured. To do that they need to observe you – and this is when you can stop a lot of attacks before they start. Simply paying attention to your surroundings by hanging your personal space (social distancing is great), playing “hide and seek” by looking for places of ambush and finally “counting hats” that will force you to make causal eye contact will decrease your chances of being a target of violence.
This doesn’t take any time or training and you can put this into practice immediately.
Use of force, basic empty hand techniques. The basics ALWAYS work and you really don’t need much more than that.
Use of force – Self Defense Basics
The basics ALWAYS work. The trick is they must be extremely functional and simple to work under the sympathetic nervous system activation (fight or flight).
Don’t wait for him to attack you first. As we noted previously in the article – all you have to do to be justified in defending yourself or others is to demonstrate that your attacker has INTENT, MEANS and OPPORTUNITY and that you have no other option but to defend yourself with a REASONABLE use of force that is not EXCESSIVE.
What is reasonable?
That’s for a judge and jury, but it’s easier to defend empty hand techniques than a weapon and it’s easier to defend an elderly person against a much younger person.
What is excessive?
You stop the attack and have opportunity to escape and you continue the assault. At that point you will have a tough time defending yourself, unless you believed your attacker was still had MEANS of hurting you.
This isn’t a title fight – as soon as you resist, it changes your attacker’s risk-reward analysis. Remember, he picked you because he thought you wouldn’t resist. Now, you changed his plan and he needs to determine if continuing his attack will get him caught, injured or identified.
A lot of times your initial resistance stops the attack.
While weapons are important for self defense, most altercations
Tips on What Basic Move and Techniques to Practice.
- Social Distancing
- Hide and Seek
- Counting Hats
- Defensive Driving
- Escape and Evasion Techniques
- Running – escaping
- Use of environment – like throwing books, chairs, using fire extinguishers
- Non-lethal weapons like pepper spray, personal alarms and hi-intensity flash lights.
- Minimal body weight moves like the Finger Dart and Whip Kick
- Projectile (firearms, crossbows and other weapons that you can use at a distance)
- Close Combat Techniques
- Edge of Hand
- Heel of Hand
- Extreme Close Range
- Grappling (this requires the most training, size and skill and is the LAST rung of self defense).
*Note: When to use a weapon?
You use a weapon when you believe your life (or other’s lives) are in danger. Weapons come after methods of escape and before close combat techniques because they are efficient and enable a much smaller and weaker person to defeat a much larger and stronger person.
At the end of the day, it’s about getting home safe and ALIVE. Any self defense training should include – Awareness, Avoidance, Escape, Evasion, Use of Force and Weapons (edged, impact and projectile). Every day carry tools, and a fundamental plan that includes proven self defense basics then you will be able to live a safer, healthier and happier life without having to spend decades training.