Art of Self-defense: Avoidance is Better than Fighting

man saying no to something

Action and martial arts movies never fail to trigger daydreams of our badass fight scenes complete with fancy and complicated moves. Spectators cheering for your victory and awed by the strength and finesse you display. Enemies defeated because of your righteous fists and well-trained kicks. Words of wisdom learned and shared to be remembered in the hearts of the community. These imaginings can motivate anyone to search for the nearest martial arts class, added to the fact that around 454,900 people experienced physical assault in Australia last 2016.

However, reality paints a different picture from the movies (as it does most of the time). The art of self-defense or martial arts goes beyond mere flashy movements if you are serious about applying it in everyday life. Protecting yourself and others starts with understanding the warning signs of a potentially dangerous situation and knowing the steps to deescalate its progression. Fighting looks cool in movies and professional tournaments but can cost you your life if faced with a real threat.

Avoidance and diffusion

In self-defense, you win 100% of the fights you are not in. Everyone should avoid putting themselves in situations where conflict may arise. This means being mindful of one’s surroundings and the risks certain actions and locations may hold. Expect a certain level of danger when walking in a darker part of the street or choosing a bar known for attracting suspicious groups. If you feel the seller of a Townsville property you’re interested in is prone to mood swings, then it is in your best interest to hire conveyancing lawyers to facilitate the process. As the adage goes, better to be safe than sorry.

man meditating at his desk

If avoidance is not possible, learning how to diffuse a heated situation is a good skill to develop. The Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) outlines de-escalation techniques a person should have in their toolkit. One of these tips is making use of nonthreatening nonverbals such as adopting a semi-passive stance and using a compassionate and nonjudgmental tone. Don’t respond to challenging questions aiming to get an emotion-filled reply and outburst. Validating their question and the feelings behind it will show the aggravated party that you are not their enemy. If all else fails, talking it out can serve as a distraction while you search for exits and alert authorities.

Less is more

Simple but effective attacks can yield more impact than complicated and performative movements. Leave the gymnastics and stunts in the training room and YouTube videos. If you can go straight for vulnerable parts of the body like the groin, neck and eyes, then your chances of survival greatly increase. The Hick-Hyman Law of human behavior supports this course of action, stating that the more choices a human being has, the longer his overall reaction time will be. Failing to act quickly is a bad thing in life-threatening scenarios as those extra seconds can be turned against you by an attacker.

Self-defense is not about movie-worthy fight scenes or who can inflict the most damage to an attacker. Avoidance, de-escalation, and straightforward techniques are more effective in keeping you and your loved ones safe from danger.

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