Self defense training against a person with a weapon requires very specific instruction and sound decision-making capabilities. Here are the 4 ‘Ds’ – some key points to consider when encountering an armed assailant:
A decision must be made about whether physical self defense should be performed. Do you think that if an assailant is given what he wants the personal safety threat against you will be reduced or eliminated? Or, do you believe that the attacker is going to try to hurt you (or a loved one) no matter what your response. Ultimately, you must make a decision whether to use physical self defense or give in to the assailant. Only you, in the specific situation, can make the decision – it should be based on all the information you “take in” with your mental, emotional, environmental and physical awareness skills. But, keep in mind that if you decide to use physical self defense there can be no hesitation in your actions – you must give 100% effort to subdue the assailant. Our “motto” is (if the decision is made to fight back with physical self defense) – “Don’t Stop Until He Drops (meaning the assailant) – or He Runs Away!”
Do what you can to take the aggressor’s mind off of the situation. One way to do this is with the eyes – look over the assailant’s shoulder as if you are looking past him, as if you see something behind him. First, try this by repeatedly glancing back and forth – past him and then at him – acting as if you don’t want him to notice. If the momentary movement of your eyes doesn’t worked, fall into a short stare while either raising your eyebrows or opening your eyes wider. You are trying to get the assailant to take his eyes off of you and look at what you might be looking at. You must be ready to act/react as soon as he looks away (is distracted), if you are successful. Just for fun, try this when you are in conversation with a friend – see what he or she does when you begin changing the focus of your eyes from his/her face to “behind” him or her! A person’s natural reaction is likely to be a turning of his/her head to see what is “back there”. Again, if you are successful at getting an assailant to look away, you must act immediately (fight or flight), without any hesitation. Like everything else, practice makes perfect! So, try it with friends – several times! This will help you remember this technique if an attack happens – when the adrenaline is pumping through your body, making it difficult to concentrate and remember some of these self defense action/reaction options!
Another way to distract someone is by using your emotions. How would an assailant react if you start crying (fake, of course) or laughing uncontrollably? What if you start having a conversation with yourself – how would an assailant react? What if you start having a conversation with the assailant? This could accomplish two things: 1. distraction, and 2. establish familiarity. It is believed that it is more difficult for someone to harm a person who is “familiar”. There is no guarantee of this, but it can’t hurt to try to set it up.
Keep in mind that even while you are working to distract an assailant, you need to stay focused on the task at hand – regaining your personal safety. You are trying to create a moment where you can flee or fight. Stay aware of how the assailant is reacting to what you are doing. If you are causing him to be more agitated and the situation is worsening, then stop this self defense strategy and try something new!
Self defense evasion movements help the body or specific body part move away from the trajectory or aim of a weapon. At the same time, an attempt should be made to re-direct the weapon in the opposite direction of an evasive movement. In other words, you move your body in the opposite direction of what you (attempt to) move the weapon. Also, try to NOT move the weapon (especially a gun) in a direction where others could be injured by it (unless “others” are also bad guys!).
Immediately following any evasion movements, try to gain control of the weapon and direct it to a position where you have total control of it. Strike the assailant in a vulnerable area (eyes, throat, groin would be 3 primary target areas) hopefully causing an immediate loss of weapon control or weakened physical condition of the assailant. Self defense actions should not stop until the weapon is controlled or in your possession.
In the next article, we will discuss more ideas about ways to handle a situation where the attacker is using a weapon. Until then, remember,…One Body, One Life, One Choice! Be Smart & Stay Safe!