There is a saying in the preparedness world: The best place to be during an emergency is somewhere else.
The idea being, be alert to bad situations and act accordingly. If you see a situation deteriorating (such as the recent events in Furguson) or become aware of pending events (hurricane warnings, politically-charged court verdicts, etc.), get out of the way! Get you and your family in the other direction.
Distance is your friend.
Sometimes, though, you’re stuck. Despite your best efforts, evil pays you a visit. You find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it’s you versus evil. What do you do?
In my safety awareness classes, I give these options:
Freeze – the “deer in the headlights” syndrome. You have no idea what to do, so you do nothing, and you become an instant victim.
Submit – you willingly allow the bad guys to assault you. For whatever inconceivable reason, you see evil approaching, and you make the conscious decision to stop in your tracks and accept what’s about to be served up. You choose to become a victim.
Evade – as evil approaches, you go in the other direction. This is far and away the best option of all presented here. Move in the opposite direction as fast as you are physically able. You choose NOT to become a victim. If you have a self-defense weapon – gun, pepper spray, stun gun, knife, letter opener, ball point pen, stick, cane, rock – get it in your hand at the ready.
Posture – non-verbal messaging to your attackers. As you are evading, you display physical signs you will not be an easy or willing target. Think of two dogs getting ready to fight. They snarl and show their teeth. They may or may not really want to fight, but the other dog thinks they will. With humans, looking evil in the eye and raising your eyebrows sends the message that, “I see you, I know your intent, and I won’t take it.” Even if you’re seriously afraid, you want to exude confidence. Evil likes victims that look like victims, not someone that will resist.
Report – as you are evading and posturing, you bring notice to yourself. You call 911, you blow an emergency whistle, you yell for help, you pull the pin on a personal alarm, you honk your horn, you push the emergency alarm button in your home or on your key chain for your car alarm – you bring notice to yourself so others around you can render assistance. You also use this time to tell the bad guy that you have a weapon, and you will use it to defend yourself. Again, evil wants weak victims, not someone that may resist and injure them.
Fight – the last and least desirable option, but one you must consider. Evil has no pity. It will take you out, take what it wants, and move on to the next victim. You must fight with equal vigor. You must never give up. To do anything less acknowledges that the life of the bad guy is more valuable than yours.
How To Win That Fight
In all my self-defense classes, I teach my students to MOVE! Engage the bad guy, but keep moving. You don’t want the bad guy – who may be injured and rushes to the last known point you were standing – to be able to take you out as his last act.
Think of boxers. Do they just stand there, trading blows until one guy drops? No. If they did, most boxing matches would last under a minute. Successful boxers use the whole ring, they bob-and-weave, move and slip punches.
They understand all too well that a stationary target becomes the victim of violence.
I want you to take a couple of minutes an watch this video. It is a training video for police officers on how to handle a guy with a knife.
One thing to keep in mind is that every one of these officers knows he’s in a training class, and knows that evil is in the room. Yet despite this advanced knowledge, most would have ended up dead if these were real attacks.
The ones that lived had distance and movement.
Do you understand now why in the Evade option described above, I tell you to get your self-defense weapon in your hand? At close distances, you simply cannot get your weapon in your hand and deployed quickly enough for it to be of any use.
To win, you must practice.
With a gun, practice shooting targets, then moving laterally after each shot. The same goes with pepper spray, Tasers or stun guns. Hit and move.
Learn martial arts skills on how to repel and disable aggressors.
If you’re in the middle of a civil unrest situation, once the bad guy is down, get out of Dodge. Don’t hang around to admire your work. You can contact the police once you’re in a safe location.
At home, be sure the bad guy is disarmed and disabled, then call the police. DO NOT try and stop them if they attempt to retreat or leave. YOU would now be breaking the law.
If you used a gun, get in contact with legal representation immediately.
To get distance and movement implies at least a minimum of dexterity. Many of us Boomers have lost a step or two over the years. We’ve lost some of our quickness and agility. Re-read this previous article on a great technique for maintaining and increasing our physical responsiveness.
Lastly, head over to Members>>Independence Library and check out our complimentary copy of, “Dirty Fighting“. It certainly can’t hurt!
Remember, our whole goal here is to keep our independence. Loosing our money, ending up in the hospital, and possibly losing our lives is the exact opposite of what we want to accomplish. Take the time to get informed and trained on how to keep yourself safe.