Reasons for human violence include the same ones in the animal kingdom such as necessary sustenance and mating, and are further complicated by various degrees of mental illness, avarice, baseless anger, randomness, and conceit. The foundation for a particular act of violence is often hard to pin down, but we can all agree we don’t want to be the victim of violence regardless of the case.
What to do to avoid being a victim? I’m not sure it can be totally avoided, but we can and should try to minimize the odds against us.
First Line of Defense is: Know Thyself! Are you a five foot one inch tall, 95 pound woman, with a baby always in tow, or a six foot four, 280 pound gun toting MMA fighter. Are you handicapped in some way? Are you experienced in dealing with particular types of people, are you an off duty cop, Nay Seal, or ad agency receptionist? Knowing your capabilities and especially your liabilities can guide the level of risk you should take in particular situations. An heavyweight MMA fighting Navy Seal who is unarmed, wearing a leg cast, on groggy pain medication, should know that at the moment he has the same capabilities as that five one woman.
Second line of defense is avoidance. Don’t enter high risk areas unnecessarily. You approach an elevator, the door opens, there’s a homeless looking guy inside holding broken beer bottle in his hand, and he says “what floor.” Don’t go in! An obvious example, but if you’re a 5’1” woman with a baby in tow, don’t go in, avoid it. Even there; ego may make that woman think “I don’t want to seem scared!” and therefore not avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Men are not exempt. Men are even more likely to puff their chest, look him in the eye, get in the elevator and say “Was up?” Then turn their back on him. “Ill take the next one, I’m waiting for someone” is a good response short of backing away, which is a better response anyway.
Entering where there’s a crowd of drunks, a bunch of hyped teenagers who are into showing off to each other, a dark hallway, rounding unknown corners, are all situations where if violence occurred, we wouldn’t be surprised after the fact. Use that knowledge before the fact
Third line of defense is anticipation/preparation. Anticipate that encountering violence in our increasingly populated environment is a possibility, and as a matter of caution, do some anticipation and preparation. Close your doors, set the alarm at night, use familiar, lit streets and passageways, be aware of the behavior of the people around you.
Learn some self defense and fighting skills, get some knowledge along those lines. It may be a little or it may be a lot, that’s a call for you to make. You can do a 5 day a week, 4 year course, or a one day seminar, or anything in between. Something is better than nothing. Think! Consider scenarios, what the natural response would be, what a successful response would be. This you can do on your own and establish a loose game plan for an event like that.
I teach Kali Silat martial art, and self defense. Learning a few punches and kicks without the context of understanding violence is only minimally helpful. I know of a seasoned, experienced fighter, who got mugged and beat up by a couple of thugs. Normally, he was capable of beating the crap out of them. But in his head he had ignored the possibilities of violence in the world. That’s why I put the physical training last in order of knowledge of dealing with violence. The intangibles of self knowledge, awareness, avoidance, forethought, and reasonable expectations, can preclude the need for a violent physical encounter.
Be Safe. For more information on the Rick Vargas Kali Silat & Self Defense Training Group use the contact form below.