Well, let us be clear about this right from the start, a “self-defence” situation only applies when you do not have any other option than to fight back! That means there is no more option to turn around and run away, or to resolve it in any other way. Everything else is a “fight”, a situation where two or more individuals have concisely chosen to get into a physical confrontation with each other.
Violent conflicts are unpredictable!
You might be surprised now, wasn’t this supposed to be a site that is dedicated to personal safety and self-defence and there he talks about avoiding fights at any cost. That’s exactly the point here, this is not a site where I promote martial arts, combat sports or fighting in general. The intention here is to give you the best advice on how to stay safe. The biggest problem with any kind of violent conflict is, that they are always unpredictable. This is not a ball game where we play a while, one scores and wins and walks away with the victory. From a legal perspective, a self-defence situation is justified if a physical attack is either ongoing or imminent and cannot be avoided (simplified explanation). If there is any other solution to avoid the physical conflict, including walking or running away and you don’t use it, then you did engage in the fight voluntarily and by your choice. For a judge there is no difference between the attacker or defender anymore, it does also not matter who started it. There are mainly two potential outcomes of this: if you win the fight, you might face the legal consequences for the injuries of your opponent, or if you lose you might be the one getting injured and looking for getting justice and compensation from a court, but either way, you lose! That being said, due to its nature, violent confrontations have a tendency of being unpredictable, whereby serious injury or even fatal consequences are always a possibility, regardless if it was someone suddenly pulling a knife, or someone just falling unluckily and smashing the head against the curb. S*** happens, conflicts easily escalate, they often end up being chaotic and sometimes something that started as an unnecessary argument over a parking spot because someone had a bad day, end up with consequences that cannot be undone. NOTHING GOOD can come out of a fight, win or lose, but a lot of things can go very wrong. For that reason, the safest strategy for physical conflicts is always “don’t be there”!
Sometimes you are your biggest enemy
I am fully aware that by saying “just walk away” I actually propose something that is somewhat against our nature, this especially applies to men. Without even trying to lie to you, I have been many times myself in that tricky situation where my own ego was voting in favour of teaching the ignorant punk across me a lesson he won’t forget, whilst my common sense would shout at me, to calm down and let it go. I would say at times it was literally like in a cartoon, with an angel and a little devil sitting on each of my shoulders, both trying to convince me that I should listen to them. I admit that sometimes I probably have taken the wrong advice and yes, I can say that I regret it. I am however proud to say that I have never started a fight first or on purpose and I always managed to be on the right side and have never been the “bad guy”. However, there were times when things did unnecessarily escalate and then went very wrong, which proves the above statement of the potential chaos that can enfold, with knives being pulled and used and in one instance even a gun being fired, where only pure luck decided that these situations did not end up fatal for myself and my colleagues.
Walking away is always the best solution
Sometimes walking away isn’t an option, I get that. if you are paid to provide security, you have no choice but to face the situation, but you still have a lot of other options before the conflict gets physical. Be smart, use them until every option is exhausted. Never start to escalate the conflict yourself, if you are a professional, be calm and friendly, your calmness clearly shows authority and lack of fear. If you are privately involved in any kind of confrontation or conflict, be the smarter one and walk away if you can. Besides the worst outcome that someone might end up seriously injured or worse, there are more reasons to avoid conflicts. Getting into a fight will most certainly ruin your day, the plans you had with your date, maybe even ruin your relationship. Women do not like it when men are aggressive, lose control and get into conflicts. You will not impress a woman by getting into a fight, they might get the wrong impression of you and decide that you are the wrong type of person for her. If you have family and kids, think of what kind of example you are setting for your children and what kind of fear they go through when such a situation escalates in front of them. An irrelevant misunderstanding or minor argument with someone you don’t even know is certainly not worth that. Learn de-escalation techniques and strategies, they will help you stay out of trouble. If you have problems with keeping your temper under control work on that, what can I say, try Yoga 🙂
I hope this was informative and useful, if you want to find out more about personal safety and self-defence training check out some of my other posts on the subject in the Personal Safety category.