This is part 2 of a 7 part series.
There are many ideas out in “Self-Defense Land” as to what makes a “good” self-defense move. Here at Urban Warrior Protection we have a set of guidelines that we use when training “what-if” scenarios. It helps us to quickly focus into a response that is most likely to work.
Do not get too stuck on the word “rules”. They are really guidelines. We will break these down one at a time to discuss them in a little more detail. Here are all seven “rules”:
- Keep it simple
- Be decisive
- Rapidly engage / rapidly disengage
- Stay on your feet
- Defend and counterattack simultaneously
- Exploit weaknesses to take advantage
- Dominate the aggressor
I’m gonna do it, I’m definitely gonna do it. I think..
Rule 2. Be Decisive.
You need to make quick decisions when in a situation that involves your personal well-being. The principle is the same whether you are driving a car and someone cuts in front of you, or whether you are out in town and a group of thugs are following you. You need to decide what you are going to do.
Experience helps you make quicker decisions
There is a decision making process called the OODA Loop that we will talk about in a few weeks. Basically it is the process you go through when making decisions. The more experience you have in situations the easier it is to make decisions.
Think about when you have gone out to a new restaurant. You look the menu over a few times, read some of the menu items, and then ask yourself what looks good. Overall you are going to look at what type of food you feel like eating, with what menu item seems to best fit.
If you are a regular at the restaurant you are familiar with the food, what menu items you like, and what will fill your food taste at the moment. Your decision is easier when you are familiar with a restaurant then when you are at a restaurant for the first time.
The same holds true for situations where you need to make a decision for your personal well-being. I have a friend that when she lived in New York, had a “throw” wallet. This was completely different then her real wallet. Whenever she was approached by a mugger she would toss her throw wallet which was a decoy.
Note: If you notice yourself constantly making bad decisions you may have conditioned yourself to do that. Stay tuned because we will discuss how to change that.
You can make some decisions for situations before they happen. Such as how you plan to react when someone cuts you off. The first thing you are going to do is probably hit the brakes – hopefully that is reflexive. Then you have to decide what your other reactions will be. Will you get pissed off, chase the jerk down, and demand an apology? Will you then speed up, pull up beside him, and flip him the bird? Will you lay on your horn as you get right in his bumper? Or will you slow down enough to give him proper car spacing and get on with the rest of your day.
You decide whether you are going to escalate situations to “prove” yourself or are you going to deescalate situations to try to maintain your personal well-being? That you CAN decide before.
The Danger of not deciding
You do not want to be in a situation where a critical, life-or-death decision needs to be made and not be able to make any decision at all. Most times a bad decision is better than no decision because it gets you into action.
This concept becomes more important when you are in a situation where your personal safety is being directly threatened with physical injury, loss of limb, or even death. Do you have the opportunity run? Do you have to fight? Are you frozen?
Go with your gut
You need to develop your skill of listening to your gut. It’s the little voice in your head or the feeling in your abdominal area. It’s probably the first thought or feeling you had that you were so quick to dismiss that you later thought“If I had just listened when I felt…”. When you get that gut feeling just go with it. It’s probably more accurate than when you try to intellectually figure things out.
When you are out looking at 31 flavors of ice cream, by all means, take your time. Heck, sample some, or all. Try mixing a few together to make 32 favors. But when it comes to a situation that threatens your personal well-being, or that of a loved one, be decisive.