I was recently tagged in a Facebook post that posed a question to the self defense educator community about the practicality of an approach that could be surmised as Diffuse, Evade, Attack. Several respondents contributed their opinions as informed by their military or martial arts backgrounds. I saw a common theme among them all: avoid a bad situation if you can, and if unable to avoid, defend yourself to the degree warranted by the situation.
What we teach from a self defense perspective is that self defense is what you need when self protection has failed you. From the comments above, I can see that many others learn the same thing. If you can de-escalate the situation with your words, or by altogether avoidance, that is the epitome of getting home safe. And that is self protection. But those who have had to defend themselves physically know that sometimes, hand-to-hand is the only way the situation will be handled. When it comes to the main goal: GET HOME SAFE, I teach that you should do whatever it takes, according to the situation. What I can do to defend myself when I’m alone and walking to my car, is different than what I can do when I’m walking with my children or my loved ones. In any case, the common thread in everyone’s response appears to be TRAINING. Just like your kids drill for what to do if there’s a fire at school, we all need to be drilling for what to do if our personal safety is threatened. In the heat of the moment is not the time to make rational decisions. If we have trained, considered the possibilities of threat, and realized the capability of our physical and mental strength, then we can expect that training to ring true in the heat of the moment.
I’ve seen this common theme in the comments above, and it’s something you’ll hear in my gyms regularly: hospital trip or morgue. It’s all situational.
See the whole conversation here: https://www.facebook.com/simeon.frazier/posts/10151779476206193