Self-Defense: First Step: Prevention

Image shows a fist with Self written on it and defense written underneath.
Defense not Offense

Prevention and precaution are the first and last concepts we stressed in our workshop because they are the most valuable lessons, both in life and self-defense, and are widely applicable. My troop and I decided to address the issue of women subject to bodily harm worldwide by teaching our community how to protect themselves, and how to avoid getting into these harmful situations. We also spread awareness of this global issue, and disseminated methods and tidbits of advice concerning self-defense through our blog and brochures.

The first and foremost effective step in self-defense, and even in life, is precaution. Although avoiding potentially dangerous situations is the most important element of self-defense, it is most often the one that is forgotten or ignored. Although many are familiar with the kung fu moves of “Jackie Chan” through the media, not many give adequate importance to the skill of awareness. This media advertising contributes to the overall misconception that this is “self-defense.” The public, especially young children, is mislead into thinking that these trademark high kicks are the answer when caught in a hazardous situation. Some are even excited and eager to use these moves on people to the point where they want to be the hero in a dangerous situation. This is a very unsafe yet common misunderstanding to have, so we taught this workshop in order to correct this misconception.

Avoiding a potentially perilous situation is also the easiest step in self-defense. There are two simple ways to accomplish this which we mentioned and elaborated on during our workshop. These are awareness and adaptation. Awareness encompasses everything from traveling in groups of people that you trust to making sure that someone that you trust (your family) knows where you are at all times. I know this is cliche, but “there is strength in numbers.” As for making sure that your family or someone else you completely trust know where you are at all times, this establishes a fair amount of safety. Bringing a phone or some other form of communication is also an effective safety measure.

Adapting is also a very useful skill in self-defense. While teaching our workshop, we made sure to mention that if a person is placed in a treacherous situation that they will not have time to think through their actions and plan out their moves. It’s natural to freak out and not be able to think straight in these type of situations. We told our students that we were going to teach them useful movements, effective use of these moves, and situations appropriate to use these in. But we also informed them that, in case of perilous situations, they just need to act by instinct, not freeze up, and always try to remove themselves from the situation.

In conclusion, the first and most important step to self-defense is prevention. Without prevention, these type of perilous situations would become far more frequent than they already are. By teaching our workshop, we spread awareness of the urgency of this situation, methods to deal with it, and most significantly how to avoid these situations.


© 2014, Sonali M.. All rights reserved.