Self Defense By Avoiding Danger

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Self Defense hub page at NNSD - High Risk Behavior hub

Self-defense is a very simple issue, if emotion and pride do not get mixed in. Simply backing away before it goes too far is, by far, the safest strategy

Attack indicators - most violence comes with instructions how to avoid it. If you are smart enough (stop your monkey brain) NOT to piss the attacker.

definition of SD survival, not winning the fight. Avoidance is the best - criminal has come to the situation prepared to do violence. He's not there to fight you, the violence he is ready to use will hurt you, and is mentally prepared to escalate. Stalling robber with gun pointed at you will not work. There is no reasonable compromise. Criminal's goals is NOT fight you (and put you into position that you CANNOT fight back):

  • will ambush to gain control (no escalation, no time to prepare defense), giving you no chance to resist
  • fair fight might put criminal in danger, he wants to avoid it - get unfair advantage

Threat display is to AVOID violence when positioning for social status. And violence IS option and it DOES solve problems (in some cultures/areas).
People who bluff violence underestimate threat (which is not bluff).

territorial violence
Threat display among truly dangerous people, can be as subtle as a low key “You better leave.”. Most violence is territorial, not predatorial. Don't protect your ego. Leave without throwing in some snide comment to provoke him. If he follows you, it bolsters YOUR claim that it was self-defense.

5 Signs of danger

If you don't plan SD (all 5), focus on 3: Ability, Opportunity and Intent. When you see one, check for other two. If present, you are in danger. Pyramid of actions for personal safety. Habits, Awareness, Positioning (shadow dancing to set up crime without victim noticing - disguised to allow deniability if countered.)

Criminal Interview - Are you safe to attack? Types:

  • Regular: in fringe areas, any request (matches, info) is "NO" and keep the distance.
  • Hot: screaming person: be ready to escalate, don't be stunned or confused.
  • Escalating:
  • Silent: don't show fear
  • Prolonged

Positioning in fringe area (parking lot or bathrooms. ATMs, parking lots, stairwells, public bathrooms and sidewalks)

  • Closing: if person insist on coming closer than 5 feet after you warned, it's attack.
  • Cornering/trapping: between victim and exit
  • Surprise: be aware about hiding places
  • Pincer/surround: one distracts you, other traps you. Dander, if 2 ppl split before meeting you.

Avoiding attack is simple if you avoid your own emotions and ego:
1) Don't Insult Him: cursing = attack = escalation
2) Don't Challenge Him
3) Don't Threaten Him (telling you will call cops is threat: dial 911 secretly with location and attacker description)
4) Don't Deny It's Happening (deny to yourself: violence IS option)
5) Give Him A Face Saving Exit (avoid 'last comment')

"Running like hell" has positive that you can fully commit yourself to escape - easier than commit yourself to fight (because you know you can lose fight - harder to commit). Don't get "rattlesnake cornered".

5 steps how to avoid attack avoid robbery
pacifism vs self-defense pacifism is NOT being afraid to use force or violence. ("you are not pacifist - you are just afraid to use violence")
Mental preparation Survival Mindset - End conflict in 3 moves or less to be safe. set up a trap to let him attack. example of effective strategy. Using deception to avoid violence is fine: attacker is using deception to lower your defenses.

Rape avoidance: "I have to pee, be right back (and run)". Do not run from danger, run towards safety. Head for the lights and the noise."

The best deception is one the person you are deceiving can easily understand. "it is a bet".

Do NOT Use Ineffective Violence. "Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft."

you can't pick and choose which rules other people will decide to break. Attacker may not have the right to hurt you, but they certainly do have the intent. Safe dating
Women have power over males (AS LONG as the man is willing to listen to her) - And with power comes responsibility. If women lose that power - they lose control. But males have force.

Assertive vs Aggressive and Criticism (attack, general unsolvable issue) vs. Complaint (immediate solvable problem)

4 violence types - what are they goals, how to react/avoid

  • Territorial order to leave quickly. Face-saving talk-back triggers violence.
  • Behavior Correcting (stop unacceptable behavior or enforce rules). Most common and safest (no intent to harm badly).
  • Criminal - for profit (as compared to predatorial) aimed NOT at you (damage is byproduct). NO escalation - Simple solution: comply and don't get hurt.
  • Predatorial - goal is make YOU a victim. Is usually provoked - triggered by 'self-defense,' by revenge for being emotionally hurt. Don't piss him off.
  • Mixed situation can start out as one type, but morph into another. BUT each type is handled differently. you need to change your tactics as/if the situation changes. most are caused by the person, who is being offered territorial or behavior correcting violence. Victim tries to save face or warn attacker off from continuing aggression.

threat display at the wrong time is one of the absolute BEST ways to get attacked.

Predatorial is the hardest to de-escalate. minor act, like not looking at him will speaking to him is a sign of disrespect. if you are allowing your emotions to run the show you will not see the out that is being offered. To a scared monkey brain ALL violence looks predatorial. A common misconception of the monkey brain is that if you run you will be chased. As such the monkey brain believes that the only way to be safe is to 'drive' the threat away. It's false and also is causing another kind of violence to turn predatorial. Happens a lot to 'civilized' people not used to deal with physical violence (read details).

predatorial: (from the beginning) seldom gives you the chance to withdraw, wants to trap you. So if offer to withdraw - NOT predatorial (yet). only way to prevent predatorial is to be willing to engage in more extreme violence than the predator.

Fear is designed to save you life. It's not PANIC if you know what to do (and do it quickly). Fear keeps you out of danger - if danger is real, not just perceived.

Fear vs Danger management Anger violent person builds anger (escalates) faster. In a planned criminal assault criminal has come prepared to do violence to achieve his ends. reacting with just anger is likely to get your head blown off. violent person has learned that by going farther and faster up the anger scale, he can get what he wants.

(See also self defense property crime Robbery avoidance

you are NOT helpless in the face of anger and violence — your actions are your best chance of success, not your emotions.

When it comes to a fight, it's not who's right, but who's left. Ed Parker

"Let's say someone is robbing you and you've decided to give in. Is there anything you can say to the robber to let him know how upset you are with him that he's robbing you?" - is suicide. violent person is far more selfish than you could ever dream of being, also doesn't have the same social conventions that keep your behavior in check. someone with the emotional maturity and self-control of a two-year-old … and a gun. To you shooting someone for irritating you is an outrageous idea, but it isn't to him.

Protecting personal/shared space 5 feet is closest. 10+feet in parking lot. keep distance If he tries to close, move wide. This will show you if it is an intentional or unintentional invasion. If you move and he continues on his way, it was unintentional. If he again veers towards you, invasion is intentional = prepare for attack (or run).
When suspicious, head for the lights and the noise. Call in cavalry - a pro who knows how to deal with criminals. Negotiation is best self-defense. Monkey brain will tempt you to mirror emotions (go crazy too).

High Risk Behavior = Walking on Ice. It's doable, but you have to change some things if you don't want to get hurt. Your action have consequences - and even in your "home" you might be protected from violence, here you might not. Even if violence is "his fault" - it is your blood.


  • Lie: MA Training Prepares You for Crisis. NO: In crisis you act differently.
  • True: SD has Levels of Violence (appropriate to threat). Avoidance is first. Stop defense when safe.
  • Lie: SD can put you in prison. NO: you were fighting - part of the problem. 99% of fights, both parties claim SD - how is your case different? If you don't run but stay in range, continuing fight, pattern of wounds on attacker would be defensive. Explain your SD to jury.
  • True SD: battle your way out of a trap and run like hell. Don't stay to "win". Even if attacker runs after you: it will be more clear that it was SD.
  • Lie: Knowing Use of Force/Self-Defense Laws Will Interfere with Protecting Yourself.
  • Lie: I Gotta Handle This Myself: NO. "the family that flees together stays together." quick withdrawal with you maintaining a rearguard action. bullies know to prey on people who won't call for help.
  • MA for SD is Chocolate Cake Diet: sells good.

dangerously simplistic ideas:

  • Carry your keys sticking out between your fingers
  • A personal alarm will scare away an attacker
  • Carrying a gun is enough
  • I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by six
  • All you have to do is kick him in the balls
  • Don't look at the scary person and he'll leave you alone
  • There are no rules in a streetfight
  • Martial arts teach you self-defense

make you feel safe instead of being safe. it will not only fail when you are attacked, but it often encourages people to engage in behaviors that actively put them into danger! "just do this" is FANTASY solution

Train MA for throws Judo, Danzan Ryu, Hapkido - Aikido,

do not disarm weapon holder - weapon is NOT a bluff: assume that if a weapon is present it IS an attack.
Distance: knife 3 feet away is threat display. DON'T CLOSE - run fiercely away when offered chance. With luck, you have time for one strike. If attacker is standing, you lose. Aim not for weapon, but for arm with weapon, point it away, disable attacker.

Muggers and robbers - why difference. Personal safety - layers -

Fear - is designed to save you life. You don't want to overcome it. Avoid panic: know what to do. Emotional self-control is key to survive. Emotions are faster than thoughts. Conflict cycle - no talking (that last dig at aggressor) when cool-down. One of the most dangerous forms of high risk behavior is being verbally violent around a physically violent person. in the grip of anger (= temporary madness) it is easy to cross over into being aggressive and provoking an attack.
Threat Display is designed to PREVENT violence! The same move that will increase your status in one context will reduce it in another.

Ineffective violence Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft. Teddy Roosevelt
Escape - It's hard to get raped, robbed, shot beaten or killed if you're not there.

Your words of anger, hostility and outrage are *not* likely to have the desired effect. And yet, pride, wounded ego, anger and outrage will often spur you to stay and "fight." And when you are fighting, you are trying to "win." Winning isn't about safety, or self-defense it's about ego and being "right." Don't argue with an oncoming train about right to stand on the tracks. elbows and forearm strikes as you are heading for the exit. don't run from danger, run to safety. it's like walking on ice - you can do it, but you have change (suppress your monkey brain emotions) or fall.

Self-Respect vs. Self-Esteem

  • Self-esteem is based in what you think/feel about yourself
  • Self-respect is based on what you do, facts that others know about you.

Bullies and how they pick next victim.

  • While a warrior may choose pacifism, others are condemned to it.
  • if you don't have a choice, you're a slave.
  • You're just as much of a slave if you are the one removing your choice (to be pacifist if it's better solution).

Decision to walk away from a bully:

  • if he follows, it proves him as attacker
  • you are in control of your emotions, whatever he says out there:
  • he is not fighting either, so why should I rent him space in my head? he is not sure if he can beat you.
  • Words cannot hurt you if you ignore them.

You don't have to fight the bully right now - break his jaw next week, on your terms. Walk away now, no emotions. avoidance In order to be safe, you must temporarily assign a higher priority to other issues. Hurt feelings, wounded pride, threatened self-esteem seem very important until you find yourself looking down the barrel of a gun. Crime is the criminal's job and he is a pro in it. If he was not sure he can win, he would be not there.

If things go wrong, you want to be able to tell defense attorney

  • what exactly you did to avoid it.
  • what he did that told you it wasn't "innocent"
  • why it was necessary to do what you did. (immediate physical threat).
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