In the first instance in any dangerous confrontation you should try to run away. Escape, evade, SURVIVE. If things get physical then you should expect to sustain an injury of some sort, even if it’s just a scratch or a bruise. Running away means no scratches and no bruises. Do not be too proud to run.
All self-defense training should put plenty of focus on running away, because by running away you stand the best chance of survival. That’s just the way it is. Humans have the “fight or flight” mentality built-in, but you should reverse those words and think about the flight before the fight. If you are fortunate enough to see a good escape route running away is definitely the smartest thing you can do, whether you feel cowardly or not. Which would you prefer to be, a sensible living person or a brave dead one? No brainer.
When confronted by an attacker think, adapt, and act fast
In any confrontational situation you should expect the worst and be prepared for it, that is why you train yourself, but you should also expect the unexpected. Learning to escape from a knife attack is one thing, but what if your assailant has friends coming around the corner just as you turn to run away? What if you manage to stop your attacker and knock him down, only to slip and fall as you make your escape? In seconds he is on top of you, and you are in a more dangerous position than before. Be alert, be aware, and be prepared to adapt to any situation and use any advantage you can find.
Any training that you choose should incorporate methods to deal with unexpected twists and crazy scenarios. The simple but effective techniques that you can teach yourself fairly quickly will work in a lot of situations – that is why these techniques are taught, but at some point you may find yourself in a far less straight-forward confrontation where you need a little bit extra. Life throws random difficulties at us all the time, so it’s important to be as ready as you can for something to happen that makes the dangerous scenario you are in even worse.
A distraction could be the key to your escape
If somebody nearby shouts and it momentarily distracts your attackers you can use this to your advantage. If a crowd of people turns the corner and starts walking your way should you shout for help? A police siren in the distance may provide enough of a distraction for you to turn and run. Expect to be shocked, expect to be scared, and be prepared to make quick, smart decisions. Taking advantage of an unexpected event might make all the difference.
Think about what you do, where you go, and who you go with, and try imagining what you would do if two men with knives attacked you. Or maybe they grab your companion and threaten her. How about the difference between being attacked in an open space versus a tight, cramped alleyway? Maybe you work in a shop and are worried about somebody jumping over the counter and what you should do. Put yourself in complicated situations and think of ways that it could get even worse. Picture yourself there, and use your training to work out how you would survive.
- Is there anything you can do to distract your attacker?
- What do you do if your attackers are a group of females?
- What do you do if you are carrying an injury and can barely walk?
- What do you do if your assailants surround you?
Always remember, the key to every situation is to SURVIVE. You are not trying to look good, you are not there to be brave, your only intention is to survive by any means necessary. If you are in a position where somebody is threatening you with a knife or gun, then your attacker is demonstrating that he is prepared to KILL YOU if you do not comply. You need to know what to do and you need to be prepared to act quickly and decisively. If your survival means running away then do it, but if you are forced to protect yourself, or to fight off an attacker, then ensure that you are as prepared as you possibly can be.