Self-defense and knowing the right strategies can make the difference between having the power over your offender or falling victim and becoming powerless. Of course, no one wants to become a victim, so we must be aware of some of the self defense myths and tactics that are circulating, but may not actually help you in this type of situation.
So, here are three self-defense myths we are happy to debunk:
1. Reasoning will work. Talking your way out of a situation may work with like-minded people, but chances are, an attacker does not think the same way you do. Societal norms no longer apply in a situation where someone is trying to steal from you or harm you, so if an attacker has a goal (either stealing or hurting) they will accomplish this by any means necessary no matter what psychological tactics you may try. Instead of reasoning with an unreasonable attacker, reason with yourself and determine an alternative strategy for approaching the situation.
2. Try to block attacks. Most self-defense classes teach how to block an attack from an offender. And while this is good to know, you don’t always have the time to think about how to block a certain attack. As Women’s Health Magazine writer Tim Larkin puts it, “In a threatening situation, don’t worry about what he’s doing; make him worry about what you’re doing.” So instead of contemplating how to block an attack and hesitating to take action, aim to cause an injury to the attacker right away. This way, you will catch him (or her) off-guard without hesitation and by taking control of the situation.
3. Run as fast as you can or back away. In certain situations, this self-defense tactic can actually do more harm than good. Putting distance between you and your attacker can be a good thing if there is a safe place nearby and you know you can get away. However, if an attacker intends to hurt you or is desperate to get something from you, they will come after you, and you never know what they might have (such as a gun or a knife) to accomplish their goal. So, if there is a safe place to run to nearby, go ahead and run, but if not, you might need to fight it out, make as much noise as possible, and work other strategies to get you out of the situation.
To best prepare yourself for facing this potential situation, self defense classes, being physically fit, and always knowing your surroundings are key. And if all else fails, just keep in mind that your goal is to avoid hesitation and take control.