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What is the the Best Self Defense?

A famous karate master once said that the real victory is winning a battle without fighting. This concept always seemed to lose me somewhere. Sure, it was a nice thought, but really, how can we defend ourselves without fighting, never mind win!

A few years ago after training for over 30 years I finally got the answer. There really was a way to win most street encounters without fighting at all. Notice I said most. Sometimes there is no other way than to explode into action and just go for it.

The best self defense is either to avoid a confrontation in the first place or know how to defuse a potentially dangerous situation before it becomes physical. Here's how...

Experts say that more than 70% of communication is non verbal. This means that your body posture, eye contact, facial expresssion and tone of voice are more important than the words you say. According to the FBI a very high percentage of crimes are committed without any physical engagement at all. The criminal merely intimidates the victim to do what he wants.

Additionally most real attacks do not start with someone jumping out from behind a parked car, an alley or a tree. No, most real confrontations start with a verbal assault or inteview first.

There are three modes of behavior one can take on in terms of self defense. First, there is the passive mode. Passive behavior is a model of weakness. Picture someone with their head down, shoulders lowered, no eye contact, feet close together. Not exactly a pillar of strength. Criminals call someone like this, "free lunch." This is a sure sign pure of fear. While it is okay to feel scared, to look scared is asking for it.

The opposite of this is aggressive behavior. Most overly aggressive people are working from a position of fear as well, but over compensate in order not show it. They fight fire with fire and many times cause situations to become physical when they need not be. Men are more likely to fall into this trap. Their macho egos get in the way of intellegent behavior in diffusing a situation.

The aggressive mode is easily seen by the chest puffed up, the jaw up and perhaps tilted, finger pointing, loud boisterous behavior. By becoming overly aggessive they don't allow the would be attacker an honorable way out. To save face they would rather fight than back down. By exploding before the physical confrontation starts, they bring their heart rate even higher and lose more of their rational, clear thinking.

The correct behavior to avoid many if not most physcial confrontations and even most attacks is what we call the assertive mode of behavior. This behavior is generated from a position of confidence. Shoulders erect, head up, eye to eye contact, aware and focused position. Prepared but not engaging or insulting. Ready but not pre-emptive. Always willing to compromise and let the aggressor save face. Confindent enough to hold his ground without having to win the verbal war. This is real power!

It is amazing how many times this will work in the real world. So many of our students tell us they can't believe the power in this.

We teach this assertive behavior both in our Street Self Defense 101 video and our Street Sense - Smart Self Defense for Women video.

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