Almost without exception, when I get an inquiry about self-defense training it is from people wanting to learn physical techniques that will allow them to escape from someone who is bigger, stronger, faster and determined to harm them. The reality of the matter is this. The overwhelming majority of problems can be avoided through good decision making, situational awareness and by making self-defense a lifestyle. If you make yourself an easy target and do not foresee and avoid trouble before it becomes a physical altercation, your chances of prevailing unharmed greatly diminish.
Making self-defense your lifestyle requires conviction. This is not always easy. Here are four things that must be accepted when making self-defense an integral part of your lifestyle:
- Commitment: Making self-defense an integral part of your lifestyle is a process that takes time. You must be committed to learning, becoming fit mentally and physically, and be willing to make sacrifices. Effective self-defense is a learning process that never ends. Environments and threats are constantly evolving, and so must you.
- Consistency: Never forgot that the one time you drop your defenses could be the one time you’re attacked. Predators can hit or miss. You cannot. Drop your defenses once and the consequences could be severe.
- Foregoing Your Rights: You must be willing to not exercise your rights in order to protect yourself and loved ones. Yes, you have the right to go to an ATM machine at 2am in the morning. Just understand the risks that come with this. Recently, I watched an interview with a lady who was attacked on a walking trail after dark. She said that she would be back on the trail the following evening because that was “her” trail and she had the “right” to walk on it. Criminals care nothing about your rights.
- Inconvenience: Yes, self-defense is often inconvenient. You may have to alter your schedule, routine and even the company you keep. If you routinely carry self-defense weapons (pepper spray, firearm, flashlight, etc.) you more than likely will have to dress around these items. Most people have made carrying a purse or wallet second nature. The same can be done for the tools that will keep you safe. Make it habitual.
Making self-defense an integral part of your lifestyle must be a priority. At first it may seem overwhelming. However, by making small, consistent changes in your day-to-day activities I think you will find it’s very doable. So get started and make self-defense your lifestyle.