by Jack – Real World Protection
Often with Self Defense, what we say is slanted towards or is specifically for women. This is simply because women are more concerned about safety on a daily basis. As a man, you’re probably not concerned for your safety when you take the dog for a walk, go to the mailbox, return to our car in a parkade, or notice a woman looking at you. But such common, everyday occurences are a time of anxiety for many women. The average woman going about her daily activities FEELS more concerned about her safety, and rightly so, because she IS more in danger of violence than the average man.
However, many men are also concerned about safety, both their own and for their families. In some ways, they may feel reluctant to talk to others about this because of the social idea that they, as a man, are already supposed to be able to take care of themselves and their loved ones. But many of us, of course, did not grow up in the circumstances where we would actually learn to fight other young men. So we don’t actually know what to do, and don’t have confidence in our natural abilities.
As for women, there are many things a man can do to stay safe without having to fight. You can also use your awareness and intuition to avoid possible trouble. You can use your verbal skills to defuse a potentially dangerous situation. See our other articles for help with these skills.
There are some key differences, however, in how and why men attack men compared to men attacking women.
The first key difference comes in the reasons a man might attack another. A source of considerable danger for men is the tendency to fight over words or territory. You could be attacked because of this, or you may be tempted to start a fight for such reasons. Women often need to have their self-protective instincts, and their natural ability to fight, woken up. Men often need to have their tendency towards self-righteous anger and their tendency to fight throttled back and channelled in more effective and POSITIVELY self-protective ways.
An insult, real or imagined, can be enough to precipitate a fight. One principle for any of these situations… don’t! Don’t engage in such fights, and don’t start them. Don’t give him an excuse. Don’t give that stupid driver the finger, tailgate him to show your impatience, or cut him off to retaliate against him for cutting you off. It’s not worth the possible result of him pulling a gun and killing you. And don’t instigate such a fight yourself. Don’t fight someone because he called you a name or cut you off in traffic.
One really blunt way to think of this… You absolutely must avoid physical confrontation at any cost until the final line is crossed. That line might be a threat to your life, a sexual assault on you or a member of your family, or a threat to their lives. It might be a similar threat to a person you don’t know – it’s different for different people.
But when the final line is crossed, all rules are gone. You make your stand. You fight 100%. You must be fight with a willingness to risk death. Would you be willing to take that risk if your six-year-old daughter was being hauled into a van by an abductor? Of course you would! You woudn’t even think about it for a moment.
IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO FIGHT IN THIS SPIRIT, YOU SHOULDN’T BE IN THE FIGHT. If what you are fighting over is not worth risking death, you must just walk away. You absolutely should not be fighting because, in this modern world, this guy who attacked you may very well be prepared to kill you, or at the very least, he may not care if he does.
The second major difference comes in what you do if it does become necessary to fight. Unless you are quite highly trained, don’t rely on punching. Your legs are much stronger and the chances of you breaking your fingers or wrist are quite high. Fingers tightly squeezed together and jabbed full-force into someone’s eye will do more to end a fight than most people’s punching. Thigh smashes or kicks to the groin or head are far more powerful than your arms.
In real fighting, there are two kinds of blows – opening strikes and finishing strikes. If this is potentially a life or death situation, there is only one way to fight – 100%. There is no room for tactical strikes in a real fight, like punching someone in the ribs or the side of the head.
You can keep yourself and your family safe in most circumstances.
The most effective way to do that is to wisely avoid danger when you see or feel it coming. There’s nothing worth fighting over unless it is a “final line” life or death situation. Anything short of that, you should swallow your pride and walk away. But if you have to fight, there is one way – totally and without reservation.