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Self Defense - It's About Instinct, Not Violent Response

Aug 17, 2007
Violent crime increases annually and is reaching a record high this year already. What motivates criminals to become violent and what can you do to protect yourself?

Police officers are overwhelmed these days with duties beyond what they could have imagined fifty years ago. Response times are very slow and emergency calls have to be ranked by severity so that officers can take them in a listed order.

Officers today also have to be street smart lawyers, for lack of better words. They spend more time trying to be politically correct and handle every situation with kid's gloves as not to offend anyone or face disciplinary from agencies that do not have the officer's interest in mind.

I can attest that it is beyond necessary for you to learn to protect yourself. It is not likely that there will be someone to come and rescue you in a very rapid manner or quick enough to prevent a violent crime.

Self defense is more than learning karate or carrying a can of heavy duty pepper spray. Effective self defense requires attention and a conscious thought process. You must learn to harness instincts and pay attention to your surroundings.

I see so many people that are preoccupied with their own personal space and personal business that they forget that there is an entire world functioning around them. I see the lady with the cell phone stuck to her ear and not paying one bit of attention to the dark area where she parks her car. I assure you, the cell phone cannot save you.

I am disturbed by the gentleman that is too busy reading the newspaper on the subway to even notice what is going on around him. His eyes scan stories but never glance up to see anything that is happening about him. This activity is what criminals call "stupid bait". People strip themselves of the ability to utilize instincts by wrapping themselves up in their current task.

Learn to pay attention. This is the first and biggest step in self defense. It is better to avoid a confrontation or problem than have to combat your way out of one. You can achieve this with a bit of focus and perception.

If you sense something that bothers you, investigate. Do not sink deeper into the sports page or sink into your cell phone call with averted eyes. Criminals love weakness. Criminals operate like the predator within the animal kingdom. They seek out prey that appears frightened, not alert and oblivious to the world circulating around them.

An animal demonstrates weakness, fear or lack of attention, he becomes dinner. It is as simple as that. You may be scared. Do not act scared. You may be weaker. Do not act weak. You may not be paying attention. Pay attention. This is legitimate self defense. Karate, judo carrying a concealed weapon are all methods of protection for a last resort situation. Do not let it come to that.

Eye contact is vital in survival. Criminals are natural cowards. They seek the easy victory and prey on the weak victim. They do not like to be noticed or observed. Eye contact will strip them of the little bit of courage that they have mustered to commit the crime that they desire to commit.

Pay attention to what is going on around you. If you cannot focus on the world around you while talking on the cell phone. Save the conversation for a safe zone like your home. Or, teach yourself to consciously look around you when talking.

Observation enhances instinct. We all have instincts, but we allow them to be repressed. Instincts trigger gut feelings that are critical for survival. Harness your instincts. The method to doing this is simply by paying attention. Look around you. Read your paper. Talk on the phone. But, pay attention.

When entering an area that could pose a threat such as a dark parking area, a rough neighborhood or anyplace that gives you that feeling, it's time to pay attention. As humans, we grow comfortable in places and areas that we frequent. Dangerous areas become routine so we bring the stress meter down a bit. We become complacent.

Complacency is natural. Do not worry about that. However, recognize when this is happening. That requires attention. Upon recognizing this, you must mock your instinctive nature. The power of instinct can be mocked by practicing.

To mock your instinct of awareness and survival, you must do the things you do when entering a danger zone for the first time. Look around. Pay attention. Notice things. Remember things. Observe people. Notice who looks comfortable. Pay attention to those that appear uncomfortable. Awareness in itself is obvious to the predator. They would prefer to seek out the prey that is not aware or is so overcome with fear that they avert their eyes and cower within themselves.

The fear will come. That is a good thing. Harness it. Be scared but do not demonstrate the traits of fear by hiding your eyes or turning away from the thing that is provoking fear. Square your shoulders, keep your eyes level. Keep your hands out of your pockets. Do not fidget. Do not preoccupy yourself with trying to suppress fear. That is foolish and exactly what the "bad guy" wants.

The above tips will detour the majority of criminal violence. You must face your predator. Do not challenge, but do not demonstrate the traits of the prey. You will be fine and get through these things. You will also build character. Take care.
About the Author
William "Cole" Doggett is an expert in knives and owns a successful Internet based website, Knife & Supply Company, LLC at www.KnifeSupplyCompany.com. His website is devoted to all things tactical law enforcement, military, outdoors and of course, Knives.
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