1. Learn How To Play Chess
What does chess have to do with self-defense? A lot, actually. It teaches you how to think and strategize. Those are two very important components when it comes to protecting yourself.
Timing is also very important. Knowing when and how to react to a threat can mean the difference between life, death or badly injured.
2. Practice Being Calm in Stressful Situations
If you put 100 people who don’t know how to swim in a swimming pool and 99 of them panic, guess how many of them will drown? That’s right, all 99 of them. The one that stayed calm has a greater chance of survival.
When you panic, it sends scrambled messages to and from your brain. This is why you don’t know what to do when you panic. You can’t think straight.
A state of panic will block you from making rational decisions.
Since panic seems to be an involuntary reaction to stressful situations, the way you overcome it is by practicing being calm in stressful situations. Start small and work your way up.
The more calm you are in everyday stressful situations, the more calm you will be when it really counts.
3. Face Your Fears
Being courageous has nothing to do with being fearless. It’s actually about facing the fears that you have.
Protecting yourself takes courage. But if you don’t practice facing your fears on a regular basis then you are not exercising your courageous muscle. And when you need that muscle for strength, it will only disappoint.
The same way you practice being calm, you need to also practice facing your fears.
4. Forget What You’ve Seen in the Movies
Movies are great for entertainment. But I wouldn’t rely on Hollywood to teach me the correct way to defend myself. Matter of fact, much of what you see on the big screen could land you in a lot of trouble if you try it yourself. Stick to real life solutions and know your capabilities.
5. Practice Situational Awareness
Remember during ancient and medieval times they would have night/day watchmen? Both during battle as well as times of peace. What was the importance of these positions?
Well, if you don’t know that the enemy is coming how are you going to protect yourself from them?
Situational awareness is not so much about looking for an enemy or a bad guy, it’s about knowing what’s going on around you so that you can respond appropriately.
This is becoming more and more of a lost skill in the age of smart phones.
Imagine walking on a sidewalk and getting ran over by a car that jumped the curb. If you’d been paying attention you could have jumped out-of-the-way but because you were looking down at your phone you ended up dead instead.
6. Carry What You Can
Know the laws in your area regarding self-defense weapons/devices and carry what you can. You need to be comfortable with whatever it is you chose to carry.
A safe and easy-to-use weapon to carry is pepper spray. It’s legal in all 50 US states (with a few regulations in NY, MI, WI and MA).
While pepper spray is not the end all be all when it comes to personal protection, it sure beats nothing at all. It’s kinda like throwing sand in your opponents eyes, but only worst because it burns like crazy and causes a coughing fit.
This also gives you time to get away.
Whatever your weapon of choice is, make sure it’s accessible and ready when you need it.