by Scott Shephard, Master Instructor, Fundamental Martial Arts
The best defense, although it seems elementary, is prevention.
Effective prevention practice is simply improving the awareness of your environment by being present. It is not about scouting specifically for danger. Expand your vision, hearing and everything else. The more you absorb good things in your environment, the more you will practice environmental awareness, and the more you’ll be able to prevent potential trouble.
If faced with someone who intends harm, it is possible to survive. The main thing to know is what you are capable of. You may feel fear. Fear is normal and healthy; it releases a critical surge of power. Ever notice your hands shaking? That is fear not being applied. You must accept your situation and take action, and then your fear is channeled.
The average male is simply physically stronger than the average female. If a woman is under attack and fighting for her life, this is no time to play fair. Your mission is to separate from him. You must create this opportunity to escape, which is the physical part of self-defense.
What can you do? You must “B.E.A.T. I.T.” This stands for “Brain, Eyes And/or Throat, with Intentional Targeting.” In life and death situations, you must affect primary function targets; don’t rely simply on inflicting pain. Take the hardest and most easily accessable tool (weapon) you may have – even your fingers – and focus an attack to one of his weakest (but also important function) areas, such as eyes. Since he is aggressive, you must be vicious and determined, then get out of there.
If armed, you may wonder, “What if he takes my weapon away and uses it on me?” Be sure you use the weapon, or someone else will. So, if legally justified, use it, because it’s tough to take a gun away while bullets are coming out of it.