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What is Self Defence?

Eclectic Self Protection (ESP) - North London Martial Arts & Self Defence
Published by Luke James in Self Defence · 13 June 2019
Tags: eclecticselfprotectionnorthlondonmartialartsandselfdefencewhatisselfdefence
Eclectic Self Protection - North London Martial Arts & Self Defence

What is Self-defence?


Self-defence is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many jurisdictions.

Physical self-defense is the use of physical force to counter an  immediate threat of violence. Such force can be either armed or unarmed.  In either case, the chances of success depend on a large number of  parameters, related to the severity of the threat on one hand, but also  on the mental and physical preparedness of the defender.

There are two primary types of self defense methods: proactive and reactive. Ideally, you will employ a combination of proactive self defense methods and reactive self defense methods for dealing with potential violence and attackers.

What is Proactive Self Defense?

As the name implies, proactive self defense are techniques you use before someone attacks you. Being proactive should prevent a dangerous or violent situation from happening and gives you time to put space between you and the possible criminal. For example, if you're walking down the street and see someone who looks a bit suspicious or who otherwise makes you uncomfortable you have the opportunity to employ proactive self defense. You can cross the street so you're walking on the opposite side as the individual you're unsure about. You can go into a store or public place if you're in a location where that is possible. Proactive self defense lets you avoid confrontation.

When you're aware of what's going on around you and of potential dangers, you have time to think about a strategy if a threat occurs. If an attack seems like it's about to happen, you can make sure you have quick and easy access to your pepper spray or other self defense device. Being ready to act gives you a better chance at spraying the attacker in the face rather than waiting until he or she is attacking you before trying to make a move.

Being proactive means you're paying attention to your surroundings. If you're walking with your head in the clouds and your MP3 player blaring in your ears, you give up your opportunity to be proactive and avoid a potentially dangerous or violent situation.

What is Reactive Defense?

Once you've been attacked, the opportunity for proactive defense is gone and now you must employ reactive self defense methods in order to get away from the attacker. Let's say you have pepper spray with you and you keep it in your purse. If someone jumps on your back while walking through a dark parking lot, you're going to have an awfully hard time digging the pepper spray out from the bottom of your bag and spraying an attacker while he or she is attacking you.

Once you are being attacked the only thing you can do is react to the situation. You have no time to prepare or possibly prevent the situation from happening. Reactive self defense techniques include physical fighting and attempting to outrun an attacker.

Written by Luke James (2014)


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