By Brian Duff
Mentally preparing yourself for an attack is similar to preparing yourself for other security, safety, and preparedness situations. The first mental preparation step in self-defense is to acknowledge that you may have a violent encounter. While we all hope that we won’t experience a violent encounter, it is a possibility. Therefore, anything other than acknowledging that possibility is living in denial.
When it comes to self-defense, denial of the possibility puts you on the path towards tragedy. So, accept that you may find yourself in a violent confrontation and you’ll be ahead of the game if it happens. Remember, acceptance of the possibility doesn’t mean it will happen, so don’t become paranoid and fearful of everything.
Fortunately, preparing for other events, such as disasters, etc., improves your self-defense preparedness. After all, a primary response to any developing situation or crisis is relatively similar. When you’ve accepted and pre-planned for the possibilities, you can react much more positively when something occurs.
Overcome the Fear
Once you have mentally prepared for a violent situation, you should overcome the fear of it happening. Being fearful of violent situations is normal. However, do not let fear control you. If you do, you reduce your chance of responding to a problem in a positive and favorable manner. Conquering your fear can be done through the mental preparedness mentioned previously and by pre-planning for a possible encounter.
Plan for It
Now that you’ve accepted that you may be attacked and are dealing with your fear, you need to plan. Planning doesn’t mean coming up with a super detailed plan for everything. It means to think of various situations and to think through your initial response. It’s thinking through the “what if” moments. What if a bad guy runs up from behind? How will I handle the situation if X happens? Planning means getting yourself prepared to survive the initial encounter. Then, over time, add in follow-on steps as you role play the situation in your mind. Adding in follow-on steps slowly builds up well thought out responses that allow you to have the faster OODA Loop to come out on the winning side of a less than desirable encounter.
Maintain Positive Situational Awareness
The next step to self-defense is maintaining active situational awareness. Situational awareness includes lifting your head out of your smartphone and paying attention. It means observing your surroundings. When you observe your surroundings, you should look for things that do not seem normal or are out of place. When you notice something, listen to your gut and take action. The best action is avoidance, which happens when you increase the time and distance between you and the problem. Unfortunately, not all of us have developed excellent situational awareness skills. If this is you, don’t worry; I wrote this post to help you improve your situational awareness. Improving your situational awareness will allow you to react and spring into your OODA Loop faster than your opponent, which is always a good thing.
Train, Train, Train
Finally, now that you are ready to notice a developing problem due to your situational awareness, you’re willing to deal with it. As mentioned earlier, the best action is often avoidance. If avoidance isn’t possible, you need to address the problem.
Dealing with it may include a physical confrontation. Because of this, it’s important to ensure you are in as good of shape physically as possible. If you’re not in good condition, see your doctor. Once your doctor gives you the thumbs up, start training. Remember, training doesn’t mean you need to go to the gym. What it means is pick up the pace. Start going for walks. Find out self-improvement methods on the internet. Whatever it is, take proactive steps to improve yourself.
Another proactive step is self-defense training. Many towns, martial arts studios, etc., offer self-defense workshops, especially for women. Take advantage of these and work on improving yourself. Don’t be intimidated because you’re new to it or because don’t know anyone there. Use the uncertainty as the first step in building the self-confidence to overcome a violent encounter, should it happen.
It’s important to know that every step you make towards improving your security, safety, and preparedness is one step closer to a successful outcome.
Lastly, never forget, you’re just one prep away.
If you have any other prepping history information, suggestions, or thoughts about this post, please leave a comment below.
Stay safe, secure and prepared.
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