Friday, December 30, 2016

Why running may get you killed in self defense

It's conventional wisdom among so many self defense instructors that when there's an attacker, you should always run. In reality, this is bad advice because you won't always have the luxury of running away from a threat. Even if you do, this won't guarantee that you will successfully get away from your attacker. Why is running bad advice for self defense?

First of all, you don't know how fast your attacker can run. If you somehow knew that you could outrun your attacker then running would be the best option but you don't know anything about who your facing. Second, you may not run fast enough to get away. If you don't run or work on cardio then how do you expect to outrun an attacker who's probably in better shape than you? He may have done more exercise from say evading police than you have. If you don't get enough exercise, you can bet that you will get taken down. Last, you may not have the time or distance to run. If your in a small building just a few feet away from an attacker, you won't be able to run to the door and open it so you can escape in time to escape. Let's say your on a moving bus or train when suddenly someone decides to swing at you? Where are you going to run? There's absolutely nowhere to go!

To illustrate my point with an example, just watch what happens when someone tried to outrun his attackers in the video below. From my unfortunate experience, i tried to outrun an attacker (a kid i knew from my neighborhood). Despite my fitness level from all the cardio i did as a child, he still caught up to me and took me down.

The other reason why running away is bad advice is because it's so vague. When self defense instructors say "just run away!", what does that even mean? There's absolutely no specifics as to how you can outrun your attackers. Sometimes the only way you can outrun your attacker is by attacking before you take off or after you win a fight.

If you do plan on outrunning your attackers, the questions you ought to be asking yourself should be - 1) Is there an escape route? 2) Do i have the time and distance needed to run away from danger? 3) What are the risks of running vs. the risks of fighting? 4) Where am i going to run?

The best advice i can give you if running is an option is to familiarize yourself with your environment. Make sure you have an escape route and that you don't give away your intention to your attacker via body language. Make sure that you are able to avoid your attacker by obstructing his vision and slowing him down if possible. If you do parkour, jumping over obstacles and climbing buildings could prove useful in getting away from danger. Finally have a safe zone such as a police station with cops inside or areas with a bunch of people. If there's people, that may discourage your attacker and give you enough time to get help.

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