Self Defense

How To Defend Yourself in a Life or Death Situation

Mar 19, 2021

It’s a Sunday early evening, the sun is setting, and you just finished a workout. As you are heading to your car, you feel yourself pocket searching for your keys.

As you find them, standing in front of your car door, you look down to find the right one. As you move to unlock the car door, suddenly, you feel something push against the back of your head and a voice that says, “Don’t say a Fu@#in word or I’ll blow your brains out right here. Just get in the car…”

In the flash of a moment, heart racing, you go numb and submit because you see no way out.

According to Anderson Cooper’s research, there are over 800,000 people kidnaped every year in the US. That’s over 2000 a day.

My niece was nearly kidnapped two years ago in a parking garage, in the middle of the afternoon, at Portland State University.

Or even imagine being asleep and waking up at 2am with someone looking over you. Freaky stuff indeed. But it happens every day.

People are bolder today than ever in history. You need to be mentally and physically prepared to take action to save you or a loved-ones life.

In this article, we will explore how to minimize trauma from such an event and even give you some options to defend yourself realistically regardless of size or gender.

Mentally Prepare Yourself

There are hundreds of studies done on how to improve skills. One of the studies reports that when an athlete practices picturing success in their mind repeatedly, it improves performance.

You can take advantage of this. Take a moment right now and write down a few scenarios that would represent your worst nightmare. Maybe it is being attacked while sleeping. Perhaps it’s being mugged at night in a parking lot. Take a moment and write them down.

Now for a moment, take one of those scenarios. Let’s say you are in the parking lot, and someone holds a gun or knife you to. What do you do?

Write down all the possible choices that come to mind.

Now, as you picture yourself in the situation, look around you. What do you see that could be used as a weapon? What objects do you see that are sharp or pointed? How could you use your environment to your favor?

For example, maybe there is another car next to you with a mirror pointing outward. Slamming a person against that may come in handy. We’ll get to more options in a moment…

Let’s assume your back is to the person so you can’t see them. Can you tell how tall they are by listening to their voice? Are they holding a weapon to head or your back? Based on this, what body weapons could you use? Feet, legs, elbows, head?

Now, imagine you are facing the person. What do you see that could be used against the person? In the right situation, there may be an opportunity to grab someone’s hair and slam their head into the car next to you. What are their most vulnerable targets? Eyes, nose, ears, throat, groin?

As you look at them, what would be the natural target you’d go after?

Now practice feeling into your various scenarios slowly, one at a time. Notice that each time you practice in your mind, you get new ideas.

Now, this is all good, but you are missing something critical. Mental attitude. Let’s cover that next.

How To Have The Right Mental Attitude

You could have the best skills in the world, but if you are afraid to attack, you will fail.

Research shows that a mugger wants something. Money, to rape you etc.

If they wanted to kill you, they probably would have done so right away, so use that to your advantage.

Let’s explore how your mind works. For a moment, if you don’t have a child imagine you do have. How would you feel if you were between a perpetrator and your child?

What attitude would you have if you suspected that person would rape and then murder your child?

Can you think of the worst things they could do to them?

I don’t say these things to gross you out or to be mean. Just the opposite. I want you first to do a reality check on what is possible in the real world. (sometimes a real sick world) What have you been sheltered from? You see, you need to realize that these kinds of people don’t think like you or I. They are people without a conscience. Very sick people.

Hopefully, when I was describing the situation of you being between you and your child, you could feel anger or rage coming up in you. I’m betting you would do anything to protect them. This is the emotion you need to evoke in any life-threatening situation we are exploring.

Isn’t it interesting that we would sacrifice our lives for those we love but often not for ourselves? But that is not my point…

The anger or rage you felt is what you need access to if ever you have this kind of scenario. Anger and rage are one of your primary weapons. You want to become a raging animal. You will stand a much higher chance of survival.

Now you know that you need to practice a scenario that gets your anger and rage going. That way, you have access to it if you ever need it.

But what about initiating the attack? Let’s cover that next…

When To Attack The Perpetrator

So far, you’ve been picturing your scenarios. You are learning that your environment provides opportunities you can use to your advantage. You are learning that your body parts can be used as weapons. You are picturing where an attacker may be vulnerable. You are learning to access adrenaline, so you are fearless.

In the perfect world, you instantly respond to the perpetrator because that is what they least expect. Maybe you stomp on their foot to distract them, then turn and strike them in the throat to break their windpipe. There are dozens of scenarios. You want to picture your approach in your mind as you practice each scene.

You want to get your mind and body super clear how you would handle things should it ever happen to you. If you have many options, do not worry about which one to pick. In the end, your fierceness and ability to penetrate using your favorite body weapons will be your guiding force. (See the link at the bottom for body-based weapons to use)

Practice Time

If you would like to take things one step further to gain more confidence, get a friend to practice.

Have them act out the scenarios you wrote down. In slow motion (critical piece) practice going through the motions of defending yourself. I have no doubt when you do this, you will have questions. Feel free to post them at the end of this blog or on our Martial Arts Basics webpage on Facebook. [Facebook Page]

That’s good enough for today. What have you learned?

1. To be aware that there is a relatively high probability of you being attacked by a mugger in your lifetime

2. To be mentally ready to protect yourself, so you don’t end up being a statistic

3. To be able to access the right emotions to find the courage to take action.

4. To think broadly about your environment and how you can use it to your advantage

5. To practice scenarios in your mind to prepare yourself

More Training

Now take your knowledge one step further. I put together a simple and powerful training that is going to make this more real for you. I got a lady friend of mine to help me create a 2 part video series on how to defend yourself in close quarters.

Now that you know what to look for, I’m betting you’ll see many other options that you can use beyond the ones I show you. I’m also betting you’ll never forget what you learned here. Could save your life one day.

[Go here to learn more]

Hope you find this useful. After training in martial arts for over 35 years, it feels good to help others like yourself. 

Please comment below. Promote a discussion about this with others who maybe have been victimized or are also curious. I’m happy to respond to your questions. And please share with friends to your social account by click on the share buttons. That helps everyone out.

Cheers! And may the force be with you.