Self Defence Before the Fight

So much of self-defence happens way before a fight occurs. Often an attacker, mugger or general hooligan is looking for an easy target. They want an easy notch on the bedstead or a straightforward payday. This is NOT always the case, there is always the chance that a potential attacker can actually fight in which case you need to be ready.

However, that is when your actual fight training has to be up to scratch. This article covers the point before the fight itself. Self-defence experts will break down the lead up to the fight in detail and offer chances to avoid it in the escalation up to the point when it is inevitable.

For me, the easiest way to avoid a fight is to exude confidence. I didn't used to have this kind of confidence at all but developed it, here's how.

Living as the Victim
Sometime before I started martial arts training I was pretty much a victim. Well I wasn't exactly a victim all of the time BUT I did have a bit of a victim mentality, I hated it when a fight was about to happen and it showed. This meant that I was a fairly easy target for a bully or mugger or whoever felt like attacking me.

As a teenager, both before and after leaving the posh Grammer school myself and my mates would generally get picked on from time to time by kids from the other schools. We were seen as easy targets at the local disco. It wasn't much fun but I got through it and eventually I had enough mates that we'd be able to stand up for ourselves.

The sense of power and greater confidence felt at this time was immense. I felt safe because I had friends around me to help out if the situation became tricky. The trouble was when I was on my own I could once again become a victim.

Confidence from Martial Arts
Then I started training in martial arts and my confidence grew. Looking back I now realise that most of my confidence was false in a sense, simply because if confronted by the attacker who could actually fight I wouldn't have had much chance BUT I did have some kind of a chance.

I was learning how to punch and kick and to defend attacks. Also, there was some peer success with muggings thwarted using techniques from classes. All this helped to build confidence.

However, the single event that really stopped me being a victim, happened in my mind. I simply decided that I wasn't going to be a victim. If there was danger in the air I simply refused to be intimidated. I stuck to this and in the main part it worked.


That simple sentence became my mantra and with the confidence gleaned from my training underlying it, I shook off the victim 'monkey' I'd been carrying.This confidence and especially the steadfast "refusal to be intimidated" changed me from being a victim and allowed me with confidence to deal with potential trouble by acting on danger signs or by diffusing the situation if avoidance, by not being there was impossible. It was a bit of a process but gleaned confidence and the refusal mantra stopped me being a victim.

For more on self defence before a fight with techniques you can actually use, please click through to my post on diffusing the situation at

Dr. Jon Law is a sports scientist, martial arts instructor and blogger from Birmingham UK with almost 20 years experience. For more information and tips on all kinds of martial arts skills including self defence please visit:

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