This “self-defense tips for men” post is the result of a combination of factors. First of all, I recently started teaching self-defense to another private student and he asked a number of questions. Second was a conversation with a fellow author about the reality of self-defense and violence versus the myths and misconceptions we see people believe in every day. The conversation turned to the erroneous assumptions men in particular seem to have on this topic and he suggested I write a blog piece about it. I gave it some thought and this is the result.
Some of the tips might seem strange at first but you’ll see what I mean quickly enough. Also, there is not one single tip that explains how to throw a punch or do any other physical technique. I’ll explain why in the end.
8 Self-defense tips for men
Before I get started with the tips, you need to understand that this is not a definitive list. There is obviously a lot more to say about this topic but the concept of a “tip” revolves around practical information you can use relatively quickly or it serves as an eye-opener. It gives you specific information for direct use or it makes you understand something crucial. This is in stark contrast with “studying”, which means working hard and continuously to increase knowledge, understanding and skill. So think of these tips as a bunch of ideas for you to think about right now and see how you can implement them. They aren’t rocket science, there’s nothing in them that you can’t understand. The challenge is only in doing them.
Another point is that I’m writing with men and their typical mindset in mind. Sure, there will be overlap for women but right now, that’s not my focus. Perhaps another time.
Finally, the tips are mostly geared towards handling social violence. They are not as applicable to dealing with criminal violence where the rules are a little different.
That said, let’s get started.
Self-defense tips for men #1: Forget what you see on the screen.
The vast majority of movies and TV-series fail miserably when it comes to portraying realistic violence and self-defense. Unfortunately, there is just so much nonsense on the screen that it makes its way into the collective psyche and many men think that’s how it really is. Then they get into a fight and discover they were wrong. For example: telling a gangbanger “he doesn’t have the guts” to shoot you when he demands your wallet is a surefire way to get killed. Not for Bruce Willis or Jason Statham in the movies but for you, yes it is.
You’d think that all men would get this and I’m sure they do when they think about it while sober and alone. But pour a few beers into them, get them together with their buddies and they’re chest-thumping and cussing while they get right into that gangbanger’s face. And then they don’t understand why they get shot…
This is just an example and an extreme one at that but there are many more. Replace the gangbanger robbing you with a guy who quickly drove into “your” parking spot and the same thing applies: common sense is often lacking with men when they are faced with such a situation.
My point is this: the human mind, like nature, abhors a vacuum. It will fill in that vacuum in any way it can. So if you have no actual experience with violence, you will form your opinions about it somehow. And no matter how much you tell yourself that “it’s just a movie” your mind is still absorbing that information subconsciously. Given enough repetition, you might be surprised about how much disinformation you actually soak up. So forget about the movie violence or the way they portray self-defense situations and how to handle them. 99.99% of the time, they get it wrong. If you do have experience with violence, you already know this is true. [Read more…]