Self-Defense Strategies

Why your “self-defense strategy” shouldn’t be built around a device:

There are a number of components to building an effective self-defense strategy. While gadgets and devices may be handy, if available, we strongly recommend against purchasing and carrying one as your central strategy for dealing with an assault:

  • If you don’t have it handy, or even with you, your whole plan of defense crumbles
  • If it doesn’t work as intended, or at all, it may cause you to waste precious moments that could have been better spent trying another method to avoid or deal with the attack.
  • If it runs on batteries, Murphy’s Law says they’ll be dead when you need them the most.

Most defensive tactics instructors will recommend that you have a multi-tiered strategy for defending against an assault. If one thing fails, try something else. If that fails, try a third technique. The key is to having lots of options.

What you don’t want to do is depend on a single device, ploy, or defense technique to handle any possible assault under any set of conditions.

A well prepared/trained person will have given the potential for an assault a lot of “pre-thinking” and pre-planning.

That well-prepared person will have the confidence that comes from knowing both his/her limitations and strengths, and have a flexible strategy that accommodates varying circumstances and which can best utilize whatever tools or conditions are at hand.

Good preparation for an active defense includes not only simply learning some good defense techniques in a book/classroom, but also practicing the techniques, visualization, role-play training, how to use common items as defensive tools, as well as preventive measures including such things as body language and eye contact in public, how to minimizing your risk factors, and creating positive mental images of how you will handle, and survive, any type of potential assault.

And, no matter how many techniques you learn, the first rule to avoid an assault is often, “Run!” Even police officers have to be taught that there are certain times when “discretion is the better part of valor” and it’s wise to pull back and call for reinforcements. The best self-defense strategy is usually: Escape and Evade!


There are a number of excellent books on the market, at any major bookstore, which can help you devise your personal defense strategy.


M.P.O.  C.F. Tidmore
Crime Prevention Specialist
Leesburg Police Department
Community Services Section

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