“A fight avoided is a fight won”
Practicing a martial art in a self defense context can usually be summarize by various simulations of aggressions situations practiced during the training. At the Dojo, to meet the needs of learning, we usually work on the confrontation phase. We focus on how to neutralize an aggressive opponent that threaten our physical integrity. In most of the legal systems around the world, this concept is known as “the right of self defense”, in other terms, it defines the boundaries of what you can or can’t do when you get threaten by someone.
However, the previous phase before the physical aggression, is usually a verbal phase. Most of the time, this first phase escalates to physical confrontation with all the consequences that we know. It is very important to mention that, practicing a martial art, doesn’t only prepare for this last part but can be helpful as well to defuse the situation.
Among all the advantages that a regular training can bring, we often focus on the physical aspects and, in fine, the capacity to defend oneself. Nevertheless, learning to get out of one’s comfort zone during the training and understanding some key parameters on how to manage a difficult physical confrontation can be a major confidence boost. This point is key, having a proper level of self confidence can help to tackle any situations more relaxed and hence, more lucid without overreacting due to the stress or panic.
Having a relaxed mind allow anyone to analyze the situation with more accuracy, which is the very first step to initiate a thought process that can be used to avoid any escalation of the situation.
The subject is broad, but, it’s a major element within your self-defense arsenal. It is, definitely, your very first defense asset that can you need to count on to protect your physical integrity.
In order to go further, I strongly recommend to read this article from Luis RIVIERA : De-escalation; the art of avoiding violence which summarize the basics of verbally defusing a situation.
Also, there’s this very good series of articles by Marc YOUNG on his website : http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/deescalation.htm