In a street fight or self defense situation, you must be extremely quick on your feet while maintaining a strict calm. This is to insure your ability to get out of there alive by juggling the monumental tasks of protecting yourself as well as acknowledging escape routes, additional threats, and even aid. It may seem like that is a tougher thing to do but I can guarantee you that the harder part of this is being prepared for anything beforehand.
I’m not saying you should be on high alert 24/7 365, that’s just ridiculous. What I am saying is that you must being willing to accept the fact that at anytime, anywhere and by anyone, you could be a target and attacked. This isn’t meant to scare you, it is meant to prepare you mentally. You must be able to constantly analyze and adapt to your surroundings, be able to see and hear and even feel what others would normally disregard. Just like when you rep out your techniques over and over, you must also practice your ability to look over a location and immediately know exactly what to do in various situations. It’s a very difficult thing to do but I want to give a few key tips that I used; and just as I always try to do with what I say, this is what I do.
Wherever you are, you have several things to look out for; not just the obvious but more importantly, the subtle. Make note of entrances and exits, these are absolutely key in helping you get an idea of where threats may come from and how to get away if needed. Another thing to pay attention to is the conditions of your location; this will dictate how you react to situations. What that simply means is that you can’t possibly move as well in an alley as you would a park but you have an advantage in terms of staying on your feet in a fight. There will always be inherent advantages and disadvantages in any location and each person has different sets of those at all of them. A smaller person has better luck in a tight space than a large person, same as a judoka have particular advantages fighting in a parking garage than they would in an office space.
With each person, they must decide for themselves what is most important for them to have in a self defense situation. But my key tips for everyone that I’ve had successful experience with is that you need to be aware of your surroundings and understand how each environment affects your ability to defend yourself. While we are all unique and our defensive abilities should be too, we each must also be able to quickly analyze any and every scenario as well as be adaptable. Finally, here is a point that is so simple but can be so easy to forget; wherever you are, if it gets threatening, you can leave. It is far better to never even be in that situation if you can help it.
But here’s the real truth of your environment, it’s better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war. What that means to me is that no matter where you are and what you have, you must be able to face the danger head on. It means that even if you have the tools to deal with a threat, if you don’t have the knowledge or mental preparation, you will almost always fail. But that discussion is for another day…