Self Defense Logic or Instincts?

Posted by on Feb 25, 2013 in Self-Defense | Comments Off on Self Defense Logic or Instincts?

Self Defense Logic or Instincts?

Should You Trust Your Self-Defense Logic or Your Instincts?

Not all people are blessed with the same sense of good judgment when it comes to keeping safe.  Some have good self defense logic and some don’t.  Possibly, some have better self defense instincts than others. But, possibly we all have good self defense instincts; yet some ignore them.

One thing that makes self defense logic difficult is that we don’t get attacked often, so we don’t have much experience to draw on.   The fact that the last 500 strangers you had pleasant conversation with were not predators attempting to elicit information or gain your trust may make you decide that any stranger who approaches you today is highly unlikely to be dangerous. Note however, that that does not prove them safe.  Does the fact that, the last hundred times you stopped at a certain stop-sign, no one was coming the other way mean you shouldn’t look both ways?

The reverse logic problem can happen, too:  A person who has been attacked may see danger where it is not. But, thinking logically, each and every pleasant stranger may or may not be dangerous.  By accepting this, we let our instincts work better.

Your brain may register details about a stranger, and the location in which you meet, that you don’t know you noticed.  As your subconscious puts details together, it may decide that you should feel uneasy.  If it does, that doesn’t guarantee that the stranger is a bad-guy.  But, know that your intuition must have picked up on some small detail you didn’t consciously notice, and you are safer to trust it than explain the feeling away.

I once led a class where, while we were talking about how you can’t be sure you can trust a stranger, someone mentioned that they were recently the victim of an attempted phone scam. The caller claimed to work for the DEA and need information about a suspicious package that had been confiscated with his wife’s name on the return address.   My student attempted to clarify the officer’s name and where he worked.  When he noticed the “agent” getting more agitated and speaking faster with each answer, he knew it was not a legitimate call, but some type of scam.

Another person in the class knew of multiple people who had received calls from “a Mexican jail” asking money to be wired to bail out a friend or family member. Some of the people they knew had good self defense logic or instincts, and others had lost thousands of dollars.

To develop your self defense logic and instincts, read The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker, take a short-term self defense class, and study self defense “tip sheets” thinking about the advice instead of taking it at face value.

Another good exercise is to watch crime shows on television and consider what victims should or should not have done differently. Remember though, some fictional shows are more realistic than others; and, if characters never made self defense mistakes, we would have no dramatic scenes to watch.

See if you can spot the mistakes the characters make, in word or deed, which put them in more danger. Sometimes, they become too focused on one suspicious thing and are attacked from the back. Sometimes, they freeze and take no action when they should be running or striking. Sometimes, they say things that escalate a situation towards physical danger.

self defense logic example

Marcy Shoberg is the creator of “Bring Out Your Inner Bodyguard in Two Weeks or Less” home study course for adults and seniors. See