Fight or flight… be prepared for both scenarios

We’ve all heard people say, “Violence is never the answer.”

Unfortunately, sometimes violence is the only answer. But I would agree that 99 percent of the time we should do everything within our power to avoid it.

Backing down from a physical confrontation might go against your nature. It might not feel very manly (if you’re a guy). And it might rub you the wrong way.

But walking away could also save much pain and misery. Both for you and whoever you happen to be with at the time.

Losing while winning

Here’s one of the biggest problems with engaging in violence. Even if you win, you might lose. How?

For one, you could get injured in a fight, even if you come out on the winning end of it. For another, you could end up spending thousands of dollars in court costs defending yourself against charges.

If you win a fight, you might find yourself the target of the other guy’s friends or family members seeking retribution.

And that’s if you win. If you lose a fight, you could end up in a hospital. And have injuries that could last a long time. Or worse, you could end up dead.

Sometimes you have to fight back

Now, there are times when avoiding a physical confrontation is just not realistic. If someone is about to attack you, you have to defend yourself.

Being able to protect yourself might involve taking a self-defense course or two. Or studying martial arts.

Even possessing basic knowledge of how to defend yourself could keep you from getting injured in a physical confrontation.

Another option is carrying a concealed gun. Of course, you should follow the laws in your state regarding this. And spend time practicing your marksmanship.

Oftentimes merely displaying a weapon will cause the assailant to back off. Of course, if that attacker also has a gun, you’d better be ready to use yours.

If you are not carrying a gun when someone tries to pull you into a fight, the best approach is diffusing the situation.

A harsh response to the potential attacker’s insults will almost certainly result in a physical confrontation.

A soft answer, on the other hand, might calm the loudmouth down. His goal is to draw you in, so don’t let him accomplish that if you can avoid it.

If nothing else, a soft answer could put his hostility on hold long enough for one of his companions to talk him into leaving.

What if you’re suddenly in a riot?

Now, what if you find yourself in a situation where people are protesting? The police are likely to show up, and you will be considered a protester even if you’re not. Here are some things to do (and not do):

  • Don’t retaliate if someone slams into you. Just pick yourself up and keep walking – away from the center of violence if possible.
  • As you’re walking, keep one hand up and one hand down in order to try to protect your face and vital organs.
  • If you can’t escape the riot completely, try to find your way to the outside fringes where you are less likely to be injured. Avoid getting trapped against a wall, fence or other structure.
  • Keep an eye out for a building in which you can take refuge… away from surging crowds. If you are safe there, stay put until it looks OK to return outside.
  • Always be on the lookout for escape routes. This could be a small street or an alley… anything that leads away from the center of the riot will do

How you can prepare now

  • Keep yourself as physically fit as possible. This is a good idea regardless, but it will really come in handy if you’re suddenly in a survival situation that involves violence.
  • Take a martial arts course. You don’t have to become a black belt, but knowing some basic self-defense techniques could make a rioter decide to pick on somebody else.
  • Learn some basic first-aid skills. A typical two-day course will give you what you need to know about assessing and treating your own and others’ injuries.

Hopefully you will be safe and secure in your home – with plenty of provisions stockpiled – if a protest turns into a riot. But if not, it’s important to know how to survive it until you can return home.

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