Self-defense is just that, taking care of yourself. You must plan for no help to be available and for your plans to fail when needed most. If you are serious about self-defense, you must understand that you are the first responder. Police officers, medical personnel, and firefighters must be viewed as second responders. You must be an active participant in your own rescue.
My family and I had the adventure of white water rafting the Royal Gorge in Colorado. Prior to getting on the the river, our guide, James, wearing the orange helmet in the picture above, conducted a safety briefing. He said something that immediately caught my attention. James said that if anyone fell off the raft, there was no guarantee anyone could help them or get them to safety. He went on to say that everyone had to be an active participant in their own rescue. In other words, get yourself to shore because no one will be able to help you.
James was a professional, having spent about 20 years on the river. He knew the dangers and the realities of dealing with them. After hearing James safety briefing, I knew we were in good hands. James had a warrior mentality. The same type of mentality that must be applied to self-defense. Rely on no one and learn to problem solve on your own.
As the first responder to your own rescue, there are three main areas you need to address.
- Knowledge: Study your environment. Know the norm and what is outside its baseline. Know the threats your environment poses and how to deal with them.
- Skills: Focusing on self-defense combatives is only part of the equation. Do you have the knowledge and skills to deal with the aftermath of a hostile encounter? In particular I am talking about first aid.
- Resources: A cell phone, self-defense weapons and medical supplies should be with you at all times.
The old adage that when seconds count help is minutes away must never be forgotten. Accept responsibility that you, and only you, will most likely be the only participant in the event that you need to be rescued.