Think of the acronym SWOT to analyze the situation
- Strengths: Take a quick look at the perceived strengths of an opponent, both physically and mentally. Such things as opponent's build, mental aggression level, determination, etc. may provide insight into what kind of opponent you are dealing with.
- Weaknesses: Take a quick look at the perceived weaknesses of an opponent, both physically and mentally. Is attacker scared, is this his or her first time committing a crime, or is he or she on drugs? If you recognize weaknesses, you may exploit them to your advantage.
- Opportunities: Be aware of and take advantage of any opportunities, such as escape routes, access to makeshift weapons, friendly bystanders, or a passive attacker that may be grabbed and used as a human shield.
- Threats: Be aware of anything that may help the opponent, such as hidden weapons, backup on the way, or opponent knows the territory better than me.
Use your Head
Once the action starts and your adrenaline kicks in, your brain will race and process thoughts so quickly that everything will seem to happen in slow motion. So try to stay calm and make the correct decisions. Also, you may use your head as a weapon. Bash it into attacker's nose using your forehead, or, if held from behind, slam it back into the attacker's face. Similarly, women, if you are grabbed in a bear hug from behind, do not waste time trying to step on his toes, or elbow his ribs, or kick your heel up into his groin, these moves will do little besides anger your attacker. Instead, bash his face with the back of your head. All you have to do is connect once or twice with your attacker's face or collarbone. Look for Weapons
Since most people do not carry weapons for self-defense, be aware of anything around you that may be used as a weapon. Use hard objects to attack bone and pointed objects against soft tissue. When you use an object, use it to finish the fight, not to merely discourage the attacker. A weak attack will make the attacker angrier and fiercer in his or her attacks. Remember use hard objects against bone, pointed objects against soft tissue. Also, remember the same objects are available to the attacker to use as weapons.
Wait until last possible moment
Do not tip you hand by starting a defensive move too early. If the defense is detected, the attacker may then change the attack to avoid the defense. Wait until the last possible moment, and then block and counterattack with ruthless power and determination. This requires patience and confidence in your abilities. These qualities are developed through lots of practice.
Do not get hit
Do not move in straight lines, either forward and backward, or side-to-side. Attackers usually commit to a straight line attack toward a target located at a particular distance in a particular direction. When you change the target's location and distance, it spoils the effectiveness of the attack. An attacker may be able to adjust to either a change in target location or a change in target distance alone, but changing both will either cancel the attack or weaken its effects. Moving in a straight line either backward or forward changes the target distance, but does not effectively change its location since it is still in the path of attack. Moving laterally changes the location of the target, but not the distance.
If you move forward at a 45-degree angle to the attacking path, you change location and distance and place yourself beside the attacker where an effective counter may be use.
Move along a triangle
One of the most dangerous mistakes the average person makes during a fight is to move in straight lines, either forward and backward, or side-to-side. Imagine a vertical dividing line along your body, dividing your body into left and right halves. The aggressor is probably going to attack some point along or around that line: your face, your throat, your heart, or your groin. Your goal is to move that line out of the path of the attack and change the distance of the target from attacker.
The attacker has mentally committed to striking to a particular target. His brain has sent the signal to his fist that the intended target is located at a particular distance in a particular direction. When you change the target's coordinates, it spoils the effectiveness of the attack. The attacker may be able to recover from a change in target location or change in target distance alone, but changing both factors is your best bet. Then, even if it does connect, the strength of the attack will be greatly diminished.
Moving in a straight line backward and forward changes the distance, but does not move your centerline out of the attack path. Moving laterally changes the location of the centerline, but not the distance. Moving along an imaginary triangle changes both. Imagine standing with both feet on the point of a triangle and facing the bad guy. The other two points of the triangle can either be in front of you or behind you. Each of the other triangle points is about one medium-large step away. Step one foot onto either of the two available triangle points. Now you have changed both the distance and target location. Bring your other foot back to the stepping foot, and you are now at the starting point of another triangle.
Do the unexpected
Attackers expect you to react in a certain way when they attack, usually the way most people would react. If they push, they expect you to resist. If they rush you, they expect you to back up. If you do the unexpected, attackers are confused. Even if the confusion is only for a second, that is enough time for you to end the attack with your own attacks.
Advance when You should retreat
During a fight, as during a game of chess, the experienced player is already planning the second or third move before the first one is ever completed. In fact, many of the experienced fighter's moves are used solely to get the opponent to react in a predetermined manner. Fight your own instinct and do not back up. For example, imagine you are throwing a flurry of jabs at me. You expect me to backpedal to escape your jabs so you charge in. If I step forward along my triangle, I avoid the attack and I am set up for a counterattack.
- Grabbing clavicle
- Kicking or kneeing head of grounded opponent
- Stomping grounded opponent
- Kicking or punching kidney
- Spiking an opponent to the ground on his or her head or neck
- Throwing an opponent against a wall or tree
- Holding the clothes or hands of an opponent
Thompson, Geoff. [Online]. Available: http://www.geoffthompson.com