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The Self-Defense Mindset: Focus on What You're Going to Do to Them, Not What They Are Going to Do to You

Your mindset can be your greatest asset or your biggest vulnerability. The way you think and approach a potential threat can determine the outcome of an encounter. One powerful mindset shift that can dramatically enhance your ability to protect yourself is to focus on what you're going to do to the attacker, rather than what they might do to you.



The Importance of a Proactive Mindset

A proactive mindset means taking control of the situation, anticipating your actions, and maintaining a strong, assertive stance. This approach contrasts with a reactive mindset, which is often dominated by fear and anxiety about potential threats. When you focus on what you're going to do, you empower yourself to act decisively and effectively, rather than being paralyzed by the fear of what might happen.



The Self-Defense Mindset: Focus on What You're Going to Do to Them, Not What They Are Going to Do to You
The Self-Defense Mindset: Focus on What You're Going to Do to Them, Not What They Are Going to Do to You

Psychological Preparation

Psychological preparation is a crucial component of self-defense. By envisioning yourself taking assertive actions, you build mental resilience and confidence. This preparation involves visualizing various scenarios and mentally rehearsing your responses. The goal is to create a mental blueprint of your actions, so you can react swiftly and effectively when faced with a real threat.



Physical Readiness

Focusing on your actions also involves physical readiness. This means being aware of your surroundings, maintaining a strong body posture, and positioning yourself in a way that allows for quick and effective movements. Training in self-defense techniques is essential, as it gives you the skills and muscle memory needed to execute your actions confidently.



Key Principles of a Proactive Self-Defense Mindset

Situational Awareness: Always be aware of your environment and potential threats. This means scanning your surroundings and being mindful of people around you.


Decisive Action: When a threat is identified, act swiftly and decisively. Hesitation can give an attacker the upper hand. Know your self-defense techniques and be prepared to use them.


Mental Focus: Keep your mind focused on your actions. Avoid being distracted by fear or uncertainty. Concentrate on executing your self-defense moves effectively.


Assertiveness: Project confidence through your body language and verbal commands. A strong, assertive demeanor can often deter an attacker before physical action is necessary.


Training and Practice: Regular self-defense training is crucial. It helps you develop the necessary skills and confidence to act effectively in a threatening situation.



Example Scenario: Facing an Attacker

Imagine you're walking home and notice someone following you. Instead of panicking about what they might do, shift your focus to what you're going to do:


Assess the Situation: Quickly evaluate the threat. Is the person gaining on you? Are they exhibiting aggressive behavior?


Change Course: Cross the street or move to the opposite side of the aggressor. Observe their reaction.


Prepare to Act: Position yourself in a stance that allows for quick movement. Keep your hands free and ready.


Execute Your Plan: If the person becomes a clear threat, use verbal commands to assertively tell them to back off. If they continue to approach, be ready to use physical self-defense techniques to protect yourself.



By focusing on your actions, you manage fear, maintain control and increase your chances of successfully defending yourself.


Adopting a proactive self-defense mindset can significantly enhance your ability to protect yourself in dangerous situations. By focusing on what you're going to do to the attacker, rather than what they might do to you, you take control of the encounter and increase your chances of a positive outcome.


Preparation and training are key components of this mindset. Equip yourself with the necessary skills and confidence to act decisively and effectively when faced with a threat.



Conflict Resolution Training and Self Defense Resources

The Center for Violence Prevention and Self Defense (CVPSD) is a non profit 501(C)(3) with a mission to stop violence by educating at-risk people and empower them with the skills needed to protect themselves by providing online and live training. Through workshops and seminars we educate participants about violence prevention and guide them on assessing risk factors while establishing boundaries in relationships. Additionally practical self defense classes equip people with hands on skills and effective strategies to prevent and intervene in cases of assault. CVPSD reaches individuals and communities through partnerships with schools and other nonprofits, community groups, as well as classes for the public.

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