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Online Violence Prevention Conflict Resolution Training

The world's most extensive online violence prevention resource library, available for free.

Top Four Principles To Survive Violence

After looking at the research that has been conducted on thousands of violent encounters over 100 years, four basic truths for survival are found in almost all of them. The keys to survival cost almost nothing which is why you don't hear about them too often.

NJ Violence Prevention and self defense training
NJ Violence Prevention and self defense training

Top Principles To Survive a Violence Encounter

These Four Elements of Survival are in order of importance. Number 4 is good to know and 3-1 are essential.


  • 4 Least Important Self Defence Techniques

  • 3 Emotional Desensitization to Violence

  • 2 Conditioning - Cardio, Agility, and Strength (in that order)


#4 Fighting Techniques Are Least Important

Honestly, the vast majority of what we learn in self-defense training / martial arts is not even used in real-world encounters.


Normal people defend themselves in violent situations with little to no fight training by going primal. We use the adrenaline dump chemical reaction that occurs in our brains in a violent encounter and the basic skills we have seen or remember from our past. You are best served to learn self-defense techniques that will mirror your particular reality. Gross motor skills like striking are universal and should be the basis for everyone's foundation.


The remaining three essential elements below are critical when responding to violent encounters.


#3 Emotional Desensitization to Violence

While first-hand experience is ideal, most peoples lifestyle's cant accommodate it. The next effective option is to use 2nd hand experience by researching encounters. There are many hours of street fights and violence to view. Whatever violent encounter has you the most spooked or probability of occurring, go expose yourself to it from many angles. You can develop a basic level of stress inoculation.


"Normal people" defend themselves daily without a violent past or direct experience. You can also use your own stressful experience as well. Many of us go thru encounters and have gotten to the other side. If you have had a violent experience don't regret the past or shut the door on it.


Those events can allow your brain to connect the dots to help you envision a way through to the other side so why not draw on that experience. The online research process is rich with other important critical elements including effective and ineffective techniques, pre-attack indicators, and modes of attack.


#2 Conditioning- Cardio, Agility, and Strength

While we have all seen out of shape people win fights, they are typically outliers. The ability to run distances, jump, kick, strike, block, and duck requires cardio, agility, and strength. When a human heart rate reaches around 90 - 130 bpm basic cognitive skills begin to fail such as memory recall. Try to do it! Test this statement by performing complex tasks after doing some sprint running. See how well you do before and after.


Having a decent cardio ability improves performance for physical skills but also moves the needle of cognitive diminishment by pushing failure point upward to 120-150 bpm. The importance of a person's physical fitness to survive violence can not be overstated.


An individual with superior fitness with no other attribute will perform better in a violent encounter when compared to a trained and experienced person with little conditioning and complacent mindset.


#1 Fierce Going Home Mindset!

In the law enforcement community, its called the “Going Home” mindset. “No person or injury is going to stop me from going home to my family tonight.” It’s that mindset that makes an officer with a gunshot wound, return fire, apply a tourniquet, call for help, and hold on to for back up and first aid arrives.


This is the indignant fury that fills you when you realize that someone is trying to hurt you or your child. The mindset of having the intent on harming another person trying to harm you turning you from prey to predator.


If you develop a fierce “Going Home” mindset with excellent physical conditioning, you will survive most acts of violence.


You can drastically increase your odds by developing a maturity level by desensitizing yourself emotionally to violence and train regularly in self-defense techniques.


Violence Prevention and Conflict Management Resources

The Center for Violence Prevention and Self-Defense Training (CVPSD) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing evidence-based training in violence prevention and self-defense. With a focus on unbiased program development, CVPSD offers customized programs to individuals and organizations, equipping them with the tools to enhance personal safety and contribute to violence prevention in their communities. The Center reaches individuals and communities through partnerships with schools and other nonprofits, community groups, as well as classes for the public.

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