Defend Thineself: A Goth’s Guide to Self-Defense, Part 2

Open Hand Self-Defense

Hand to hand defense is extremely powerful if you know what to do.

Hand to hand defense is extremely powerful if you know what to do.

Despite being aware of your surroundings, you can still be attacked. This article discusses how to defend yourself if you don’t have access to a weapon. Forms of self-defense have come from all over the world, from all continents (except Antarctica). There is also what a teacher of mine refers to, humorously, as ‘Run-Fu’, the art of running away terribly fast.

In some places, like government buildings, parks, schools, etc., weapons of any kind aren’t allowed. You can’t carry a gun or a folding pocket knife. Or, you may not know how to use a knife. You just may not have a weapon on you at that time. If you have a knife or some other weapon and don’t know how to use it, you may come across someone who does (or has a better grasp of it than yourself) and can take it away from you and, now, you’re in real trouble. So, you don’t have a gun or knife or pepper spray, now what? There are a couple of options. If someone approaches you demanding your wallet and is armed somehow or can do you bodily harm, there are, really, three choices you have. Option one, give them what they want (keys, wallet, jewelry, etc.) and run. Will they leave you alone after you give them what they want? I have no idea. That’s a judgment call on your part. If you give them what they want and are able to run, run. Get to safer place where you can call 911 like a friend’s house, a public building, a restaurant, any place where you would feel safer.

Now, the other option, if you can, is just run without giving them anything. If you can run away and get away from the person(s) trying to rob you and, maybe doing you harm, run away terribly fast to a place where you will be safer and call the police. In cases where the assailants are there to just assault you, beat you up, beat you to death and/or rape you this is the best option. There is nothing to give away.

The third option is to fight back. Due to laws in most states, this is the option that you can only exercise if you cannot get away. Most criminals do not expect their victims to fight back and, therefore, aren’t prepared for their intended victim to fight back. They usually pick a target that they would expect to put up little resistance. But, when you fight back with real skills, like you know what you’re doing, you will, most of the time, catch them off-guard. It is a very good idea to take a couple of courses in self-defense or learn a fighting art. Don’t expect to be like Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee in a couple of weeks or even a couple of years, but there are many basic moves that can help you defend yourself enough to get away in most cases. In one class, I learned how to take a gun from someone. Granted, it was all practice, but the methodology was there and, if used correctly, can surprise the bad guy and give you the advantage over him (or her) and they would be the one trying to run away. If you want to commit yourself to a fighting skill, that’s a great idea. Some styles may seem dirty, but if your assailant is a guy, we all know where that one sensitive area is on men. If you need to, don’t hesitate to take advantage of it.

Again, if you’re in a situation when it is legal for you to fight back, it is an option and may be your only option. In New York State, where I live, if you can show reasonably that you had no choice, but to fight or defend yourself through other means, then you’re allowed to but you also can’t go overboard. If you cannot prove that you had reasonable enough belief that you were going to be raped, murdered or have severe bodily harm done, killing your opponent(s) or putting them into the hospital and rendering them into a coma is a bad move and you’ll be the one in jail and possible not your assailants. Also, if you do enough harm, you could also get sued for defending yourself. In many areas, like where I live, if someone comes onto your property (like your front lawn) and tries to steal your grill, pet, or what have you, and you hold them or tackle them to get your property (or pet) back, the crook can have you arrested for assault. If you have to defend yourself because you were getting legitimately attacked, you will need to justify it before the police and maybe a judge or jury. “Because he/she was bugging me,” “He was looking at me weird,” or “He needed a good butt-whoopin’” probably won’t cut it in a court or to the police. If you were threatened or attacked and felt that you were in serious trouble, you will have a better chance with that defense. Gotta love the justice system, eh?

There’s always a chance a bad guy will attack you. If you’re prepared for it mentally, even without an actual weapon, you can fend off the crook with a few skills. Most crooks don’t expect resistance. If they did, they usually wouldn’t attack you. The best way to get out of trouble (even if you did all you could to avoid it) is to simply run away terribly fast (‘Run-fu’ as some friends of mine have called it). If you can’t, there are a few good ways to be able to defend yourself even without becoming Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris. 

Author: Kevin Letts

Kevin Letts is a Steampunk writer from upstate New York with his wife and is continually learning how to shoot and archery. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and enjoys using arrows or bullets to put little holes in pieces of paper with concentric circles on them.

Legal Notice: Kevin Letts is not a lawyer or a law enforcement officer so his articles are not advice that should be taken as fully legal. If you need to know the laws in your local area or state, consult a lawyer to understand what you are able to do. Each area has its own laws regarding self-defense.

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