Our lives are governed by rules from the moment we are born, which are there for a multitude of reasons – some important, some a waste of time.
But in personal protection they are the difference between life and death, especially if you are not a trained combatant who can react to all sorts of different situations.
You cannot make it up as you go along. You need rules.
Now obviously there are hundreds of things you should do and shouldn’t do when you find yourself in a dangerous situation, and again unless you are training every day, most of these are of no use, as you will never remember them.
So where does this leave the average person who does not want to be a “navy seal”?
I have narrowed down all these rules to a simple set of five dos and dont’s that I believe are relevant and will make a difference.
Let’s first deal with the things you should do. There are hundreds of things we could talk about here, but here are the five do’s.
DO IT FIRST
DO IT RIGHT
DO IT ON TIME
DO IT EVERY TIME
1. DO IT
It is making a Choice. You must make a choice, and you need to know what your Choices are. We have discussed these in a previous column. There are only three things you can do in a life-threatening situation: Flight, fight or freeze, but if you don’t know what these are and what you are capable of, how will you decide? You cannot make a choice if you do not know all the options.
2. DO IT FIRST
You need to decide what you want to do, and you need to do it first, before someone decides for you. You must not wait and see what happens. The moment something feels wrong, you need to decide: flight fight or freeze.
3. DO IT RIGHT
It seems so obvious, but like common sense, it’s not so obvious. Whatever you do has to be done right and unless you are a “Friss Chris Frikkie“ who trains every day, the chance of you perfecting any complicated moves that are taught in “self-defence” courses or workshops are ZERO. It has to be simple.
See my column, “Self-defence course: Fact or myth”.
4. DO IT ONE TIME
That doesn’t mean at 3.30 or half past six, it means that in a life or death situation there might be a window of opportunity in which you have the chance to get away or do something that could change the outcome.
You might have to create that opportunity, you might have to do something that you don’t want to do and which you have never done before, to open that window.
But that window will not stay open for long and when it shuts the chances of opening it again are very slim.
That is why you need to know what to do and when to do it.
5. DO IT EVERY TIME
Very simply put, the one time you do not do it, first, right and one time, could very well be your last time.
Mark Grobbelaar is the Founder of INpowered, incorporating WIP (woman INpowered) and GRIP (Guy Responsibly INpowered).
He holds a 6th dan in karate and has over 45 years’ experience in the personal protection field.
He does talks and hosts INpowered programmes to corporates, schools and small groups.
Reach him with your question about personal protection at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will try to answer you in future columns.