Likewise, part of being prepared in your self-defense is thinking about your daily routine and what you can do to be ready to defend yourself. What's more, it's also useful to think about how you'd respond given a variety of events.
Be forewarned... this is not light reading or a "fun" list. But, it does represent things that could happen. As unpleasant as some of these topics are, thinking about them now and planning accordingly will help you if you should ever face such a situation.
The topics below are generally organized into increasingly threatening occurrences. There are several situations and questions under each topic. Remember, there aren't necessarily "correct" answers. The objective is simply to get you to think through the scenarios ahead of time.
Doing so won't guarantee that you'll respond the way you've planned. It may take training to enable you to respond as you intend. However, identifying the "gaps" in your capabilities is one of the main benefits of doing this activity.
What's more, this is not an all-inclusive list, of course. Your career, location, or lifestyle may all present their own unique threats. We encourage you to think of other possibilities beyond those listed here and consider them accordingly:
Avoidance and preparation
- Can you avoid places (e.g., some bars, specific parts of a city, malls, etc.) where there might be trouble, or regularly has been in the past?
- Are you willing and able to eliminate contact with any acquaintances, friends, and/or relatives who are known troublemakers?
- Are you willing to own a weapon and know how to properly use it?
- Can/will you carry a knife or a firearm on a daily basis, given your job and/or regular routine?
- Will you train in the martial arts (e.g., karate, taekwondo, boxing, etc.) instead of (or in addition to) carrying a weapon?
Reacting to heated situations
- In a disagreement, are you able to consider the other person's point of view?
- How are you when you're angry? Can you listen attentively, even when upset?
- Are you angered when someone calls you names, or can you walk away without responding?
- How do you respond to being threatened by a stranger? How is your response different if you're being insulted by a family member or loved one?
- Can you tolerate insults to simple things (like your favorite sports team), or do feel the need to defend your honor? What if it's a direct insult to you or a loved one instead?
- Does age make a difference? In other words, what if the other person in the dispute is a child, or elderly?
- Are you able to simply walk away from a heated situation even if others will criticize you for doing so?
Actions upon others
- If you see a crime in progress, will you immediately report it? What if you know the perpetrator?
- If a friend or family member is endangered by someone, what will you do? What if it's a stranger that endangered?
- Suppose an argument occurs near you and is escalating toward violence? How will you respond?
- If a fellow worker or student is making threats to harm others, what will you do?
- When you're at work, school, or some public place, and you hear gunfire in another area, what is your response? How would you react differently if the shooter is nearby?
- If someone close to you is being beaten, abducted, raped, or violently assaulted, what will you do? Will your response be different if it's someone you don't know?
- How do numbers make a difference? In any of the above, if a gang or mob is being violent, how does that change your response?
- If you see a mob, gang, protesters, or any group that looks suspicious to you — even if they're not being violent or destructive at this moment — what will you do?
Crimes against your property
- If you're mugged, will you simply hand over your valuables?
- How will you react if someone attempts a carjacking (i.e., stealing your car from you while you're in it)?
- If you see someone damaging or breaking into your automobile, how will you react?
- When you arrive at home and it's clear that there's been a break-in, what will you do?
- If you're at home and you hear someone breaking in, what is your course of action?
Crimes against your person
- How will you react if someone pulls a knife on you? How will your response change if it's a gun?
- Are you willing to turn your back to an armed individual if they order you to do so?
- If threatened with violence or death, will you allow yourself to be blindfolded and/or tied up?
- If they attempt to kidnap/capture you and flee the scene, what will you do?
- In a situation where you believe violence is imminent, will you flee? Will you strike first?
- If someone attempts to rape you, what will you do? What if there are multiple attackers?
- Assuming someone is trying to kill you, how will you respond?
- Are you capable of using a weapon to injure or kill another person in self-defense, knowing that he or she might die or be crippled for life?
- Are you willing to use whatever force is necessary to defend yourself, even if it means using whatever is at hand as a weapon. Are you willing to fight dirty in order to survive an attack?
- According to FBI information from 2006, over 75 percent of murder victims knew their killer. With that in mind, would you be willing or able to defend yourself against a close friend or relative, even if it mean killing the other person?