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Posted by on June 1, 2020

During our self-defense training, we remind students that distance is their friend. 

But how do you create distance if someone is trying to get closer? After all, people are not always respectful of our space, and someone intending to harm you certainly isn’t concerned with your well-being. 

So how do we maintain or create distance?

Here are 5 general ways to create distance in situations ranging from the annoying to the aggressive. 

  1. Use Your Voice: Stay Away! Leave me alone! Use an assertive tone and speak clearly. Keep your message simple and direct.
  2. Body Language: Holding your hands out in front of you communicates, “Stay away, don’t get closer!”  
  3. Walk/Run Away: As you leave/back away continue to be aware of the person. He might follow. 
  4. Common Objects: If the person is persistent use a common object (if available) to create distance – umbrella, throwing coins, water bottle… Flee if you can. 
  5. Use Your Body: If the aggressor does not back away, is trying to grab or hit you, then you have to create distance with your physical tools – kicks, hand strikes, elbows, even bites – according to direction and distance.  

All of these techniques, even using your voice, need to be practiced. Clear communication through voice and body language can be effective deterrents. If the person is not receptive and is intent on harming you then you have to revert more physically aggressive measures.

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