“Don’t Stand So Close to Me” The Police
During every self-defense class, we emphasize that our primary goal is not to teach you how to “win a fight” but to get you home safe. One way to preserve your safety is to maintain or create distance from a potential assailant.
Why do we want the distance? Well, there are many reasons an assailant is more dangerous in close quarters. Here are 4 to consider:
- Less reaction time: If he is close he can reach you more quickly, perhaps before you can react or even know he attacking.
- Limited visibility: The closer he is the less visible his various weapons. Imagine someone standing directly in front of you, his face 8 inches away. Can you see is hands, elbows, knees, him reaching in his pocket for a…..?
- Spatial Awareness: It is more difficult to find exits, scan for other threats, etc… when you have to focus on someone nearby.
- More ways to hurt you: From a long distance, for example, the attacker must kick or use an object such as a baseball bat to reach you. As he approaches, however, he can use knees, fists, sharp objects, elbows, head butts, biting… In short, has more tools/options at his disposal.
Of course, it is not always possible to maintain distance. The attacker might be very aggressive, he might surprise you, or you might be in a small space – e.g elevator.
But when possible, create distance.