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It's very important that people begin to understand all the elements of defense, most importantly those things that come before what most people teach as "self defense". I hope people will be able to use this chart to help understand and teach that. STEAL THIS CHART AND USE IT.
Some notes, bottom to top:
- This chart is not designed to be advice on how to handle a situation. It merely explains the progression of defense possibilities and gives examples for it. Do not interpret it as "do these things". The sidebar is merely a guide that has relevant examples. If you don't like how there are examples presented on the side, cut them out and pass the chart around that way.
- Chart gets bigger at the bottom because you have more options. It is less red at the bottom because there is less threat.
- Prevention and avoidance are the two best things you can teach and are the two easiest to accomplish. It's all about not getting near a fight to begin with. I discuss this briefly in "How to hide in plain sight", but there's a LOT more to it than that. Most sane people can come up with good examples for these stages. This is some of the most important stuff you can be teaching. It's not glamorous or cool looking, but it's more effective than any physical technique is.
- Tony Blauer talks a lot on the diffusion stage. He discusses pre-contact cues and a lot of other things related to pre-fight. Be sure to look his stuff up and the SPEAR system.
- Preemption is something a lot of people will disagree with. Remember, these are the stages of what you can do defense-wise, not the stages of a fight or the stages of what you must do. Preemption is an option, not a requirement, just as all the other parts are.
The fight stage is what everyone talks about when they teach "self defense". This is most of what the world has to go on. I challenge you to teach the rest of the pyramid.