Psychology & behavior in self-defense
Fundamental know-how for personal security
WEBINAR 1:„Pre-conflict phase“
- „Seeing & reading“ problem situation
WEBINAR 2: „Behavioral defense strategies“
- Behavioral methods & stress reaction management
Psychology & behavior in self-defense
An important workshop focused on a deep understanding of conflicts, violent behavior & situational threats, taking into account various factors that one has to be aware in a very short instant. Having this knowledge strongly increases the chances for making the right decisions and taking the right behavioral actions in particular „problem situation setup“
For whom is the course intended:
A. For self-defense and martial arts practitioners who will learn highly valuable insights in the topic of pre-conflict phase & behavioral defense strategies (psychological self-defense)
B. For the general public interested in acquiring know-how in the fields of personal security, situational awareness and behavioral strategies in self-defense
- Full course version: 12 hours (workshop)
- Short course version 4 hours (seminar)
Course topics overview:
Part 1: Analysis
- “Seeing & reading” pre-conflict phase
- Stages of problem situation evolvement
- Psychological and behavioral mechanisms ongoing in the background of violence and conflicts
- Mental and behavioral prevention as a key to avoid violence triggers
- Personal security & situational awareness
Part 2: Synthesis
- Decisions in the situation of threat or violence
- Behavioral defense methods designed to deal with developing violent situations and conflicts
- Case studies: learn from the real situations
- Stress reaction and its regulation
Read more about the topic:
Essential know-how in prevention & dealing the violence
It is crucial to understand that at the point of raising a threatening or violent situation the most essential factors are: „The state of psychic, skill to analyze and a behavioral response“ which complexly determine the next course of the incident up to 80 – 95 %.
Unpreparedness or the unconscious behavioral mistakes can easily result in the onset and escalation of violence. On the contrary, knowledge of psychological and behavioral principles significantly increases the odds of „averting, alleviating or even complete transformation“ of the problem situation with the risk of physical assault.
1. Psychological self-defense is a complex of "know-how"
Simple analogy: Averting the fire!
„It is wise to eliminate a fire in its initiation, or to ensure that it does not occur at all. “
Why it is essential to educate in the topics of „pre-conflict phase“ and „behavioral defense strategies“?
I will give an analogous example:
If it happens that a common electrical appliance in our apartment starts to spark or emits smoke, we are able to react instinctively and we will take an immediate precautionary action to prevent a devastating fire.
If we are vigilant, aware and action capable, it is normally possible to stop the fire in its inception. However, if we do nothing, we may face the fire, which we will no longer have under control and it will evolve to unstoppable catastrophe with devastating consequences.
Elimination of fire hazards is our automatic and natural reaction and most people instinctively prevent fires (this is prevention!), or can the fire inception eliminate by immediate reaction (this is behavioral action!).
But can we likewise think, react and act in the initiation of conflict or attack? How do we eliminate the triggers of violence? How are we able to act in the situation of threat?
It is necessary to understand that the combat self-defense by its character is the last inevitable option for solving a threatening situation. Therefore, the use of combat techniques precedes:
- Knowledge of prevention principles and the clarity of the mental „set up“. This is the first key to avoid problem situations & violence triggers
- Skill to analyse: „Seeing & reading the pre-conflict phase“, that means the capacity to see many hidden and ongoing behavioral and psychological mechanism in the background and foreground of the problem situation
- Tactical behavior and behavioral defense methods of solving problem situations and inceptions of violence. In layman's terms this is a „psychological self-defense“
2. Pre-conflict phase
Skill to analyse:
"Seeing & reading" the situation
„The more factors you can see, the better fortune waits for you.“
In the beginning, one should realize that the person who creates a threat is
also a human.
If we get into the aggressor's head, there are not much different psychological processes from what all humans have. Of course, a personal history, social background and human variability makes the principal differences and therefore behavioral boundaries can be much more shifted in extreme. And the physical or psychological threat is usually based on that.
The defender behavioral solution is based on more pillars, but the key tool is the skill to analyse. You really need to get an insight into the situation. And the more variables you can see, the highest are your chances to response to the situation properly.
For example, can you read aggressor's motivation? Can you read the intention? Can you estimate the social background from which is the he coming from? Can you read his psychological strategy? (of course he also has a strategy, but sometimes this is only manifested in attackers subconscious behavior).
Is he an individual aggressor or is it a group where a strong social dynamics will take a place. Is the incident taking place in public with potential allies, or we are in dark park with no one around?
Furthermore, the situation of threat has particular stages of its development. We will talk about them in detail on the workshop. A person in defense can clearly see these stages, and act upon that behaviorally. But the behavioral defense action within each stage would be usually different. And we can continue…
In the end, one should realize, that the defender is also a human. The more you can read, the more open the door for solutions. The more factors you know, the higher is your chance to prevent, to avoid, or to de-escalate the conflict.
3. Behavioral defense strategies
Behavioral options precede the combat
„Psychological threat and physical attack are not yet the same. Problem is the trigger point.“
Today, many people practice various martial arts or self-defense systems, a training focused on combat techniques to be used in situation of violence. On the other hand just a very few people went through the deeper education in the area of conflict psychology, prevention and behavioral strategies for conflict resolution.
Both combat self-defense and behavioral self-defense are options for dealing with the threat or intended violence. The first might turn out brutal and is thus dangerous for both sides. Should be used when inevitable. The second is what makes us inteligent.
Behavioral strategies are very similar to a „chess encounter“, where the know-how of psychological principles and behavioral strategies can modulate the problem situation outcome in favor of defender strongly."
From the point of self-defense, defender's approach should be a violence prevention at first place. If we have noticed that we are just on the doorstep of the situation with risk of physical attack, in most of the cases there is a high chance to avert it, whether as a man or women.
In fact, the way of defender's behavior and communication (verbal & non-verbal) forms a strong determining factor which is responsible for direction of the next course of the events: What can be either further „escalation & graduation“ into the attack or „de-escalation & pacification“ of the problem situation.
There are particular methods that can be applied: We call them behavioral defense strategies or simply behavioral self-defense. We talk about them in detail on our lectures and workshops.
After years of analysis and discussions with psychologists, other martial art instructors and the police & military experts we have made conclusion, that behavioral defense strategies can by applied in most of risk situations with the success of averting violence up to 95%. And that is the really high number.
Course: Psychology & behavior in self-defense
Topics in detail:
1. Psychology of problem situations
- Key role of the analysis
- Seeing both parts: offender versus defender
- A factor of „where“ and „why“
- Subconscious psychological mechanisms and mental set ups
- Can be the victim responsible for own „bad luck“?
- Assessment of risks and chances
2. Conflict prevention & resolution
- Behavioral principles as a prevention to conflict situations
- Communication and negotiation
- Important role of „body language“ and gestures in problem situation
- Behavioral strategies for conflict resolution
- Rational thinking vs. instinct and intuition
3. Stress reaction
- Psychology and physiology of the stress reaction
- One connection: „Body – Breath – Mind“
- Emotions: „A good servant, bad master“
- A „Fight or flight stress response“ and a „Freezing“
- Stress management and self-regulation: how to regulate the stress reaction in tense situations: theory + practice
4. Interconnection to self-defense
- Psychology of attack & self-defense
- Situation analysis and risk assessment considering the use of physical self-defense
- Tactical behaviour just in conflict situation
5. Case studies
- Examples of conflict management from the real life situations
- Well-managed cases vs. badly managed cases (comparisons)
- Know-how application in the scenario simulations
6. Animal attack
- The bases of defense when attacked by animal
- Emphasis on situations of a dog attack / threat