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KNOW MORE | HOW DO I SET MYSELF UP TO STRIKE FIRST? | by Orjan Pettersen

In KNOW MORE, we cover a specific point of knowledge relating to self defence to give a deeper understanding of it.


Today in KNOW MORE: HOW DO I SET MYSELF UP TO STRIKE FIRST?


In self defence law you can typically hit someone preemptively if certain circumstances are fulfilled.


These principally would be that you genuinely fear for your own or others safety, that you couldn’t escape the situation and your physical response is reasonable and appropriate to the level of threat facing you. (Check your local jurisdiction for your domestic details).


If you’re facing a violent threat - unless it’s a resource criminal after your possessions, where you need to assess if your valuables are worth risking life and limbs for - and you can’t avoid it because you have no way out or must stay to protect others, these are the three things to help you set yourself up for success pre-, in- and post-fight.


The below advice assumes you commence the social violence confrontation with some distance and manoeuvrability to the aggressor, but you cannot exit the area and it becomes clear that the aggressor is intent on violence.


Firstly, move as much as possible away and do this in a sideways spiral fashion to try and increase the distance but also scan the blind spots behind you. The key legal importance of this movement is that it will force the aggressor to change direction to pursue you, enabling you to justifiably show later that you did try to evade the incident but the aggressor evidently pursued you and you had to strike first to stay safe. Read more about how to move by searching CAMOUFLAGE on the website home page.


Secondly, back up your movement with verbal messages. These should be loud, delivered with a clear and authoritative tone and pitch. The volume and clarity of voice is intended for further away witnesses as much as the aggressor themselves. You want nearby people to testify later that you didn’t seek a confrontation. Simply saying something like ‘Go back, don’t hurt me’ will suffice for what you later rely on to explain your preemptive strikes. Don’t say ‘back off’ as it can be easily misconstrued as ‘f*ck off’, especially to intoxicated people.


Thirdly, once you’ve deployed the movement and messaging to set yourself up legally to strike first, and the aggressor doesn’t respond positively and backs down, you need to set yourself up to hit preemptively. Hitting first will put you in the most favourable position to become successful at defending yourself. To do this, stop moving (=you can be ready to change direction forwards when you commence striking). As you stop, shrink yourself slightly, as if you’re hunching, giving an impression of submission (=lowering the aggressor’s awareness of your capacity to fight) but shift your body ready to commence your chosen strike or combination of strikes.


Once the aggressor is at striking range, go from 0-100mph with strikes aimed at vulnerable areas. Check out our website MASTERCLASS PRO combinations or MASTERCLASS single strikes for options on what to do. Continue until you can safely extract yourself.


Following the confrontation, explain to the authorities why you had to strike first. Why the aggressor had the INTENT to hurt you (e.g. what they said or did), what MEANS they had (e.g. physical size or weapons) and what OPPORTUNITY they had (e.g. you couldn’t escape but tried to stay away and warned the other party). At this point, you feared for your personal safety and had to strike first.

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