Self Defense by Acting as Own First Responders

The pocket of seniors who suffer more hate attacks than other seniors is AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander ).  AAPI Hate reported 11,500 hate incidents in the two years between March 2020 and March 2022. We can’t wave a wand and stop hate, so seniors must learn to become their own first responders.  At The American Cane System, we are working to empower more seniors in self defense.  We’re doing this through Cane Self defense training.

self defense by acting as own first responders

Violent attacks usually last from 30 to 60 seconds and calls to 911 keep rising. However, since first responders can’t be there in time to protect you, your safety could depend on your ability to be your own first responder. There are several things you can do to protect yourself in a violent situation.

1.   Be Aware of Your Surroundings.

 This is called situational awareness. It’s the ability to perceive, understand and respond to one’s situation.  In a moment, your mind gathers relevant information, analyzes it, and makes informed decisions to address any possible risks, hazards or incidents about to occur.

2.   Understand the Body Language of an Attacker

Police offer the following signs that could indicate a pending attack. Pay attention to what an potential attacker does.  Some of the signs are bared teeth, non blinking eyes.  Another less obvious sign is grooming. 

When an attacker remove imaginary lint or adjusts hair or clothing at inappropriate times it could be a distraction or excess energy before the attack.  The target glance is a common sign an attacker is planning a move.  If they look at your purse or wallet area, be ready to react. 

Flanking, or strategic positioning is another way suspects attempt to put victims at a disadvantage.  

Chest puffing really is a thing.  When we face an eminent fight, we instinctively expand our chest to look bigger to our opponent.  When we take up that extra space, we also produce more testosterone according to Science of People. Testosterone, whether in men or women makes us think faster and perform better. When you understand the body language of an attacker you gain entry to an early warning device of their current emotional state.

3.   De-Escalation

Cowering is NOT an option, but neither is puffing up like your attacker.  Cowering encourages them to take you on, and puffing up is a challenge they feel compelled to meet. Instead, stand your ground and hold your hands out palms up. The palms up position is a universal sign you do not want to fight them. 

4.   If You Must Defend Yourself

Sometimes an attacker won’t accept your de-escalation attempt. If you see in their body language that they are still tense and eyeing their target of attack, you may have to become one of the first responders in your own self defense.  If you have been training in Cane Fu from Grandmaster Mark Shuey, you will have the physical readiness and mental skill to defend yourself. Grandmaster Mark Shuey offers online videos and live training developed especially for seniors.  He has even created training specially for people who are unable to train on their feet.  His students grow in strength, agility, and techniques.  As a side benefit, they also grew in cognitive and emotional health.  The training not only prepares students to be their own self defense first responders.  If you’re curious, give Grandmaster Shuey a call at 775-772-9471.

Thanks for taking a moment to read this article.