You don’t have to be a martial artist to take advantage of the following key self-defense tips.

Self-defense is not about fighting; it is about warding off harm—to yourself and, although it may sound counterintuitive, the person confronting you. The best possible outcome of any confrontation would be resolution with no physical, mental, or emotional aftereffects for anyone involved.

Why? If you approach a conflict with the mindset that the other person is “wrong” and you are in the “right,” you have set up a polarized exchange involving your ego, self-righteousness, and judgment. These feelings distort your emotional state and cause imbalance putting you at a disadvantage immediately. Maintaining a calm, focused mind is your goal, rather than using the force of your reactive emotions.

The best self-defense avoids conflict altogether before it even begins. Start learning effective self-defense skills or polish what you know with the following two essential tips.

Tip 1

Cultivate confidence. This is the number one key secret of any effective endeavor you will ever undertake. Given a choice between a fearful, timid woman clutching her purse and a confident-looking woman striding with purpose, who makes the easier target?

“How can I be confident if I’m not?” you may ask. Act like a confident person with high self-esteem. Walk with purpose. Hold your head high. Observe your self-talk and change its content from critical to empowering. It works. Try it now. Think of one good thing about yourself and say it out loud. Do this every day.

Tip 2

Develop good posture. Good posture is of key importance to your body, health, mind, and emotions. Let’s go back to imagining the choice of targets noted above. The fearful, timid woman clutching her purse has hunched shoulders; her gaze is focused anxiously on finding her destination; her energy is spent on her concerns. The confident-looking woman is striding purposefully with a straight spine, her head held high, and she is using her muscles to walk; she knows where she is going because she came prepared; her mind is at ease and not burdened with imagined fears.

Start observing your posture now. Are you slumping forward in front of your computer? Are your shoulders hunched? Do you walk consciously, aware of your body mechanics? Become aware of your body alignment. Imagine a bowl of water on top of your head you don’t want to spill as you walk. Try it now while walking into the next room.

Sifu Diana Fisher, Black Dragon under Sei Tai Gung James Ibrao, and 3rd Degree Black Belt under the late Shi-Zu Allen Abad

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