The tactic of avoidance is a valuable one, even for experienced martial artists. Why? Because the longer you engage in a confrontation the greater the odds are that you will get injured.
It's for this reason that in my Personal Protection Workshops I teach basic counter-surveillance skills... so you can shake a tail if you're being followed.
If I'm teaching at night I like to include some basic Escape & Evasion skills. The scenario is that you're alone at night - maybe overseas - and you think you're being followed. What can you do?
My four basic principles of Escape & Evasion are : shape ; shadow ; screen ; and sound :
- the term 'shape' refers to disguising the recognisable shape of a human being
- the term 'shadow' refers to using shadows to conceal your location and movement
- the term 'screen' refers to any object that can hide some-or-all of your body
- the term 'sound' refers to knowing the right time to shift locations, and potentially make some noise doing so.
Following is a true story that highlights how these four simple principles could have helped a person avoid a potentially violent confrontation :
Several years ago a friend of mine broke off a relationship with a domineering man. It seemed to be a clean break, but one night he drove to her house and started banging on the front door - calling for her to let him in.
Not surprisingly she was scared, and kept silent. He then went around the house and started banging on the back door... and as he did so she ran out of the front door and up the street.
But she ran down the middle of the road, which was very well lit by the street-lights. And when the ex-boyfriend came around to the front of the house again he saw her running away... so he got into his car and drove after her.
Why did she run up the middle of the road? Well it's a natural fear response. She chose a clear well-lit path of escape... but it was also a clear well-lit path of pursuit.
Fortunately for her, when he did catch up with her she was able to calm him down, and the situation didn't escalate into violence.
However, she would have been able to avoid that risk if she had known how to apply the basics of escape and evasion. Within a matter of seconds she could have just disappeared into the many shadows and screens in her neighbour's backyard.
It's Primal Protection.
For insight into Counter-Surveillance Basics, click on the link below: