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The 3 Ds

The 3 D’s

A simple approach to Personal Safety

Most of us see self-defence as a physical act, but we have to be taught how to ‘think’ about personal safety.  When we look at all the martial arts; karate, taekwondo and ju jutsu to name a few; we see the physical engagement with danger. If the Bad Guy does ‘A’ you respond with the physical response of ‘B’.

But true personal safety skills need more than a physical approach.  If a situation has turned physical then many pre-contact cues have been missed and overlooked. Any one of these cues could have moved a person to safety. We have to re-define the term self defence to make it more empowering:

‘To move to safety when danger is imminent’

When we employ this new definition, it brings into play the 3D’s. Detect, Defuse and Defend.

1. Detect to avoid

We need the ability to detect danger in our surroundings. When people and situations challenge our normal baseline data, we have to ask quality questions such as:

  • “Why is that car parked there?”
  • “Why is someone knocking on my door this late at night?”
  • “Why is this person coming to talk to me?”

Just by asking these questions we become safer. When we back this up by the courage to avoid the danger (to walk away if you have to) we make better quality decision with respect to staying safe.

2. Defuse to de-escalate

Defusing a situation can be both, internal or external. If it’s internal we will be defusing our EGOs and thought processes. For example, in a road rage incident, you may need to de-escalate your EGO; stopping it from charging in an inflaming an already volatile situation.

External de-escalation could involve employing clever and proactive strategies. Many difficult situations can be avoided and/or defused (like taking the fuse out of a ticking time bomb).  For example, simply taking a taxi home after a night out.

If ‘trouble’ is upon us and cannot be avoided, we need the ability to defuse through our body language and choice speech (the words that we use). This will buy us time, and time is the currency we can use to move us to safety.

3. Defend

If push comes to shove, we need to access functional movement that will move us away from danger. This needs to be done with as little harm to us and our attacker. We need to be aware that our actions may very well be judged by those in authority, so they need to be morally, ethically, and legally compliant. In simple terms, if we use force it must parallel the danger we are faced with.

We, are our children need the skills and education to avoid stepping on the ‘X’.  The ‘X’ is the place of a violent encounter, where we get attacked.  We need the ability to see the ‘X’, step around it, jump over it and reverse from it. If we’re able to do this, we are truly practising proactive self-defence.


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