The Four “F’s”

In last week’s blog, I spoke about the necessity of being alert when out in public and what you should do to protect yourself from a harmful solicitation (mugging). In this week’s blog, I want to talk about what happens when you are surprised by someone who means to harm you. It’s called the “fight or flight” response.

“F” or “F”

When you are accosted suddenly and without warning, your body and mind act in a predictable manner. Chemically, your body ramps up to meet the challenge by the release of certain hormones—your heartbeat increases. Your breathing becomes more rapid. You begin to sweat, perhaps even tremble. Your adrenaline reaches higher and higher levels as you prepare for either fighting or fleeing. It’s nature’s way of saving your life. This is called the “Fight or Flight” response.  

How you react to this stimulation depends on how you have trained. By that, I mean, how and how much you have practiced reacting to a given situation. If you have absolutely no training, your most probable reaction will be to either immediately jump into a fight with your opponent, or you will immediately hoof-it as fast as you can to somewhere you perceive as safety.

“F or F or F”

In addition to the “fight” or “flight” response, there is a third possible reaction.


The sudden onslaught has confused and bewildered you. Perhaps you have even been struck physically by an assailant. Your clouded mind cannot think of what to do. So you freeze and do nothing while your assailant completes his attack without you even fighting back or fleeing.

“Four F’s”

Now we will look at a possible fourth reaction.


This is a place where you have perceived a possible detrimental situation. Because of your training, you have been able to quickly judge the circumstances and have decided to face your attacker, hopefully with some defensive weapon in your hand. You wait to see what his intentions are. He understands that you are armed. Now, he is put in the position of either fighting or fleeing. And since most blind-sided attackers—you know, the ones that like to sucker-punch people—are cowards, he will either pretend to need some assistance (“you gotta’ light?”) or turn aside and walk away saying nothing at all. (keep in mind, the pretense of needing help may be a ploy to get closer to you. Just say no).

Being adequately prepared every time you go out by being properly trained is essential to your well-being and that of your family. Training and self-defense devices give you a more significant advantage in situations regarding personal and family safety than having no training, or no self-defense devices does. So give yourself an edge. Get self-defense devices. Get safety training. Be prepared.

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