Nearly every self-defence situation starts off with dialogue. One of the best ways to prevent or to stop an attack is verbally or with your voice this is SHOUT-JITSU! A lot Martial Artists train exclusively in the physical aspect of defence. However, shouting, screaming and verbal defence is extremely important and should be practised. Every scumbag knows that they can use their voice to help them to attack you. That is why many will ask you a question before they attack. Have you got the time.....WHACK! Attackers will also use very aggressive dialogue, commands and profanity to confuse, shock and frighten you. This can cause you to freeze or respond incorrectly. If you are assertive enough with your words, then you can nullify a situation before it happens. Remember, attackers are looking for easy prey and if you show confidence then they can just as easily look for someone else with less confidence. Muggers don't want to work hard to mug you if they liked hard work then they would have proper jobs!
As soon as you are approached in an uncomfortable way or you sense something could be up, you need to get verbal. At this stage it is important to be assertive but not aggressive you don't want to escalate a threatening situation. BACK OFF, GO AWAY, LEAVE ME ALONE, are all good commands at this stage. Make sure that you use a loud, strong voice. You should adopt a comfortable stance with hands held up and open again, not in an aggressive fashion. Maintain eye contact too you shouldn't turn your back away from a potential opponent until it is safe to do so.
If this initial dialogue fails to work then you must use further dialogue. Keep the same stance and hand positioning so that you are ready to strike if you have too. Reaffirm the commands that you have given, but this time in a more forceful way. At this point don't hold back because this is the final warning. Your voice should be at maximum volume and strength. If you bring the attention of passers-by, this is a good thing.
If your assailant does not back off and continues to approach you, you will more then likely have to deal with the situation physically. By using dialogue, you will have adequately warned your opponent and you will be justified to use force if need be.
This type of dialogue should be practised so that you become accustomed to handling situations verbally first. The best way to practise is with a partner you are comfortable with in a Martial Arts studio. Then for added realism, you can try the same exercise outside while also wearing street clothes. If performed correctly, you should feel the adrenalin as well as the nerves but don't get too carried away. Run through several different verbal confrontation situations and above all, keep it safe.
By Robert Devane