One bit of advice I always disliked when hearing from self-defense instructors is to run away at the first sign of trouble.

Gyakuto

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Perhaps ‘run away’ is being taken too literally or used in a lazy way. Perhaps it means ‘don’t go down that ally way in a bad area, in the dark’. ‘Don’t walk around a city centre after the pubs and clubs are chucking people out at the end of the night.’ ‘Don’t go out on foot after midnight’ (nothing good happens after midnight).

One can anticipate the probability of dangerous situations well before one is in them and if you have any sense and don’t have the attitude of, ‘I have the right to walk through that group of pimps and drug dealers because I pay my taxes and I am free’, then you can avoid being involved in an altercation. After all, would you smear yourself in meat juice and walk through a cage of hungry lions? You are free to do so (assuming you have access to a cage filled with hungry lions) but would you chose to do that? The martial arts are about remaining intact, both physically and mentally.

Get a taxi (the expense is better than the trauma of even a minor altercation), reschedule your absolutely necessary city centre/ally way walk to a the hours of daylight. Do not frequent places where miscreants gather. That is running way.
 

gyoja

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I don't usually run, I have powers. So I usually fly straight upwards. They *usually don't follow which is good.


*USUALLY. There was that one time and boooy howdy hooowheee......
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s _Simon_: ! 😂
 

hoshin1600

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I have never heard an instructor say " when confronted with ANY situation, you should immediately turn and run, Regardless of the situation or your own personal abilities and chance of escape"
yeah never heard that.
It is possible that a YouTube video creator says I'm gonna teach you something but as a type of disclaimer you should run before putting faith in the BS I'm about to show you.
As a recipient of the wisdom about running or escape, if you think and accept that advise without thought and without proper evaluation of the situation, is a lack of sophisticated thought.
Running is not the problem. It's a lack of using the brain to understand and process the advise that's a problem.
Fight, Flight & Freeze are all natural human reactions. The key is knowing when each is appropriate and how to use each with a methodology that improves the probability of success. Your not going to get that in a meme or short video.
 

Badhabits

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Since running away/escape seems to be such a hot button here....are there people here who teach self defense and tell their female students to stand your ground and fight a man rather than run if running is an option? I get not showing weakness. Totally understand showing weakness invites attack. But when the hammer falls most women just aren't going to be able to win against a man ( most, not all, it's just a general blanket statement)
I guess I should clarify what I mean by ego since I tend to be one of those guys, at least in my youth. Walking away is more of an act of will than fighting for a lot of people. That's an ego problem. More than once I've been involved in brawls where it's me and one or two other guys against much larger groups. It would get to the point where we fought our way out or it just sort of petered out on its own. We could have just left at that point. The other guys were done. And we'd jump back in, getting the whole thing going again. Looking back on it, that was ego. Just couldn't stand to walk away. It was stupid in my opinion. Really stupid from a self defense perspective.
 

Hot Lunch

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Here's my little hot take on this:

Frankly, when someone here says "run away" as a first resort - as either a suggestion or something that they themselves would do - remember that we're on a martial arts forum. I think some people are going to say what they think they're supposed to say, at the expense of their own honesty. Nobody here wants to be "that guy" who says that he'll knock the block off of any man who crosses him. Things won't end well for you if you say that on a martial arts forum. Even on the internet in general, nobody wants to be the "internet tough guy," some will avoid it to the point of overcompensating by saying they'd run away.

However, my experience out in the world is a lot different from what I've seen people claim on line. I've seen plenty of grown men fighting, and can probably count on one hand the number of times I've ever seen a man run away from another. In fact, I can only recall one off the dome - because it actually happened on my front yard when I was 15. A male friend of my mother's was confronted by another man, and ran off because he was scared. Everyone there - included me - busted out laughing at him. I lived in that neighborhood for three more years, and he wasn't able to live that down up to the point I left.

I've seen far less instances of men running away than instances of men who knew they were outmatched simply taking the beating, whether they fought back or not (most did).

Truth is that showing fear empowers the other person. Match their aggression, and it throws their confidence off. That's the more desirable outcome, in my opinion.

In the case of a woman dealing with a male attacker, it's not the same. First, women aren't expected to be able to fight men. Generally speaking, when a woman matches a man's aggession, she's hoping that men standing by are going to help her. That's not her being brave. That's her believing she's going to get the favorable outcome. And the male aggressor knows all of this. Also, there are zero social consquences for a woman who runs away from a man.
 

Badhabits

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Well, I'll say this. As a younger man a guy took a swing at me, I blocked it, slipped the blocking hand behind his head and threw him. It was meant to be a simple defensive takedown. The throw itself wasn't meant to injure the guy. He cracked the h*** out of his head on concrete. Hospitalized for days. Legal troubles for me. To this day it still pops up every now and then. I'm very very hesitant to fight unless there's no other option. That incident had a major effect on how I handle things now. So yeah, I have no qualms about walking away if I can.
 

Hot Lunch

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There's a difference between walking away and running away. Walking away is not an act of fear, because you're still giving him the opportunity to act on his aggression if he so chooses. Antelopes don't walk away from lions, they run.
 

Badhabits

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There's a difference between walking away and running away. Walking away is not an act of fear, because you're still giving him the opportunity to act on his aggression if he so chooses. Antelopes don't walk away from lions, they run.
This is probably where we differ. I don't want to give someone the opportunity to act on aggression. From one perspective, running away isn't always an act of fear. It can be an act of mercy.
 

Rich Parsons

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And this isn't because it's a bad suggestion or because you should fight to prove something. Let's get this out of the way, if you can avoid confrontation do so, if you can deescalate the situation do so. My beef is if your first instinct is to run at the first sign of trouble, then why are you bothering to learn martial arts in the first place? Also let's think about this for a second, you are confronted by someone who clearly means you harm, has no intention of backing down or walking away, and you decide that the best course of action is to show them your back?

Because unless you are absolutely confident in your ability to outrun your attacker, all that's going to happen is he's going to get on top of you and have their way with you. Assuming they don't just ambush you, my suggestion is to intimidate them to the point where they are convinced trying to confront you aren't worth the hassle or find something to put in between you and them before making your escape, be it a trashcan between you and them or just knocking them down to buy a few precious seconds.

And while I know I'm probably going to get flack for this for not supporting the idea of just immediately running away, I feel confident saying this because this is the exact same advice that they give you if you're ever confronted by a mountain lion. "NEVER turn your back on a puma" Again I'm not saying you shouldn't try to get away, it isn't a fight to the death or anything, if you can knock them out or throw them off balance long enough to get away, that's a victory. But telling someone to just immediately start running at the first sign of danger just seems like a really easy way to get someone hurt or worse.

And again, if you're THAT confident in your ability to run away from an attacker, why not just take up track and field?

I have a saying Green belt gitters and Blue Belt Blues
.
That is to say at Green belt (Yellow Green 1 & 2, Blue 1 & 2, ... ) the student seems hesitant and jerky. This can cause issues.
Now to the point for why we say it.
Blue belts seem to want to got "Test" themselves. And if instructors tell people they should stand ground first they can be held liable for injuries those students do. (* Search for NY and other states where instructors where charged or had suit brought against them *).
.
If it is in the curriculum and part of the teaching then the instructor has in good faith informed the student that people could get hurt and that they should avoid doing that if possible.
Of course mileage may vary and different ranks can have the same issues. High colors and low black belts .
 

Dirty Dog

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Yes it is. You're running because you're scared of getting your butt whooped.
That may be why YOU are running, but it is generally a mistake to assume others have the same motivation. I run if, in my estimation, that is the most viable option for avoiding injury to myself or other innocent parties.
 

Hot Lunch

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That may be why YOU are running
I've never run from another person a day in my life, and even if I wanted to, I don't have that option. Again, I'm not a good sprinter.
but it is generally a mistake to assume others have the same motivation. I run if, in my estimation, that is the most viable option for avoiding injury to myself or other innocent parties.
This statement sounds a little too hypothetical. Looks like you've never run from anyone yourself. That goes to my original point. All these claims of running as a first resort is nothing but a virtue signal on an MA forum.
 

Dirty Dog

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I've never run from another person a day in my life, and even if I wanted to, I don't have that option. Again, I'm not a good sprinter.
How unfortunate.
This statement sounds a little too hypothetical. Looks like you've never run from anyone yourself.
Go right on telling yourself that. I avoid conflicts when possible. When it's not possible, I end them as quickly as possible. Spending 40 years in the ER, I've been in far more conflicts than most. It's long been a running joke in our family that I'm involved in more use of force situations than our two cop kids combined.
That goes to my original point. All these claims of running as a first resort is nothing but a virtue signal on an MA forum.
Or, just possibly, you're wrong. I have the impression that's not an easy thing for you to accept, but it's worth considering.
 

Hot Lunch

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How unfortunate.
Not really. I'm pretty good distance runner, who can bust out a half-marathon as long it's been at least 48 hours since the last. Distance running is useless for running away from an attacker. Now if *I* was the attacker, distance running would be useful.

Go right on telling yourself that. I avoid conflicts when possible. When it's not possible, I end them as quickly as possible. Spending 40 years in the ER, I've been in far more conflicts than most. It's long been a running joke in our family that I'm involved in more use of force situations than our two cop kids combined.
So are you going to assert the claim that you have, indeed, run away from another man before? Oh, wait. If you could have, you would have.

Or, just possibly, you're wrong. I have the impression that's not an easy thing for you to accept, but it's worth considering.
You've never run away from another man before. But you sure have fought a lot of them. To tell me that I'm wrong is to contradict yourself.
 

Dirty Dog

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Not really. I'm pretty good distance runner, who can bust out a half-marathon as long it's been at least 48 hours since the last. Distance running is useless for running away from an attacker. Now if *I* was the attacker, distance running would be useful.
Right. Because it's a given that the other person is a world class sprinter.
So are you going to assert the claim that you have, indeed, run away from another man before? Oh, wait. If you could have, you would have.
And did.
You've never run away from another man before. But you sure have fought a lot of them.
I have done both. And I don't do either because I'm scared.
To tell me that I'm wrong is to contradict yourself.
Keep on telling yourself that.
 
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How unfortunate.

Go right on telling yourself that. I avoid conflicts when possible. When it's not possible, I end them as quickly as possible. Spending 40 years in the ER, I've been in far more conflicts than most. It's long been a running joke in our family that I'm involved in more use of force situations than our two cop kids combined.

Or, just possibly, you're wrong. I have the impression that's not an easy thing for you to accept, but it's worth considering.
As I said in my original post, if you can avoid a confrontation do so, there is no point in fighting a meaningless battle.

But if your first instinct no matter what is to run away from your problems, then why are you wasting time learning martial arts to begin with? Because the way people talk, they make it sound like there is NEVER a good time to fight.

Maybe it's just me but when I hear people say stuff like that I imagine someone who wouldn't hesitate to throw someone they called a friend into their attacker in order to save themselves.

And if I would be perfectly honest, I think more people are scared of going to jail for protecting themselves then risking getting hurt or hurting their attacker, and I have to imagine people who attack others know this.

So you're in a situation where you can either beat the guy up and potentially get charged or get on your knees and beg for your life cause you're not legally allowed to fight back against someone who doesn't care about laws.
 
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Dirty Dog

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As I said in my original post, if you can avoid a confrontation do so, there is no point in fighting a meaningless battle.
Absolutely.
But if your first instinct no matter what is to run away from your problems, then why are you wasting time learning martial arts to begin with?
If you're reacting based on instinct, you probably have a LOT to learn still.
Maybe it's just me but when I hear people say stuff like that I imagine someone who wouldn't hesitate to throw someone they called a friend into their attacker in order to save themselves.
Probably true of some. Part of my own personal criteria for running is that doing so doesn't simply move the threat to some other innocent.
 

Hot Lunch

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As I said in my original post, if you can avoid a confrontation do so, there is no point in fighting a meaningless battle.

But if your first instinct no matter what is to run away from your problems, then why are you wasting time learning martial arts to begin with? Because the way people talk, they make it sound like there is NEVER a good time to fight.

Maybe it's just me but when I hear people say stuff like that I imagine someone who wouldn't hesitate to throw someone they called a friend into their attacker in order to save themselves.
Yes, avoiding a confrontation to me entails de-escalation. And walking away can be part of that. But I'm not running from anyone, and I'm not going to lie and claim that I will.
 
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