Fear of Over-Reacting

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When PDN Executive Director Rob Pincus talks to people who are new to self-defense training concepts, they often tell him they have a fear of over-reacting. In this video, Rob explains that as you develop your defensive lifestyle, you actually become less likely to over-react. Here’s how it works.

Situational Awareness

Once you start thinking about protecting yourself and your loved ones as you go about your daily life, you start thinking about self-defense concepts like situational awareness, keeping your head on a swivel, and keeping an eye on who is around you. You may think about pre-contact cues, staging, preparation, and ready positions. This may lead to thinking you will take up an aggressive ready position at the first sign of someone acting oddly, or gather your family and leave a restaurant when someone drops a fork on the floor — in other words, doing too much and embarrassing yourself.

How It Really Works

Rob has found that if people truly understand the ideas of pre-contact cues and of being aware of what’s going on around them, they will be much more relaxed and much less likely to over-react. If you are paying attention to your surroundings and whether someone could be a threat, you can be much subtler in your unarmed self-defense responses. You won’t have an over-reaction but you will have an appropriate response.

Appropriate Responses

These include taking up a position of advantage and making natural movements that put you in a spot to defend against a strike but without looking obvious about it. Rob cites the example of scratching your head, a natural motion that protects your head and jawline.

Pay attention to what’s going on around you and you’ll be much less likely to be caught off guard and more likely to be ready to respond appropriately.

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