Immediate Actions You Must Take If You’re About to be Attacked

ReadyNutrition Readers, this is a straight-to-the-point segment about some actions and things to keep in mind when you’re attacked by a hoodlum or punk without a firearm.  Most of these “winners” will come at you with a knife, club, pipe, or car antenna.  Actions to be taken if someone pulls a gun on you are different and will not be covered within this article.  This information is meant especially for those without any military or martial-arts training, so Bruce Lee disciples and naysayers, let’s try and keep this concept in mind.

When you’re leaving your place of work or the Happy Family Shopping Mall, you may be taken by surprise by some fool hiding behind a bush or the corner of a dumpster.  In any event, let us cover the main point:

Situational awareness is being aware of where you are at all times, what is happening, and your avenues of escape.

That means all the time, being conscious and cognizant of your surroundings and any “stooges” who wish to throw pies at you, or worse.  By training yourself to be observant, most of the time you can head off a problem at the pass before it materializes.  Now let us take it to the next level: you can’t avoid an encounter with a punk.  Here are some steps to keep in mind:

  1. Equalize
  2. Distance
  3. Extraction/Escape

These steps will help you to reach safety.  Your ultimate objective as an untrained individual is to disengage and escape.  If you wish to continue to fight or to “get one up” on your assailants, that is on you.  Without the proper training and preparation, I advise against it.  I also state that withdrawing from a situation, not of your own choosing is the best option.  It is better to fight only when you have no other choice.  Let’s go over those steps:

  1. Equalize – this means to use whatever you have on hand to make the situation more manageable for you. An assailant comes at you with a knife, and you have an umbrella…you can use the umbrella to interdict between the knife and yourself (if it’s opened) or as a striking tool if it’s closed.  A pocketbook can be used as a “Morningstar/mace” against an attacker with a club or knife.  A jacket carried in-hand can be slung upon the attacker’s face or weapon.  Here are seven improvised objects that can be used for self-defense.  These actions take you to the next step:
  2. Distance – this means to place as much distance as possible between you and the attacker. This can also include getting into a car or vehicle and locking the door behind you.  Your objective with this step is to separate yourself from your attacker and his weapon.  “Distance is your best friend,” as they used to say in the Army.  It is your best friend.  By using that “friend,” you can progress to step number 3.
  3. Escape – Yes, get out of that uncontrolled situation. What you do afterward is your business, but the first rule is to survive and succeed.  Suppose there’s a dozen of these guys, right out of the movie “The Warriors?”  What then?  There’s no use getting into semantics.  Just GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) while the getting is good!  Escape, call the police and deal with them if you must ON YOUR TERMS, not on theirs.

You should find yourself a veteran or a good martial arts instructor and take some classes or instruction on the finer points of these maneuvers.  We have presented several articles on field-expedient weapons from everyday/common items.  I strongly suggest that you review them.  Practice makes perfect, and there is no substitute for good training that is realistic in scope and conducted with serious intent.  You can use those steps to avoid an attacker.

As Kenny Rogers put it, know when to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, walk away, and run.  Fight that good fight, and fight it smart.  You don’t have to be the smartest guy or gal in the world: just be smarter than the goof that wants to attack you, and remember that discretion is the better part of valor.  Keep calm, stay focused, and if you must fight, then fight to win.  JJ out!


Recommended Reading:

Hard Core Chicks: Eight Self Defense Tactics Every Women Should Know

Fight, or Flight? Basic Self-Defense Tips

Blending In: The Secret to Keeping The Target Off Your Back

Fight Like Jason Bourne: 7 Key Points to Surviving a Serious Fight

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published October 30th, 2017
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10 Responses to Immediate Actions You Must Take If You’re About to be Attacked

  1. dsmiley says:

    Make sure you keep your faces out of those phones when walking! Really, the text can wait 30 seconds until you get in your car. Watch what is going on around you. I am always shocked at how many women I see EVERY DAY walking with their heads down staring at the stupid phone.

    • Jeremiah Johnson says:

      Excellent advice, Sir, and very true. Thank you for the comment, and I hope readers are paying attention to it.

      Respectfully Yours,


      • dsmiley says:

        Actually, I am a female & take this seriously. I always try to be aware of what is around me at all times. You can never let your guard down!

    • Eye of Horus says:

      I’ve seen people walk into street lamps while talking or texting on their phones. Pay attention to where you’re going at all times. If you have to talk on the phone stop and talk. Keep it brief and get on with your life. Texting can wait.

    • jaimeintexas says:

      A few months ago, walking from the parking to my office building I noticed a oung lady walking ahead of me, with cell phone in hand but not looking into it, and she turned tuned around when she sensed me behind her. I complimented her that she noticed me and that she did not have “her nose in the phone.” I told her that I taught my children to do likewise. She smiled and replied her Dad taught her likewise.

  2. CAaT says:

    The fewer 3rd worlders that we have running around, the fewer crimes we will have.

  3. miro says:

    I know this has been covered before by everyone, but I’m compelled to state it again: what is in his hands? Hands empty? And he’s about to attack you? Go through him, do damage, and leave. As an unwanted side effect of deep training in self-defense, too many people wait for the attack…” if he throws this, I’ll do a #18 and break his fingers”. Don’t wait. All those moves from all those styles , even the most complex and arcane, are fine if you get the opening or make the opportunity. You can’t wait for him to do the crane stance so you can do a spinning back kick. Attack the attack.

    He has a weapon? Which hand? A group approaches…check their intent and hands…instantaneously. This is ancient and predates martial arts. One very hot summer night in downtown L.A., I saw four men stabbed simultaneously. Two were dead before their bodies hit the pavement of First street. We got out of there and never saw a damn thing. Two enemy gangs met and engaged in what the four thought was a punch out contest amongst gentlemen. They didn’t check the other guys hands and run like hell.

  4. A Arizonian says:

    Tight 360 24/7 ~ if you find yourself in a fight not of your choosing you already made one mistake don’t make two. Run if you can if not, kill him as quickly as possible! Always carry a weapon that your good with and don’t go into places where you can’t. It’s different world today for most people. Good points being made by JJ and others but always a Tight 360 24/7 is the most important!

  5. A Arizonian says:

    Now for my smart ass remark of the day “I only get one” learn to fight like John Wick, Jason Bourne is a . . . . . . well you know!

  6. zbigniew says:

    Maneuvering away from an approaching attack is not too hard. Ambush is the serious issue. Surprise and overpower = success.
    Every animal and tactician knows that ‘all’s fair in love and war.’ Chivalry is dead.
    shot or stabbed in the back. Choked from behind. Every hunter is a sniper. Face it.

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