Understanding the Problem

Most questions about self-defense are not based on an understanding of violence or crime but are based on what a person thinks they know about these subjects.


In other words no matter how much we think we know about violence from what we see on the news, in video games or in movies, it is not even close to reality.  Now before you get defensive, know this, violence is complex, situational and variable.  No one knows everything about violence, because it is subjective.  What you deem to be violent might be a form of affection to another and so on.  Here, I will try prove to you how complicated and dangerous it really is:

Define the word violence?  Go ahead and try, right now.

You probably thought of things such as: robbery, murder, pushing, war,etc and while those are good examples of acts of violence, they are not a definition.  So what is violence?  Once we truly try to define it most of us find that violence is much more complex then we care to think about but we must force ourselves to in order to understand what we face everyday in that big bad world.

After studying many dictionaries and books, I find that the simplest way to define violence is: force used in a negative manner.

So, if violence is negative, why is it employed by certain people or in other words, why do people become violent?

Well there are a lot of theories out there.  Some say anger, others debate over nature (that means they are just biologically made that way) and nurture (their bad environment forced them) but the most logical and universal reason people use violence, in my opinion, is to get what they want.

Violence is used as a means to an end.  Think about it, there is no violent situation that can not be described in these terms.  Whether what the person wants is physical, psychological or emotion; violence is just a means of getting what they want.  The only difference between normal people and criminals is the degree of violence, which that person is willing to use or is ok with using in order to accomplish their goal and fulfill their want.  Criminals use, as in strategically plan to use, a higher degree of violence to get gain.  Whether it is a threat, which is a form of violence, or physical violence, when a criminal is involved it is planned. Violence is a strategy not a coincidence, it is not a moral decision for a criminal either, it is just a step in his plan.  It could be the first step or the last resort depending on the criminal.

To combat such a strategy to take away your life or your way of living, you yourself must be prepared and have a plan too.  This can not be stressed enough because criminals do not care who you are or if you die; And in fact, their plan might be to simply shoot you because a person in shock doesn’t resist or recognize an attacker and better yet a dead person doesn’t talk.  This is not an exaggeration of the people you are up against, in fact, this is a gross under exaggeration of what criminals are capable of.

In short criminals are selfish and unlike the rest of us that allow moral beliefs or societal norms to control our selfish desires, criminals disregard them and will do anything to meet their selfish needs.


Understanding the problem is the most important part of self-defense.  If you do not believe you are in danger or do not understand the magnitude of it you will never train or seek training to protect yourself.

Many people resist getting themselves trained because they say, this will never happen to me, or I can not see a person acting that way unless they were provoked, or I do not live in a bad area, etc…. These are only excuses that allow you to escape facing the reality of violence and crime.  Excuses that hopefully will not get you killed when you are not ready to face planned, unexpected violence from someone who wants something from you.

Understand the Problem of violence and crime.  Acknowledge that they are real and are extremely likely to happen to you, at least that is what statistics tell us.  Once you realize that, then you can move forward, until then you will be just another person to exploit.




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