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Freestyle sparring and actual self-defense differ both technique-wise and psychology-wise; simple, basic, effective technique must be utilized and self-survival is paramount.  The safety of the opponent is disregarded (in direct contrast to dojo free sparring).

The following principles should be carefully considered and understood as they are among the underlying factors to survival in a real confrontation.

1.BE ALERT AT ALL TIMES FOR TROUBLE.  Even in calm surroundings or a place you "know" is safe, unexpected emergencies may arise.  You don't need to be conspicuous- just aware and prepared.

For instance, when walking alone at night, don't walk next to a line of dark doorways or parked cars; always allow yourself a "reaction space".  In unfamiliar indoor surroundings, avoid being far from a door or other escape route.  If possible, position yourself with a wall to your back.  When speaking to several strangers at once, avoid positioning yourself between them.  If a suspicious character asks you the time, don't lower your eyes; extend your hand and let him look at your watch.  these points may sound melodramatic, but they are realistic and taking chances could make you a loser.  All of your skill, all of your power, and all of your training might get you nowhere real fast if taken by surprise.

2.PREPARE YOUR MIND AND BODY FOR APPROPRIATE RESPONSES TO ATTACK.  The human nervous system regards vividly imagined experiences as "actual" experiences.  Take a few minutes regularly to visualize simple, common attacks and then impress upon your imagination the most effective responses to the attack.  By utilizing this "mental review", practice in mirrors, and psychological response and preparedness will be gained.  This will reduce the likelihood of panic, and increase your chances of proper physical response.

Just as important as mental review is the maintenance and training of the body to react quickly, confidently, and effectively to an assault.  Many good self-defense techniques require only moderate strength, but physical rehearsal is imperative to develop reflexes, timing, accuracy, and confidence.

3.DON'T BE "DANGEROUSLY DEFENSIVE".  Reasoning with a troublemaker or "talking your way out of it" are obviously preferable to an actual confrontation, but once your opponent has committed himself to physical violence, the time for words has passed.  There is really nothing to be said to an assailant other than perhaps a simple "I don't want any trouble" before all hell breaks loose.  Don't bluff or threaten or warn! These are ploys of the desperate and frightened, and any bully will know it by instinct.  Avoid in particular, any hint of your abilities.  Forewarning is only forearming him.  The chance it will "scare him off" are slim, indeed, as it is confidence in his own skills that encourages his attack in the first place.  In

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