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ADAPT Strategy for Self-Defence

One of the ACTIONS I teach in my self-defence classes is that of the ADAPT Strategy.

This strategy is best used when encountering a hostile situation BEFORE it escalates to a physical threat.

Very briefly, the ADAPT strategy is as follows:

A is to AVOID. Where and when possible, avoid the hostile situation entirely. Don't get involved unless it is something you're ABSOLUTELY certain it is something you are willing to FIGHT, DIE and/or KILL for! The typical example I use in my class is that if you can see from a distance, a car-jacker breaking into a car. Is this something you want to get involved in? If so, can you do it safely without jeopardising yourself and/or anyone else around you?

D is to DODGE. Should the threat become aware of your presence, get moving to dodge or get away from them! Let's say the car-jacker sees you while he's doing the dirty deed, and he picks up tool and starts heading towards you, you should run! Get to a secure or crowded place where he would be less likely to try and harm you.

A is to ARBITRATE. Another word is to NEGOTIATE your way out of a potentially hazardous situation. A key point here is to remain as unemotional as possible and not allow their words to affect your judgement and logical responses. Keep your cool! This takes practise!

P is to POSTURE. For this strategy, you can either POSTURE UP and make your self "bigger", more aggressive, and more threatening that the threat that is in front of you. NB. This is a risky strategy and is one that requires training and experience! Alternatively, you can POSTURE DOWN and make yourself "smaller", submissive, passive and almost begging/pleading to the threat as you try and appeal to their humanity. This strategy requires the use of emotionally-charged actions and rehearsed wording to be effective. IT MUST BE PRACTISED!

T is for "if all else fails, TAKE some other ACTION"! Should at any time during the execution of this ADAPT strategy the situation become physical, revert immediately to to the T, which is to take some OTHER action (Flight, Flight, Freeze or Flip-Out). Most people are familiar with the "fight or flight" scenario. Should you choose to "fight", be sure you are "FIGHT FIT" (meaning you have the physical skills, answered the question as to what you are willing to fight, die and kill for, and have cultivated the right ATTITUDE to follow through with those answers/decisions) , else you risk injury and or even death. "Flight" is to run away when you can and it is safe to do so. "Flip out" is to whip out any PPT (personal protection tools) such as pepper spray, tazer, baton, a gun that you might carry on you. A fair warning, DON'T pull out your PPT if you have not trained how to both access and use your tool, else you risk it being taken off of you or worse still, it gets used against you!

Knowing about this ADAPT strategy and being able to use it effectively when you are out and about IS self-defence!

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