Most people believe that crime just happens. What they don’t realize is that crime is a process. Understanding the process can greatly reduce or mitigate your chances of becoming a victim. The purpose of self-defense is not to get physical, but to avoid the situation altogether. The more we understand how crime occurs, the more we notice subtle signs of potential danger.

of Five stages of violent crime Developed by Marc MacYoung, this internationally recognized system is used by police, military, firearms and self-defense instructors. The system works by outlining the processes criminals perform before an attack occurs.

The first three stages are where effective self-defense training can get you out of trouble. These three steps are setup.

Stage 1 – Intent

In its simplest form, intent is where criminals are mentally and physically prepared to commit violence. Once we become aware of the underlying psychological and verbal “instructions,” our consciousness enters an orange state, or warning mode.

Stage 2 – Interview

An interview is a criminal process you want to fail. This is an attempt by criminals to make you feel like a potential target through verbal communication. For example, are you trusting too much, do you let him get too close, or show fear in your body language? A sample interview asks for directions and times. how would you react? A criminal can determine if you are a suitable target by your body, his language and reactions, and minimize resistance. Understanding the different interviews used puts awareness training back in the orange state.

Stage 3 – Positioning

Positioning is simply a fancy word for opportunity. Just like when discussing the crime triangle, there can be no crime without opportunity. Opportunity is putting yourself in a position where criminals can attack you quickly and effectively. Are you aware of your surroundings? Are you isolated? Is there a way out? Can I get help right away? Can I get attention if things go wrong? Again, these are all important questions in any awareness plan.

The next two stages are about violent behavior and may require the use of physical self-defense skills. Also, he above only occurs if the three stages work. So if a criminal can’t set you up, he probably won’t attack you.

Stage 4 – Attack

Criminals have decided that you are a safe target and are launching attacks to get what they want. Your goal in every attack is survival and escape using available verbal or physical self-defense tools.

Stage 5 – Reaction

Reaction is the most dangerous of the five stages. It’s how criminals feel about themselves for what they’ve done. And how he sees your reaction to what he has done. Instability at this stage can vary from simple assault to rape to murder.

The purpose of self-defense training is to increase your response options, reduce the likelihood that criminals will identify you as a soft target, and provide you with the tools to reduce your attack surface. The best defense isn’t always in the situation to begin with.

**Angie M. Tarighi is CEO and Founder of Women’s Self-Defense Institute, which provides self-defense training, educational awareness and personal protection products that empower women to fight crime.

Returning to the Women’s Self-Defense Forces from Assault 5th Dan

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