Some good advice on self-defense from The Most Interesting Man in the World. (And since "He's a lover, not a fighter; but he's also a fighter, so don't get any ideas," what better source?)
This actually fits quite well with the approach I use in teaching self-defense. The "Five Fingers of Self-Defense" is a system I learned from Jun Shihan Nancy Lanoue of Thousand Waves Seido Karate in Chicago. Jun Shihan Lanoue may explain them a little differently, but this is my take on the Five Fingers:
- Think -- the "Three A's". Use the skills of awareness and assessment to preempt violence -- and to make an informed decision about what action to take when it does occur.
- Yell -- use verbal and non-verbal ("the right look should suffice") communication skills to deter an attack or de-escalate a conflict. You have the right to be rude.
- Run -- choose to engage or not to engage. Running away from an attack is usually a smart, noble, and strategically valid response.
- Fight -- use simple but strong attacks to create an opening to escape. "Stun and Run": hit a soft part of their body with a hard part of yours, repeat as necessary until you can get away. (See "Run", above.)
- Tell -- talking about violence is essential in preventing it, and is important to the healing process.