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WSD Fundamentals

Unsurprisingly, what we consider fundamental to effective self-defense relates directly to our objectives when teaching a course.

As we said on the main WSD page, three things are necessary for effective self-defense (unless you are lucky): knowledge, awareness, and appropriate behavior.

Knowledge: What makes a situation dangerous? How do predators act? What prerequisites are necessary for an assault to occur? What are the legal allowable reactions to a specific level of assault? How do you recognize a predator? What are the stages of an assault? During those stages, where can you derail the assault without having to react physically?
Awareness: What is going on around you? Where are you? Who is around you? What is happening currently? What is going to happen next?
Appropriate Behavior: How can you physically avoid dangerous situations? How can you verbally de-escalate a potential problem situation? How effectively can you move to safety? What physical techniques are appropriate to the situation? What do you do after an assault? How do you deal with law enforcement and the criminal and civil afteraffects of the situation?

Items that are fundamental to a self-defense course should teach the above. Fundamentals should enable students to fulfill the objectives of the self-defense class---the upshot of which is that each student should have the tools necessary to keep themselves safe.

More importantly, those fundamentals should come with clear understanding (and practice!) of the self-defense mindset. The mindset is simple: you have value. You have value, and thus it is right that you should protect yourself. You have a right to make your own choices, to stand up for yourself. You should believe in yourself, and not be required to submit to someone else's force.

Value yourself, maintain awareness, make appropriate choices, and keep yourself safe.