Third Party Protection - Part 1

The objective for many people training for Self Protection is to learn how to protect (or if you prefer, "defend") yourself in any potentially violent confrontation and this is a worthy goal, but it should also go without saying that such protection will of course extend to those we care about. This may be our significant others, such as our wife, girlfriend or partner, or our child or sibling, or simply a friend. In such a case it's important to understand our objective. The goal of third party protection, and indeed the mentality required, is different from that of our own self protection where "self preservation" is the game.

In this example I am with a close friend and she receives some aggressive attention from this guy in the street...

My first objective is to put her behind me in order to protect her as I attempt to de-escalate the situation.

The mindset required for me to protect me is simple enough; this is the instinct of Self Preservation. But the mentality required for me to deal with an aggressive individual who actively seeks to hurt me and the person I'm with - be it my daughter or my wife - carries a very different potential consequence and therefore objective.

That objective lies in making sure that the person I'm with doesn't get hurt and gets away the situation safely. The ideal would be to avoid or de-escalate the problem so we both avoid the situation unharmed, but the reality is that life events are often less than ideal. This is where some pre-planning for certain events can pay great dividends.

For example, the significant people in my life know that if we are somewhere and get a problem with anyone, they should: "Get behind me or ideally get away from me totally, either by running to a shop or similar place of safety or to get in the car, whatever. Just get clear and let me deal with it!" As opposed to getting in the way, or holding on to me in a way that might impair my movement and/or place us both in jeopardy.

Now at least regardless of the outcome to me, whether I take care of the problem quickly and clinically and escape relatively unscathed - or worst case scenario, even if I get hurt - the person Iím with is at least safe! Now the objective of Third Party Protection has been met - that person is safe! This is why the mentality is different; you are, to a certain degree, making a sacrifice so that that person is protected.

The two key scenarios that relate to Third Party Protection are when you are actually with that person and a potential threat steps out in front of you, or when you see someone that you are willing to protect getting verbally or physically assaulted by another person and now you have to encroach from a distance to actively intervene. Part one of this article will address the first aspect of this, and intervention with be looked at in-depth in part two.

My attempt fails as the guy slaps my hand away aggressively. I respond with a hard strike into the face...

From here I rotate his head and take him down fast, then follow up with a strike to the head and stomp to the mid-line...

Now I meet the ideal objective and extract us both from the situation.

Continued in part 2.