Do you think a knowledge of psychology is important in self defense training?

I do . I think its important in regards to some areas of self defense to get a jist of what an attacker is thinking and how they pick out victims( example : a mugger , rapist ), and how a potential victim can modify their own presence so as they look less of a victim to the attacker and possibly avoid the attack without ever lifting a finger , if that makes sense.

Of course this is only a small portion of self defense training but important i feel to know the mindset of attacker and can be applied to other areas of self defense where fighting back is the only option .

Do you agree ?

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7 Responses to Do you think a knowledge of psychology is important in self defense training?

  1. Keyboard Warrior says:

    Definitely. I believe alot of self-defense courses examine the psychological aspect of a predator. Understanding a predator is key into not becoming a victim. For instance, predators or bully’s always look for a victim that looks like they will not put up a fight. If they look like they will put up a fight, they will not bother. So understanding what goes on in their minds, is key into avoiding conflict.

  2. Patrick says:


    Absolutely! The three most important aspects of self defense are alertness, awareness and avoidance and a basic understanding of the psychology of attackers and their victims is key to self defense. The best self defense is to not become a target in the first place.

  3. LSNewY says:

    Your talkng about real self defense. It is very important and is a part of alot of the self defense systems that they have out there. Alot of people think they learnd self defense but you are talking about real shit

    You need to be able to spot attackers and identify their signles but even more important is that you train your self to deal with the exstreme emotions that you will deal with when things really start happening. The systems that military and police take often deal with psychology in regards to both your self and the attacker.

  4. peter gunn says:

    I think it inevitably comes with training the art.
    you train how to physically respond to a threat or attack thus also sharpening the mind to respond mentally.
    you learn to read reactions and body language and respond to it through physical training but the more you understand it the more you can react to it without physical force.
    It’s an evolution you see in every student when gaining experience. First few months they are full of beans trying to learn to defend themselves physically. As they advance they learn to control their own reactions, and emotions better to in the end also control those of the opponent without engaging in conflict
    but then again some people never learn

  5. k05 says:

    Oh yes.
    Definitely, absolutely agree.

    Understanding human behavior is a keystone in martial arts!
    It’s an invaluable asset, for self defense as well as self cultivation!

    Great Question Vinnie:D
    Great answers too, everyone who posted above me!

  6. samuraiwarrior_98 says:

    What your question touches on is something that any good self-defense program should include and teach. This along with awareness and avoidance should be included so that people can better avoid situations where they might have to defend themselves since there are no guarantees that they will come out on top or dominate their adversary.

    Doing things like walking with a direct, purposeful manner and steady type expression, taking notice of your surroundings and those people around you, not taking your eyes off anyone that might stop you and engage you in conversation like looking at your watch because they asked you the time, and having an idea of where you are going beforehand instead of just wandering and wondering.

    Studies have been done on this and what some of the things are that predator type criminals look for that indicates to them that a person might be a soft or easy target and those things that might indicate otherwise. Creating the wrong persona and sending out the wrong messages to them increases your risk for them selecting you to be their next victim.

    Additionally studies have been done on how you should also react in some situations so as to better survive them and of course that then leads to the question of how or what you should do if not that. Every situation is different and so there is no one right answer to this. However since some things can be done to lessen your chances of being targeted to begin with it only makes sense that those things should be among the first used and practiced. Your body language, the way you conduct and carry yourself can go a long way in a predator passing you up for a softer target that might come along after you.

  7. Philmore says:

    Certainly. I was just reading a journal article by Angela Book about how people with psychopathic tendencies choose victims based on body language, and it would be useful to determine that.

    It goes deeper than that too. You sound like your thinking of stranger attackers seeking convenient targets. That exists, but it’s actually in the minority. Most people don’t realize that statistically we are much more likely to face violence from people we know or at least are familiar with. Psychology is useful in recognizing behavior in others we know that makes them prone to violence, and what appropriate boundaries are that should be set interpersonally.

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