When you think about the qualities of a great leader, what comes to mind? Whether you’re a teacher, a coach, an instructor, or a mentor, those that make the biggest impact in people’s lives use compassion, knowledge, and their moral compass to create results. Far too often, we look at success as the indicator of a great leader. Someone can be a winner without having any leadership qualities. A leader should be a voice of reason. That foundation is what leads to self-defense success. When you have as much concern for an attacker as you do for yourself, the tools in your toolbox will help you prevent harm while helping you escape from a potentially dangerous situation.

Leave the World a Better Place

We often think that when someone tries to harm us, it gives us the right to put as much force, if not more, back at them to defend ourselves. The law often says this perspective is suitable and correct. You have a right to defend yourself. Does that mean you need to take lethal force? Today’s best pepper sprays can debilitate attackers, including animals like bears and cougars, up to 20 feet away. Even if someone has a gun or a throwable weapon, the physical symptoms from the spray give you time to escape. Instead of confronting the attacker, remove yourself from the situation. Stun guns are another non-lethal choice that gives you extra options. When an attacker gets close, you can press this tool into their skin to send voltage levels that disrupt how the nervous system communicates. People often collapse after one or two seconds. Keep going for four or five seconds to ensure you have enough time to leave before they recover.

Don’t Give Up Your Momentum

Self-defense requires the first-strike mentality to be effective. Would you tell a bear, “Stop, or I’ll deploy my pepper spray!” as it charges toward you? Probably not. Why would you do that if an assailant is threatening you with harm? We don’t want to harm our fellow humans, even when the other person intends to do something to us if they get the chance. Leadership in self-defense means taking the momentum instead of ceding it to an assailant. If you’re confident that someone is targeting you, take out the pepper spray, hit them in the face, and get to safety. Call the police, tell them what happened, and give them a description of the individual. Most people train in self-defense to let the attacker strike them first. That tends to be the first mistake, and it can be a deadly one. Never give up your momentum.

Why Empathy Is Still Important

You cannot control the decisions that other people make, but you can be in control of what you think and do. When people see that you make every effort to defend yourself while protecting the health of an attacker, you’re making the world a better place. Numerous non-lethal self-defense tools are available to help you accomplish this goal. With the way things are going right now, it helps to have as many options as possible to ensure you can stay safe.