The Psychological Side of Self Defense

Self-defense is not the only reason a person should carry a firearm. It should also be stated that a firearm is not the only means of self-defense, nor is it, necessarily the best. In this post I’m simply covering some of the basic mental and psychological principles of self defense. It applies to a woman packing a gun just as well as the mother in her home and extends even to the individual caught in a burning building or a smashed car. It is the Will to Survive.

One last note before I begin: This is for women. Women are wired much differently than men. So for the men reading this, it may not make sense, it may not be ‘true’, but that’s because it’s not the way you think. Each sex is uniquely wired so that they can fulfill their respective roles.

Okay, so we are going to start with something James Yeager, told me once when I was interviewing him. We were talking about self-defense and he started talking about ‘harnessing the mama instincts’.  I still remember him saying that and the bewildered look on my face. But since then, I have become better acquainted with those mama instincts. Although I have never been in a life-or-death situation where I needed to protect, I have felt that ‘mama’ edging to the surface at times of tension. I have seen it detailed in the faces of other women as they describe to me dire situations that they have been through. My favorite example is a woman who was telling me about how she was once robbed in a parking lot. She’s so sweet and petite and just the nicest lady ever. But while she was talking, when she came to the point where the she was telling about the predator, this look came into her eyes, the likes of which I hadn’t seen in her before. An intense, challenging, defying, dangerous look. A glint. Her mama instincts.

So what are these ‘Mama instincts’ and how do we harness them?

Well, like most of us ladies, you should feel a small stir deep inside even having read this far. There is something however deeply ingrained in us to protect, to nurture, to shelter, even at the risk of our own lives. It is what gives us the ability to be mothers. qqqIt’s that drive, that strength, that unexplainable force inside of us that gives us the ability to wake up night after night to nurse a newborn, to tend to a child when they’re sick, to fight for them when they are threatened. It is truly found in all of the female species. It is evident in the mother duck chasing a stray dog away from her ducklings, the mama bear chasing away another bear, the mother cat going again and again into a burning building to retrieve all of her kittens from the flames, despite being severely burned, herself. It is truly a force. A force to be reckoned with.





So how do we harness this? What if we’re single ladies? What if we have never experienced this before? Guess what!? It’s still in you, and trust me, if the time comes, it will surface and may God help the person that tries to tangle with you!

How to use this to your best advantage….


Most women don’t relish the thought of gouging someone’s eyeballs out. Deep down we ladies don’t really like fighting, inflicting pain on someone, or even thinking ill intent towards another being . This is the second half of the Mama Instinct – the more prevalent half. This quote has a twofold meaning. In a situation where you must choose between life and death/submitting to the wishes of a hurt-monger. You must have the courage to be ruthless and overcome your naturally peaceful nature and get dangerous.  The other and subsequent side of this quote means that when the moment comes, all other means have been exhausted, and you are in a fight, in the forefront of your mind must be: I AM GOING HOME TONIGHT. Come hell or high water, I will fight, I will be ruthless, I will tear you limb from limb with my bare hands if that is what I must do to go home to my loved ones tonight. This is the attitude of a survivor. There is no surrender.

I define courage as being scared to death but taking a step of faith and giving it your best swing anyway. qqqqq

I suggest all of you read the slim little volume entitled ‘Principles of Self-Defense’ by Jeff Cooper, which elaborates more on this topic.

Two last things that I’d like to finish off with.

First, you will probably get hurt. Thankfully our bodies were designed to produce this special ‘magic formula’ called adrenaline to help us. It’s been known to dull pain, increase strength and give mega amounts of fight-or-flee energy. It works a little different with different people’s bodies. There is a warning here though, as with any ‘magic potion’ from the movies, it has a downside. Most people tend to get extreme tunnel vision focus. Your peripheral vision gets almost completely eliminated for a short span of time. You probably won’t even notice until afterwards. Knowledge is power and with this information, you can train accordingly. The fairy godmother didn’t let Cinderella go to the ball without  first warning her of the downside to the charms. So be forewarned! Train for reduced situational awareness.

And know that the impossible can be possible. You are going home tonight.


My final point for this evening:

Use this information to train yourself now! It will be too late when the time comes and you need this information. You have to prepare and train NOW. You have to start making yourself think outside of the box. In a life-or-death situation you fall back on your lowest level of training. Unless thinking outside the box and looking at the bigger picture is at the forefront of your training, it’ll go out the window the minute you need it. How to start applying this? 

  1. When you go out, look around you and start noticing things. Notice where the exit signs are. Notice things you can hide behind if you needed to dodge bullets. Notice potential weapons (i.e. anything with a potential to be a blade, sharp point, or stopping power.)
  2. Notice people. Who here looks suspicious? You know how when you’re walking through a parking lot, or into a store, or in the park and you just get this red flag by looking at some people? Well take note of that! I’m not saying get hyper paranoid. I’m saying take note. What I like to do is pretend that I’m going to have to fill out a police report on all the suspicious people I see, when I get home. Maybe it’s over the top, but it works for me.
  3. Force yourself to imagine the worst in a situation. If you see someone suspicious coming toward you on the dark street, automatically assume that there are two or three. Act accordingly. (Why are you walking down a dark street alone anyway!?) This can not only help you prevent your getting in a bad situation, it can also help you be more prepared if you do find yourself in one.

Practice makes perfect. Practice what you want to perfect.



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