The Attacker’s Advantage & The Importance of Distance

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Do you know the biggest advantage an attacker or predator has over his prey? What makes you vulnerable even if you have self defense skills or carry a personal safety product / self defense option?

The biggest advantage an attacker has over you is that he knows who he is going to attack and exactly when that attack will begin. You do not know if you’ll be attacked or when you will be attacked until the attack happens! The danger or seriousness of this unknown is further magnified because Action is Always Faster than Reaction.


It takes the brain precious time to process visual input. Before the predator begins to attack you, he has already decided when he will attack you, how he will attack you, and where he will attack you. Even if you see the strike or attack coming, if you don’t panic and are not caught off guard, it still takes your brain about a half of a second to process the input. Only after the brain processes this input are you able to begin to make decisions and then carry out actions to attempt to protect yourself.

If you are talking on the phone, texting or multi-tasking, your reaction time will be even longer, which increases your vulnerability!


1. Keep a Safe Distance – Distance is your friend. Attempt to keep at least twelve feet (12’) between you and strangers, especially if you are alone. If you are in an area with no other pedestrians, you should keep as much distance between you and a stranger as possible. Move to the other side of the street, change directions or use practical and safe improvisons as necessary to maintain a safe distance.

2. Stay Alert and Aware of what is going on around you. Alertness will shorten your reaction time, possibly discourage the predator and could prevent the attack from occurring altogether.

3. Anticipation & Visualization – Expect that you will be attacked, have a plan and play it out in your mind. Anticipation & Visualization help you to take effective action rather than freezing.

4. Personal Safety Sprays – Keep your pepper spray in hand and ready to deploy. If you want to hold it in a low profile manner, keep your hand holding the pepper spray inside your purse or pocket ready to aim and deploy. Only after you return to a safe place should you disarm and return the pepper spray to its original place.

Remember, He Knows When The Attack Will Begin. You don’t. Keep a safe distance and be ready to protect yourself!