If attacked, would you freeze, run-away or fight back?

A familiar question

Today`s blog deals with a strange question that clients seem to think I can answer for them. During the many kickboxing and self-defense sessions I have instructed over the years, one of the strangest and most common of things clients ask me time after time is what would they do if they were to get attacked?

The 3 options

Very hard to answer that one really, but you would either do one of three things 1) freeze, 2) run-away, or 3) fight back. But once the adrenalin kicks in there’s no telling what’s going to happen, as it will be a spur of the moment action that you can’t possibly predict in advance, and apart from that it’s kind of difficult to tell someone else what they would do in that or any other situation. But as they’re paying me, they seem to think I should know the answer! These are the three options I describe to them.

Freeze – Many people still think attacks are something they see on the news or read online that happen elsewhere and to other people, but never near them or to them, sadly, these are the most unprepared people and if attacked will be so frozen in fear and disbelief that it`s actually happening to them that they will be unable to do anything but freeze.

Run-away – The safest option would be to run-away, certainly for someone with no fighting skills, but of course that may not be an option, but at least the people who would try to run away are able to react and try to escape. There’s no shame in running away, live to fight another day as the saying goes.

Fight back – Most likely the people who would fight back would be the ones ready to take action and understand anyone can be attacked. If you are to fight back, you must have the confidence to do what is necessary as you could be putting yourself in danger by choosing this option.

My client soon found out which option

My client Rachael, who was outstanding at kickboxing and self-defense but every time I showed her a new move, she was forever asking me “What would I do if I got attacked this way?” The only reply I could honestly give her was to say I honestly didn’t know because people react differently, which of course is very true, and as I said before, once the adrenalin kicks in anything could happen.

Rachael was soon to find out exactly what she would do in this situation, one day while driving in a remote part of the Texas hill country, she noticed the gas gauge getting very low, as this was a very remote area and almost turning dark she didn’t want to run the risk of running out of gas completely and being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Luckily a few miles later she found a gas station, so decided to fill up there while there was still some daylight left as there’s no telling how far away the next one might be. After pumping her gas, she said she was struggling to get the gas cap back in place on her car when she heard footsteps behind her getting closer and closer.

She could see a figure of a man silently approaching her from behind through the car mirror, but as the mirror was dirty, she couldn’t clearly see who it was, or what he wanted as he didn’t speak, but was still getting closer all the time. So close in fact, as the adrenalin kicked in, she panicked and quickly turned around unleashing a very ferocious front kick striking her attacker hard in the groin and laying him out cold.

Bull’s-eye! Perfect kick! Just one slight problem though, this guy wasn’t an attacker but the gas station attendant who having seen Rachael struggling with the gas cap was coming to offer his assistance, but very unwisely chose to remain silent as he did so.

2 lessons learned here

Two lessons learned here, the good thing was at least Rachael found the answer to her question, she now knows for sure what she’d do if attacked she would fight back! The bad thing was, as for the poor gas station attendant, maybe next time he will say something before walking up behind someone taking them by surprise. Lesson learned the hard way, and painfully too!

I carried on training Rachael for a few months after this incident, we both laughed about it as she regularly relived the moment using the bags as the gas station attendant and demonstrated her crippling front kick! She never asked again what she’d do if she ever got attacked, she found the answer that day!


If you are unfortunate enough to be attacked, you cannot predict what you’ll do, because once the adrenalin kicks in there’s no telling what’s going to happen, as it will be a spur of the moment action. This is where self-defense plays a huge part in giving you the confidence to protect and defend yourself in such a situation. Learn today, it could save your life!

Do you ever wonder what you’d do in a similar situation? Can you honestly say you would be prepared for an attack? Which of the 3 scenarios matches your personality 1) freeze, 2) run away, or 3) fight back?

Author: selfdefensespecialist

I`m Nigel Taylor – originally from England – owner of The Backyard Gym in Round Rock Texas. We specialize in personal training, kickboxing cardio and self-defense. With over 25 years experience as a personal trainer, I know what works! From weight loss to bulking up to toning up, I can help you get your desired look and achieve your fitness goals. I can also offer you the privacy of a 100% private personal training studio in which to enjoy and get the most out of your workouts.