ByBas Rutten, writer at
Official Creators profile of Bas Rutten. Retired MMArtist, entertainer, host for the podcast
Bas Rutten

With Summer just around the corner, you ladies (and some of you men) need to know self-defense.

Parties, night clubs, beaches, parking garages, jogging trails—all these locations are prime spots for would-be attackers to prey on unsuspecting victims. The problem is, most people think they can defend themselves because they saw some fights or watched some movies where a lady beats up five guys, but that’s the movies. Besides, watching some fights doesn’t mean you somehow absorb the knowledge like Neo in "The Matrix," otherwise I would have been great at a lot of things.

So, now that I have burst that bubble for many, let’s go over some things that you CAN do if you’ve never have trained. There is a disclaimer to this post, though. The tips I give over the course of the next few blogs work best if you actually practice them—and not just in theory. Your body will not just magically be impervious to attack simply because you read through some tips and instructions.

In this first post, we’re going to address the mental aspect of defending yourself.

Pressure is your biggest enemy, with almost everything. It’s the person who can stay calm that prevails, because he/she will remember every little detail about certain things. Let me give you a “non-combat” example:

Public speaking is the number one thing people are afraid of, and that’s speaking. You still have your notes when you speak, so why on earth is this so hard to do? Well, you don’t want to make a mistake in front of 1,000 people, because then 1,000 people can say bad things about you afterwards if you have screwed up. At least, that’s how we think in our minds. I mean, it was so easy doing it in front of the mirror, maybe you didn’t even need your script?! It was also easy doing it in front of one or two people you already know, so how do we get so nervous?

Well, many of us are judging people all day long; “Look at that woman, she injected her lips,” or “Look at that guy, he’s way too heavy,” or “Oh that guy is stupid, look at his face” or “Hahaha, he made a mistake, how stupid was that?”

You know these kinds of people, right? The problem with them, for example, is that once they have to speak in front of an audience, they automatically think that other people think like them, so now (for them), there is no room for mistakes and that means that public speaking for them is probably going to suck big time since they feel like they’re being “judged” at every turn just because they’ve been doing it to others, themselves.

I, thankfully, think differently.

Everybody makes mistakes, and I don’t care when they do because we are all human. I don’t “spell correct” people, because how annoying is that?!? If you can understand what they are writing, why would you even do that? You’re a douche, so stop that!

In fighting, I knew I could win or lose, and focusing too much on the winning can bring stress, so try not to overthink it! Fight as hard as you can—when you lose, at least you “left everything out there,” and you can’t complain because you tried your best. Your opponent just had a better day.

One time, I had an idiot (with a bunch of people present) laugh at me about something I pronounced incorrectly in English, and since this was in front of a group, I messed with him and started speaking Dutch. He looked at me as if I was from Mars. I said: ‘Oh you can’t understand Dutch? What about this?’ and I started to speak German. Same thing, he couldn’t understand, so I started speaking Flemish and then I spoke Afrikaans. Nothing.

I have to say though, Flemish is just a bad Dutch slang for those in Holland who live close to the Belgium border, so it’s very easy for all of us (not only me) to understand and speak. The same goes for Afrikaans, which is an old style of Dutch like my grandparents would speak. Any person in the Netherlands can speak that as well, maybe not the young kids anymore because they mix so much English in with the Dutch language these days.

So, I was just bluffing with those two languages, but to that douchebag, it sounded like I spoke five different languages, so he walked off. He didn’t even defend himself, so I doubt he’ll do that again, I can tell you that!

But what does this mean?

Don’t judge people because you never know what they know or can do.

Somebody can be overweight, but they might have won a Nobel prize, which is way more important than being overweight. He’s not looking at you and thinking, “That person looks great, but I have a Nobel prize.” Of course not, he’s normal. We all have our qualities and things that we can do better than others, but nobody can do it ALL, though. Once you let that thought go, you’ll realize you have been putting pressure on yourself for no reason, so just let it go.

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