The Two Kinds of “How”. Which One Do You Use?

The word “how” appears frequently in self-defense related questions and answers as in

How do I defend myself from X?” and “This is how you defend yourself from Y.”

Typically, this “how” refers to some physical technique someone can employ when being “attacked” in some manner. This is the “Simple How”. When the Simple How is used in questions, it leads to simplistic answers.

The “Complex How” takes into consideration that how is actually a multi-faceted question that needs to take into consideration “who, what, when, where, and why”. For example, how you effectively defend yourself, requires the use of the Complex How.

Who are you? What are your physical, mental, and emotional strengths and limitations?
Who is the other person? What are his or her physical, mental, and emotional strengths and limitations?

Who are you with? Who else is involved? Who are your responsible for besides yourself?

What are the circumstances of the attack? What are you in the process of doing? What is your level of experience? ‘What are some of your skills? What are your weaknesses? What options do you have? What might have you done to provoke this attack? What might you have done to avoid it? What is the motivation level of the attacker? What is your motivation level to defend yourself? What type of weapons may be involved?

When is this “attack” taking place? When will your response make the situation better? When will it make it worse? When will your response get you into legal trouble? When will it be considered legally justified?

Where are you at the time of this “attack”? Where is a place of safety? Where are others who could assist you? Where are other potential assailants located? What are the Rules of Behavior specific to where you are located?

Why is this person attacking you? What is his or her motivation? What would be an effective deterrent strategy? Why might this strategy work? Why might it not work?

The above questions are not a complete list. They demonstrate the use of the Simple How from the Complex How.

Which one do you usually use?