Making a technique work to keep yourself physically safe and protect your state of mind requires commitment to be effective. You must devote a part of your life to training the skills, developing the survival mindset, and reflecting on your ethics. This task takes consistent purposeful effort in order to make the difference between attempting to defend yourself and actually defending yourself.
You should be devoted to training each move you learn. Training creates muscle memory, so the moves flow naturally. Realistically all moves need time to get to the point of being natural, but with practice more advanced moves will become as easy to perform as basic ones. The key word is practice. Doing something 1,000 times on autopilot does not facilitate growth. You have to really commit to understanding why the move works and how to make the move work for you. Through this, your techniques eventually become a part of you.
This still is not enough if you do not whole-heartedly perform the move. It takes both good technique and intent to make a move work against an uncooperative opponent. Intent is not just wanting it. Intent is the complete follow through of an action. Imagine a strong Judo throw that takes both people off their feet, the baseball swing that had homerun written all over it, or the kick that kisses you goodnight. The person doing the action is so married to the action that the hit is the only thing on their mind. Yes, plans fail and nobody is perfect, but if you don’t put your all into that moment then you may have to deal with other moments that otherwise would not exist.
De-escalation tactics may have the inverse of their intended effect if they are not properly executed. This is the difference between saying “no” and meaning “No!” Predators are experienced with reading people and situations and may become more encouraged when recognizing a weak defense. Being assertive and standing your ground are not actions to take without being serious or else it loses its effectiveness. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is the perfect example of someone’s seriousness being dismissed to dire consequences. The stance you take is a representation of who you are and if it is fake, then you are seen as such.
You should be committed to your convictions. Some very dangerous situations happen when people fight for things that they do not value. Social violence needs both participants to be cooperative. If it really is not a big deal, then show it. Moreover, if you have to make a stand, then make sure your stance is strong and unwavering. When you know that you are fighting for the right reason, you can attack/defend without reservation.
Be committed to your technique because your intent will be reflected in its effectiveness. Commit to your tactics. Let your “No!,” warnings, and threats mean what you intended. Commit to your values. If you are fighting for a cause, then truly understand the issue so your words and actions carry your passion with a purpose. Commit to the success of your self-defense.