There’s an odd little discussion going on over at EconLog over what one’s likely response to attack might be that began, peculiarly, with a post on foreign policy:
My prediction: If someone suddenly tried to kill David, he wouldn’t “defend” himself. He would run away. So would I. So would almost everyone.
My suspicion, based on decades of training and teaching, is that neither of them would do eiither. They would neither fight nor flee: they would freeze, deer in the headlights. I don’t know for sure but I think this response is the result of the conflict between the two instincts.
I also think that the response to deadly threats varies based on physiology, training, and experience. Some are natural fighters; others are natural fleers.
For the many years during which I taught self-defense I advised flight and taught fight, knowing that the former was far more likely to succeed. I think that a little training can give the student enough presence of mind to avoid that moment of indecision and use it more profitably by running away. It takes an enormous amount of training and persistence to learn to fight effectively.
As I’ve mentioned occasionally before, I know, based on experience what my response would be. If I were attacked I would experience a feeling of great tranquility and I would destroy my opponents. That’s exactly what happened when I was jumped by three guys. I broke one’s arm, another’s collar-bone. Then I ran away.