Given the publicity that the recent trial of George Zimmerman has created, and the furor over the acquittal verdict, I feel it's necessary to write about something near and dear to my heart — the principles of self-defense. Simply put, they are: Avoid, evade, discuss, and execute.
Avoid means to stay out of places and situations which might be dangerous unless you have no choice. It doesn't matter if you’re armed or trained to fight. Indeed, those can lure you into making a potentially fatal mistake through overconfidence.
Evade means to get out of a potentially dangerous situation. It’s very rare that someone is attacked without any warning. Someone who’s contemplating violence gives off certain cues (such as body language, threatening words or behavior, and so on) which an alert person can pick up on.
Discuss means to talk your way out of a fight. Most aggressive people are so to feel powerful. It costs little to let them think they are; certainly less than the consequences of a fight.
Execute means to attack as forcefully as you can in order to prevent yourself (or another) from being harmed. However, it is a measure of last resort, and should only be used when the above three efforts have failed; furthermore, it is not an excuse to use excessive force. If you can safely restrain them, do so; if you can disable them long enough to escape, do so.