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The MAD Philosophy to Self-defense

Updated on June 30, 2011


What is MAD? It is a philosophy about self-defense that you should adopt when it comes to self-defense. Each letter represents the following:

  • The M stands for mental commitment/conviction.
  • The letter A stands for awareness of ones environment.
  • D stands for defend.

Each area will be explained in further detail below.

Mental Attitude or Conviction

Before an actual self-defense situation occurs, you must already have made up your mind that you will not be a victim.  When someone is harming you, they are also harming those that love and/or depend on you.  Thus you must have already visualized what would happen if you were harmed, and god forbid passed away as a result; what would happen to your kids and those that dependon you?

Thus you must already decide ahead of time that you will fight back; you will do what it takes to not be a victim; and that you will fight like a wild animal--scratching, biting, kicking, punching, and anything else to show that you will resist at all cost and that the assailant will lose something in the process.

This is the mental attitude or conviction portion of MAD.

Awareness of Surrounding or Environment

 The A of MAD stands for "awareness".  Self-defense isn't just fighting back when physically attacked.  Your goal in self-defense is the avoidance of any situation where you have to defend yourself.

Thus your goal in MAD, is to constantly be aware of your surroundings and environment.  For example, when walking to a parking lot in the evening, you have to make sure you are extra aware of the area close to and immediately around your car.  You also have to make sure you have you keys ready held between your fingers like a weapon should something happen.

Another example is when you are walking through a path with corners which can easily be used to ambush you.  If you notice such a situation, walk at least 10 feet from the potential blind spot provided by the corner.  This 10 feet is sufficient distance for reaction and escape.

It is generally known that assailants observe their intended victim, and attack when the victim is not ready.  By being ready all the time, you are making it more difficult for any assailant to attack you.

The bottom line--be aware of your surroundings so that you can avoid becoming a victim.

Defend Yourself

When all else fails and the situation dictates that you defend youself, the D in MAD represents you defending yourself against physical harm.

This is where you get into your wild animal mentallity which you've pre-decided on in the previous section. As you may know from experience, cornering a wild animal is difficult to do. If you fight back like a wild animal, then your assailant will have difficulty turning you into a victim as well.

When you life is in danger, you need to focus your strikes at some of the most vulnerable parts of the human body:

  • eyes - lethal, will render assailant blind
  • ears - lethal, will impact ones balance, aside being painful
  • throat - very lethal, can cause death
  • solar plexus - can be lethal, can cause death
  • groin - painful for guys and gals alike, enough to cause distraction for an escape

What if the assailant has a gun or knife and he is asking for your wallet or money? Just give what they want since those things are replaceable. The one thing you will not give up is your life. When this becomes the case, do what you can to escape at all costs.

Thus when you are at the end of your rope, the MAD philosophy calls you to defend yourself.


Since bad guys generally look of the weak as victims, it makes sense that if you are small in stature, a female, or weak looking, you have a high likelihood of being a victim.  Thus it makes sense to adopt the MAD philosophy towards self-defense.

So when you are attacked, be MAD!

Applying the MAD Philosophy
Applying the MAD Philosophy


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    • captainchris profile image

      captainchris 7 years ago





    • jeanie.stecher profile image

      jeanie.stecher 7 years ago from Seattle

      You are very right! Being a potential victim is always about what you project or what others may look at you. If you have a feeling of being attacked, always look for a way to escape. This way, you will have a better chance of surviving an assault. I'll always keep in mind about MAD. Thanks!