Remember in the movie "Star Wars" when Obi-Wan Kenobi used a Jedi mind trick to convince the Imperial Stormtroopers that "these are not the droids you're looking for" in order to avoid being captured?
Obi-Wan somehow implanted his own thoughts into his adversary to get him to take any action he desired.
I've been practicing this technique on my 6-year-old to see whether I can make him lift the toilet seat regularly. I haven't yet tapped into "the Force" enough to call myself a "Jedi master,, but there is a way you can use this power to thwart a would-be attacker.
You see, criminals -- or even the bully at the bar, for that matter - have an internal voice that tells them whether you're an easy target.
It's similar to the animal shows you see on television.
Predatory animals use their instincts to find sick or weakened animals to take down for their food. Just as easily on the street as it is on the African savannah, the weak are easy prey.
Bottom line, how you look and act have a huge effect on your chances of being attacked. If you project an image that you're weak and won't put up a fight, you're much more likely to be tagged as an easy mark.
Here are some self defense tips to project an image that will plant a Jedi-like subconscious "I better not mess with him" voice into the feeble mind of a prospective attacker:
You Project What You 'Feel'
How you look to other people is a reflection of how you feel inside. If you feel strong and confident, you'll project an image that's strong and confident.
Taking the time to learn and train with realistic self-defense techniques will help you feel more confident that if you were to be attacked, you have the tools to defend yourself.
How to 'Look' Confident
Walking with good posture, your head up and with a serious-yet-friendly look on your face goes a long way to showing all those around you that you're the kind of person who opens store doors for strangers ... and can slam a criminal's head in one if you had to.
For a mental image when you're walking, think of yourself as Superman with your cape flowing behind you. (Sounds corny, but this works.)
How to 'Speak' with Confidence
Ever go to a party and meet someone for the first time who you just didn't like?
What you say when you talk to people -- and even more importantly, how you say it -- will influence whether people see you as someone who is strong and respect you ... or weak and dominate you.
This includes the criminal standing behind you in the convenient store line and the blowhard at the bar who "doesn't like the way you talk."
Self-defense is more than just learning how to hit someone. It actually starts way before you ever get into a confrontation, and projecting your strength will go a long way toward your ultimate goal: never having to demonstrate it.
More from Anderson:
Jeff Anderson is a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Army, a master instructor of close quarters combat self-defense and president of the International Society of Close Quarter Combatants. A full-time, self-defense author and instructor, Anderson has trained military, law enforcement and civilians in advanced close quarters combat tactics for "real-life" self-defense.
Want to Learn More About Military Life?
Whether you're thinking of joining the military, looking for fitness and basic training tips, or keeping up with military life and benefits, Military.com has you covered. Subscribe to Military.com to have military news, updates and resources delivered directly to your inbox.