In any type of self-defense or life-preservation situation, the tools we have available are useful only when they're employed within their respective useful ranges. The old adage, don't bring a knife to a gun fight, still holds. I'd like to add, don't engage physically if you can either not be there or escape (flee/sprint from) the situation.
Provided below is a short primmer on effective distancing for a few of the various tools you may (or may not) have in your personal self-protection toolbox. Evaluating the ranges provided below (and how they relate to the tools and skill sets you currently posses) may illuminate a gap or two that need to be filled in your own preparedness. No one can master all the below arenas. For most of us, striving for moderate proficiency in most of them (as well as rudimentary proficiency in the rest of them) will serve us well. In my own life, I'm weakest in the Gun Fu arena. As such, this year, I've devoted considerable more time and attention to bolstering my Gun Fu skills.
Arena (of engagement): Practicing mindfulness and overall situational awareness.
Range (most effective distance range): 0.0f (feet) (from one's torso) to half-way around the world.
Arena : Run Fu (sprinting/running/hiking/bugging-out).
Range: 0.0f to several miles.
Arena: Gun Fu (using a rifle).
Range: 30y (yards) to 50y.
Arena: Gun Fu (using a shotgun).
Range: 3y to 30y.
Arena: Gun Fu (using a pistol).
Range: 3y to 7y.
Arena: Gun Fu (using an aerosol like pepper gel or pepper spray).
Range: 1y to 3y.
Arena: Kung Fu (using a contact weapon like a bat, stick, or tire iron.).
Range: 1f (foot, feet) to 1y.
Arena: Kung Fu (using an edge weapon like a knife, scissors, or screwdriver).
Range: 1f to 2f.
Arena: King Fu (pushing).
Range: 0.0f to 2f.
Arena: Kung Fu (striking).
Range: 0.0f to 6f.
Arena: Kung Fu (wrestling).
Range: 0.0f to 3f.
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Mondays: Meditative Prayer
Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline
Fridays: Martial Arts Practice