If you seriously intend on learning to defend yourself you must understand range. Range means how close you have to be to another person in order to use your body’s weapons.
As much as possible you should maintain long range prior to conflict. This allows you to assess the overall situation while still being able to attack your opponent if you need to. If you need to Preemptivley (PE) strike, you should start from your long range; as you already properly assessed and gauged your distance. If you decide that you need to fight rather than run, attack in whatever range you are in and begin closing the distance. Once you have achieved close range you can control-and-disengage, or control-and-take-down, depending on your skill, your objective, and what will most effectively stop the threat in that situation.
One of the best ways to become effective at closing the distance and learning your ranges is sparring. While learning self-defence techniques does not necessarily require sparring, it is a MUST be included if you are serious about realistic training.
*Topics under any principle category (Eg. Krav Maga Principles) may be updated from time to time. So check-in every few months to see if the posts have been updated.