Trouble seems to always have the ability to present itself when you least expect it. You were just happily minding your time at some place, doing your own thing and oblivious to the world around you, and then when you think that nothing can get between you and your happiness, everything goes south all of a sudden.
We live in a very random world where anything and everything could happen in an instance, even without you provoking it or having any part in it. Anything can happen to any one of us, at any time, so it is of paramount importance that all of us know how to defend ourselves at any given moment.
The preservation of human life is a very basic thing inherent in every one of us, that even if you do not know any technique or skills in fighting, chances are you will find a way to defend yourself. No one in their right mind will willfully accept harm to be brought to them without any resistance at all.
The human body itself, when it senses trouble, puts into action several mechanisms to help you either run away from trouble or meet it head on. It releases enough adrenalin to make your body work beyond their capabilities, it tenses your muscles in anticipation of you using them at any time, and it puts your brain into overdrive, that you are capable of thinking about everything at once and to also make decisions on the go.
But everything is relatively easy if you know what you are going to do to begin with. If you have had the proper training in these kinds of situations then you will have the greater chance of leaving any trouble unscathed. But of course, even if you have training but your mind is not up to it, then you are left with what your body is capable of.
The only thing that is important in these kinds of situations is your ability to think clearly amidst the haze of confusion that every troublesome moment seems to have. If you are not panicking, then chances are you might think of a way to minimize, if not totally avoid, being hurt. Having common sense is also very important here.
Think first if you can de-escalate the situation or avoid it entirely by just walking away or giving in to the demand if it is only valuables that we are talking about. Your best lightweight luggage, your best travel tripod, or your wallet for that matter, is nothing when compared to losing your life.
If that is not possible then assess the situation and think of the way which you could be harmed. Scan the area for anything that you could use to defend yourself, from rocks and other debris lying around to anything you could get your hands on to inflict hurt upon the perpetrator.
The purpose of it is to briefly incapacitate the offending party long enough for you to get away from their control and ask for help. Just always remember to never panic in these kinds of situations as panicking will get you deeper into trouble instead of helping you out of it. Having a clear mind in dangerous situations always increases your chances of surviving the ordeal.