This may sound counterintuitive, but whenever you feel the need to defend yourself, you’re really just creating an enemy to defend against.
There’s always more to the story besides our own self-focused perspective, and we get to be in charge of our reactions. So when we find ourselves in the middle of a fight, defending against others, we should remember that we are the ones that let that happen, so we could just as well not even bother.
A Course In Miracles says: “In my defenselessness my safety lies.”
If you feel you have no reason to defend yourself, with no reason to feel like a victim, then you are safe. Truthfully, you could still be attacked in this world, but only you have the power to decide if you are a victim.