In fighting and self-defence, there are only three fighting distances. These ranges are long-distance, medium-range, and close, or short range.
Long-Distance Fighting Range
Of these three, the first is the long-distance range is when you have the most options regarding your response when confronting potential danger. In this fighting distance, you can choose to run away, de-escalate a situation verbally while distant enough from a possible attacker to feel relatively safe, or you can choose to close the distance to attack the potential attacker. The choice yours, though the most prudent response would be to run away.
If you choose to fight, you would be getting into the middle range to use your hands but could technically use your legs in the long distance.
Middle-Range Fighting Distance
The Middle range is where most of the physical fighting occurs. The middle-range is where punches, kicks and other strikes arise and any attempted takedowns and throws.
The strikes are usually done with the bodily weapons of elbows and knees and headbutts, good stomps and low kicks can also be used at close range. Often the clinch is used in this range.
These ranges can also be found within the context of ground-fighting.
Long-range when you are on the ground, use your legs to kick your opponent and keep them from getting within range to tie up with you. Use hook kicks, scissoring, alligator rolls, sidekicks, mule kicks, etc.
If the opponent manages to slip past your kicking defences, then the mid-range has been entered. In this range, movement on your hips and short-range kicks have to be used to keep the opponent away from you.
If the opponent manages to tie up with you on the ground in a wrestling-type, ground-fighting match, then your weapons would be reduced to elbows, knees, joint manipulation, teeth, pulling-movements, eye-gouging, and patience, and strategy, and cunning to lock for an opening in you opponent’s offence to exploit.
An awareness of the different fighting distances in a violent confrontation and available best weapons and strategies for each field is an asset and increases one’s chance of survival.
Nonetheless, the most excellent defence strategy is to have a relaxed but alert awareness of your environment and moment-to-moment situation. If something feels off in any case, get the hell out! Run!