In most situations, it’s best to choose the path of pacifism, since pacifism ultimately leads to peaceful, non-violent outcomes.
Thoughts, words and deeds that are peaceful never lead to violence. When confronted with violence, the fact of not responding in kind and creating more aggression, eases the tension and prevents it from escalating.
Responding to violence with violence only creates an endless cycle of aggression.
If you want to put out a fire, it’s wiser to throw water on it rather than gasoline. Similarly, there’s no shame in refusing to fight. There’s no code of honor that says you have to stand-up to an adversary who is stronger than you, and who could put your life, and the lives of those close to you, in danger.