Understanding a few basic self defense tips will make your life a lot safer and less stressful In this article I address some fundamental considerations that will empower you to better protect yourself if the need arises.
1) Awareness: This is the most important aspect of your self defense training strategy. Always be aware of your external environment and avoid potential dangerous areas and situations. Above all be smart, know your limitations and always err on the side of caution when your safety is at stake: if something doesn’t feel right avoid it.
2) Outward appearance: Always carry yourself and behave in an authoritative, assertive and confident manner. Attackers, like all predators, are looking for easy victims or prey that will give them the least amount of trouble. Walk in a purposeful manner, keeping your head up, shoulders back and chest out. Maintain a steady breathing rate, together with a relaxed firmness in your posture.
3) When exiting your car, after parking it, check the rear vision mirrors and external surroundings to make sure that there is no danger. If in doubt; park somewhere else. When approaching your car do so in a manner that you can see around it. Have your keys ready; avoid getting to the car and then trying to find it them your bag. Always check the back seat of the car before entering the car.
4) Always carry a cell phone that has its’ charge maintained. Carry it on your person, not in your bag or briefcase where it may be stolen or hard to get at. Code in the one-touch call buttons the emergency service numbers and those of your partner and closest friends.
5) Carry self defense weapons such as Pepper Spray, if legally permitted. If you are restricted in carrying self defense weapons then learn how to use the everyday items that you carry on you as weapons, such as; pens, umbrellas, combs, stiletto heels, car-keys and key chains etc. Carry a personal safety alarm.
6) If you notice or feel you are being followed either in your car or when walking, move to a more populated area. Avoid driving directly to your home. If you are accosted yell for help but direct the call to someone specifically, as it has been observed that if you just call for help most people will not assist, as they do not want to get involved. If you direct your plea to someone specifically you are more likely to get a response.
7) If you are threatened, and the attack is imminent, one of the most important attributes you must acquire is the ability to maintain your distance from the attacker. One of the biggest mistakes that most people make is letting the attacker get too close. Bring you hands up to form a barrier between you and the attacker. A basic position of hands up at chest height, as if pushing something away. Learn to yell in a firm authoritative manner with a simple command such as “Back off!” or “Go away!” or “Leave me alone!”. Develop the use of one of these commands like a “broken record” – do not engage in conversation with a potential attacker. If someone attacks you deal with it right there and then, do not allow them to take you to a second location as most instances end in severe injury or death.
8) If someone is armed and wants your wallet or bag just give it to them with a minimum of fuss, do not abuse the mugger just give them what they want and let them move away. Only resort to attacking them in defense if it is clear that you will be hurt further and you have no recourse.
9) If it comes down to having to fight then do so with a fully committed and determined mindset of brutal survival. You must develop a mind-set of survival, at any cost, and carry out your defensive attacks with a relentless and full force, continuous attack. Attack with the strongest weapons at your disposal, use eye-gouging, palms to the face, forearm strikes to the throat, elbows to the head, shin kicks and knees to the groin, stomps to the knee joints (or head if the attacker goes down). If you can find something to hit the attacker with, use it. Use what is available and once the job is done get out of there, run and get help. Remember it is your life, you only get one and it is right to protect it. And no one else has the right to take it away from you.
10) When you feel the adrenal fear response occur, relax, stay focused on you survival intent and breath. When you feel the attack is imminent just do it. A favorite mental strategy that I teach is to get my self defense students to imagine that the attacker is about to kill or rape one of their children or murder their mother right in front of them and to imagine themselves attacking and destroying the attacker with an unstoppable will.
11) Learn a good self defense course. It must deal with all of the tips above; the actual techniques taught must be simple, brutal and easily executed under the stress of the adrenal dump. Preferably seek out a course that addresses the adrenal fight/flight /freeze response. In addition develop a mind set that will kick in when needed, as it is the mind that is the biggest factor in your fast, efficient and effective response ability.
These basic self defense tips will give you a solid foundation ofr your self protection. Be smart, use your common sense and stay safe.