Sorry that it’s taking me a while to get these out, folks. Life seems to sneak up and spin the clock when your back is turned sometimes. Hahaha
Okay, so we just sort of brushed the surface of ‘non-lethal’ weapons and the basic self defense mindset in Part 1 of this series. In this post we’ll get a little more in depth about preparedness and prevention.
Like we said last week, mindset is one of the foundational tenets on which self defense is built. It is essential to the success of all the training you will do, the disciplines you will instill, and the outcome of an attack, should one occur.
What are the chances of you getting attacked? Well, as a police officer friend of mine put it, it really depends on who you are, your personality type, where you live and what you do for a job. The chances are slim you’ll get attacked, but then again, so are the chances that your house will burn down, but we still buy fire insurance. *epic mic drop*
Sooo how to prepare? First, let’s look at some basic ways to avoid putting yourself in danger in the first place. Another quote from my police friend is “if you are looking for trouble, you’re going to find it.” And an excellent quote from an instructor, “People get hurt when they go stupid places, hang out with stupid people and/or do stupid things.” Basically, if at all possible, use your brain and stay away from danger. It may mean the difference between life and death.
Here is a practical list of things to remember/avoid for your normal, day to day life. This was written by a cop, but I’m not sure what his name is, or I’d give him credit directly -he certainly deserves it.
1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do :The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
2. Something learned from a tour guide: If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse,
DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you… Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.. The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.) DON’T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR , LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your air bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A.) Be aware:look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor ,
and in the back seat. B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars. C.) Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. (This is especially true at NIGHT!)
7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN!
The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then,
it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!
8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic. BE CAREFUL! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked ‘for help’ into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late
and she thought it was weird.. The police told her ‘Whatever you do, DO NOT
open the door..’ The lady then said that it sounded like the baby
had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, ‘We already have a unit on the way,
whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.’ He told her that they think a serial killer
has a baby’s cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby.. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby’s cries outside their doors when they’re home alone at night.
10. Water scam! If you wake up in the middle of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a burst pipe, DO NOT GO OUT TO INVESTIGATE! These people turn on all your outside taps full blast so that you will go out to investigate and then attack.
Prevention is the best cure.
Some other tips are to just try to stay up to date with your local sheriff/police department’s bulletins, you can do this through Facebook and Instagram or via your local newspaper. They often post about the latest threats and also about new tactics (like the baby crying recording) that criminals and attackers are using. This knowledge helps you to keep a finger on the pulse of the potential threats in your area.
Okay, so even the most innocent and cautious people get attacked. How can we prepare for defending ourselves? At this point I am in no way certified nor do I have any authority to teach self defense so I’m really not going to even try. You need to take a class. It’s as simple as that. Martial arts classes are fine, but honestly, most of that stuff is just show. You need to invest in a really good, quality self defense course. And then PRACTICE what you learn! The things you learn should become knee-jerk reaction to you, because you’ve practiced them so much. Now I don’t suggest you use your brother or husband or significant other to practice on, since you probably don’t want to seriously hurt them.
Youtube is great for some basic things to practice until you can get a real course. The thing about attending an actual course, though is that you get the personal training. You can do stuff and get corrected and once you’ve got technique down, you have a secure platform to improve on.
Punching and kickboxing bags are your best friends. Most gyms have them and you can usually get access to one at the YMCA or other athletic places of similar nature. Or even buy one for your home, if you have the space. They also double as a great way to vent stress and anger and other emotions. 😉
Personally, it’s a little awkward to let someone get into your personal space the way an instructor will have to in order to teach you properly. It’s okay to feel like this, it’s even a very good thing if you feel this way! It means you are conscious of your ‘bubble’.
When that bubble is violated, you should have warning flags popping up in your mind and your body should immediately start getting defensive. This is the natural hard-wired defense system that you were created with and it serves to protect you in a dangerous situation. Let the instructor train you to best use this system and you are well on your way to being prepared for an attack. On the other hand, in the culture we live in it is easy for us to dull our defenses because the fight or flight warnings seem silly or impractical to us. This is okay and very usual as well, but you really should start working on not shutting off those alerts and instead processing them deliberately before proceeding. Someday, (hopefully never) you may need them when it counts most.
Check out this video (I know they’re guys but watch how low the ‘victim’ guy’s bubble sensitivity is! He wasn’t defensive at all even in a noticeably threatening situation.) This is not good. Being safe is much better than being sorry/dead.
And lastly, THIS.
Be safe. Be alert. Train hard. Live well.