15 BEST SELF-DEFENSE

AWARENESS TIPS

First of all, the BEST self-defense is Awareness! Without awareness you’re walking around with blinders on. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you know--if the bad guys get the drop on you, you’re done.

 

Remember, “distance equals time” and time allows you to “take action” (DISTANCE = TIME TO TAKE ACTION). The sooner you recognize a threat the more time you have to make the best possible choice in a potentially dangerous situation.

 

1. Never ignore a "bad feeling"! In the vast majority of reported assaults, the Police will tell you that in 90% of attacks the victim "felt something was wrong" BEFORE anything happened but ignored their gut instincts. Focus when you feel something’s wrong, trust your gut so you can take action!

 

2. Pay attention! Look where you're going. Check out the area before you walk down that street or get out of your car at the gas station, ATM, 7-Eleven etc. Look inside of the store before you go in so you don't become part of a robbery in progress. Just a simple scan of the area will do. Again, trust your instincts.

 

3. Wake up and tune in. Get your face out of the smart phone especially when walking! If you ‘re that addicted to your phone, if necessary, turn off your phone when out in public. It can wait. Don't jog with earphones on or with your hoodie up where your vision is obscured. Take in your surroundings--don’t drown them out.

 

4. Maintain a Personal Comfort Zone. No one, whether they’re a stranger (especially if you perceive they have hostile intent) or even if it’s someone you "know,” should be allowed to get closer than two arms reach of you without your permission. You are under no obligation to be nice. Period. If they do, "attack the attacker" (as per Brad Steiner). Practice a relaxed but focused stance you can explode from and take action! 

 

5. Walk wide around building corners and in the middle of sidewalks (DISTANCE = TIME TO ACT) walk in the light at night and if possible look for “shadows” protruding from corners, alcoves etc. and make use of reflections in store front windows or car windows. This may sound like a lot to take in but once you get used to doing it, it becomes second nature. Don't get jumped.

 

6. People giving you a bad vibe as you turn a corner to walk down a street?

Do you:

a) Make eye contact?

b) Don't make eye contact?

c) Look assertive?

d) Reach for your gun?

 

Answer: If possible, walk down a different street. If you’re unable to do this or you’re already on the street, be on your guard and be ready to act.

 

7. Never allow yourself to be cornered and if you can’t avoid the situation and have to fight then fight! (Learn how: both hand-to-hand and with weapons). 

 

8. Just Say “No”! Words have meaning and No means “NO”. "No" is a very powerful yet underutilized word. The more you learn to use it in an ambiguous situation the better off and more alert you’ll be. Criminals use deception to get you to lower your guard; a firm or forceful NO, can “break the spell," granting you, if necessary, time to act.

 

9. Never accept unsolicited offers of help from strangers (i.e., “can I carry your packages?”) or entertain panhandlers (i.e., “do you have any spare change?”). Again, when you’re out and about if something “feels wrong” then it is wrong, so trust your instincts and be ready to act.

 

10. Watch your drink. Though this applies to anyone, this is a tip we offer to women (especially young women) getting ready to go off to college. If you are out in a social setting, be leery of people offering you drinks especially if you don’t know them. Do not leave your drink unattended, someone could slip a knock-out drug into your drink. This is a typical abduction/rape technique. Along these lines, DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT drink to excess, it lowers your inhibitions as well as your guard and sense of judgment. Otherwise you may find yourself in a situation you do not want to be in.

 

11. Learn to react the “right way”. “No one is so brave that they are not startled by the unexpected…” (Julius Caesar). Learn to train your “Flinch Response” (sometimes called your “Panic Reflex”). This is an ingrained response we are born with that protects us from sudden danger.  Practice high speed reactions to protect your head (see the "Fright Reaction" in the resources below) to sudden movements, sounds or touches in the event you're surprised and if necessary, take action!

 

12. Flat tire in a bad neighborhood? Drive on your rims. A car can drive almost as fast on the rims as on the tires and new tires (and/or rims) are a small price to pay for avoiding becoming a target of violence. Don’t make the bad guys' job easy.

 

13. If for some reason the bad guy gets the drop on you, where you're being mugged and there is a gun presented, be cooperative and be prepared to give them your whole wallet. Don’t be stupid. But...

 

14. If they try to move you, NEVER, EVER go to crime scene #2! If all they want is money, that’s one thing. But if they want to take you somewhere, or if you feel that no matter what you do they are going to harm you in some way anyway, make your stand and fight for your life (or that of your loved ones) RIGHT NOW and fight with everything you’ve got! You have nothing to lose at this point! You stand a better chance of surviving if you fight! Statistically speaking if you are moved to crime scene #2, your chances of survival are minimal.  No matter what promises they make to not harm you, remember this is the reason they moved you in the first place. Crime scene number two is always better for them and worse for you. So fight!

 

15. No one gets in your house without your permission. Ever! Of course if possible have an alarm system. Lock your doors and windows when not home or at night and take nothing for granted. Home invasions are one of the fastest growing crimes and it affords the criminals everything they need. Privacy, isolation or cornering their victims, and of course easy access to their victims. Understand, if they’re in your home and have struck at a time you were most likely to be there, they’re there for more than just the TV and your valuables. If a stranger comes to your home looking for assistance (even if it's a little girl screaming to use your phone to call her daddy because her mommy's lying in the road bleeding to death), call 911 FOR her. Otherwise, if you open your door you may end up in a horrific home invasion situation. (Note: the discussion of “panic rooms” and “home security plans” is a much more in-depth discussion that goes beyond what is presented here.)

 

There are many more tips in our books “Attack Proof” and “How to Fight For Your Life”.