by Mac McGregor -
Special to the SGN
Editor's note: This is the latest installment in an ongoing series on personal self-defense.
I can recite these in my sleep, I have been teaching self-defense and safety so long - yet even though people say, 'Yeah, yeah, I know this stuff,' they still don't follow these simple rules for safety. Remember Speech 101 class in college: Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then wrap it up by telling them again. Well, here ya go.
o Don't walk alone - walk with a friend or a dog (or a friend who resembles a dog).
o Have your keys easily accessible.
o Don't walk with your cell phone out, in most instances - put it in your pocket.
o LOOK AROUND - BE AWARE - pay attention to your surroundings.
o Walk with confidence: shoulders back, head up, look at people.
o Don't walk close to doorways or bushes.
o When you enter a building always locate each exit, and identify safe spaces.
o Don't wear a purse or bag strapped across your body. It gives a bad guy a handle to pull you around with.
o Park near good lighting.
o If another car is parked next to yours, check it out.
o NEVER go to a more isolated area with anyone, no matter what they promise you if you do. It is a LIE. Fight for your life in the most public place possible!
o USE YOUR VOICE! It is one of your best safety and self-defense assets. MAKE NOISE.
o If someone wants your wallet, phone, purse, laptop - GIVE IT TO THEM. Those things are not worth your life - but throw the item one way and run like hell the other way!
o TAKE BASIC SELF-DEFENSE before something happens to you or someone very close to you!
o Read the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.
o Let someone know where you are! This is not just for kids. Always let someone close to you know where you are - if anything happens that makes you feel uncomfortable, even more so! Make a call.
o Make sure there is motion-activated lighting around your home.
o Have deadbolt locks on all of your doors.
o Have wide-angle peepholes in your doors.
o This may sound geeky, but come on, it's Seattle - Have a safety and self-defense buddy you can talk about this stuff with and call anytime you feel unsure.
o Use the word NO, and when you do MEAN IT and stand by it!
o Don't walk/jog with headphones in both ears. Leave at least ear open for awareness!
o Don't let your friends go off alone with someone none of you know! NO matter what your friend says - DON'T DO IT!
o If you feel someone is stalking you, DON'T ENGAGE at ALL! Any response is considered encouragement to them. It translates to attention.
o If you or your friend are too intoxicated to walk or drive home safely, CALL A CAB or another friend to come get you!
o Don't hang out AT ALL with anyone who does not respect when you say NO.
o Lock your car doors even when you are in the car.
o Most importantly: LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION - YOUR INNER VOICE - YOUR SIXTH SENSE. LISTEN.
The most likely place to be attacked, according to FBI statistics, is in or around your own home. The second most likely place is in a parking lot. Eighty percent of attackers are someone you know at least causally - 'stranger danger' is less then 20% of all attacks, assaults, rapes, or other violent crimes. These stats don't lie - they give us valuable information but will never replace that intuition of yours. I can tell you when, where, how, and to what kind of person most violent crimes happen to, but that does not give every answer. Anytime you deal with humans there are many variables. This keeps life interesting, on one hand, and makes it more complex on the other. My point is, there is no exact safety formula.
HOW TO 'BE THE BEE'
If you ever do have to deal with a physical confrontation then it is important to know that there are weaknesses in each and every body, no matter how big or strong they are. The top basic weak points on ANY body are:
o Collar bone
o Shin bones
o Tops of feet
These points hurt no matter how much muscle mass a person has built up. The idea here is OUTSMARTING THEM, not out-muscling them! If you are wearing heels or dress shoes use them on the shin or top of the foot. I teach self-defense with the 'Be the BEE' theory. Put the biggest, strongest guy in a small old-fashioned phone booth with five bees. Who do you think will win this battle? The little bees will. STING, STING, STING! You may not be as physically strong but just keep stinging to vital areas of the body until the bad guy wants to RUN from YOU! How many big, strong guys do you think will run from a few angry bees? ALL OF THEM. Just keep stinging until the attacker no longer wants to be anywhere around you or you see a clear opening to run like hell. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz - BE THE BEE!
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