Be aware and be safe! Proactively preparing for personal safety is important. The following ideas are not new or unique self defense, but are rarely considered before something bad happens!
- Have a Plan and Keep it Simple. Become mentally, emotionally, environmentally and physically aware so better self defense / personal safety decisions can be made.
- Deny Privacy. Do not allow an attacker to take you anywhere that is “private”.
- Attract Attention. Yell “FIRE” (not “help”).
- Take Action – Do something to the attacker if physical defense is the best choice of action.
- Crime can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. The “it can’t happen to me” line of thinking is no longer valid.
- Bad guys don’t have a certain or specific physical appearance. You can’t tell the bad guys by their looks!
- It’s not how tough you are, but how tough the bad guy thinks you are. Betty Grayson, a Hofstra University professor, performed a study using convicted muggers. The study concluded that the average mugger selects a victim within 7 seconds. Grayson videotaped pedestrians and showed them to different muggers at different prisons. The majority of the prisoners identified the same pedestrians as “easy targets”. The videotapes were then analyzed by a movement analysis system called Labanotation. Five basic movement (covered in a future article) characteristics were common to the “easy target” pedestrians.
Criminals rarely look for challenges – it is unlikely that they would pick out the toughest looking person for an attack. People who look weak, insecure, unprepared, unaware and easily intimidated look like victims. Physical presence and appearance can either compromise or enhance personal security and the ability to perform self defense actions.
You are responsible for yourself – be prepared. The best self defense is a prepared offense.
Physical self defense should be the last choice of action in a conflict situation. Violence begets violence. No one wins in a fight – someone always gets hurt. It could be a physical, emotional or mental injury, a damaged reputation, a criminal record, a financial burden (lawsuit), or one of many other potential negative results.
However, some conflicts may not be solvable through non-violent methods. Peaceful and positive conflict resolution can only happen when all parties are reasonable, rational and willing to communicate and cooperate towards successful and mutually-acceptable solutions. Some people only know one way to resolve a conflict – bullying, oppressing and physically conquering other people.
The word “conflict” typically has a negative connotation. However, the Chinese characters that represent the word “conflict” mean “danger” and “opportunity”. The word “opportunity” implies that some form of good could exist with conflict. If conflict is handled correctly, it is possible that the outcome could provide a positive growth experience for everyone involved. To handle conflict properly, remember these key rules:
- Respect others and respect yourself
- Everyone has a right to be heard and to be treated fairly
Injustice, unfairness, lack of respect and lack of the basic resources needed to positively handle discord tends to escalate the chances for violence. Remember, violence usually ends in hurt, bitterness, vengefulness and destruction for those involved. Violence dis-empowers those who follow that path.
Watch for the next personal safety article coming soon! In the meantime, remember, "One Body, One Life, One Choice - Be Smart & Stay Safe!"