Sometimes I teach self defense classes. Not as often as I used to. But I still enjoy it on occasion. Last week I taught a class requested by some young women heading off to college. Some other women joined us. I am always impressed by anyone who takes time out of busy lives to be prepared and do what they can to make their lives, and the people in their lives, safer.
To teach self defense I have to often be the ‘attacker’. I am constantly putting people, it seems, in choke holds and bear hugs. I grab the students so they can practice techniques.
I always explain to students the need to own their private space. Don’t wait until people get to the point of having their hands around your neck before you respond. You can, and should, react long before anyone has the chance to actually lay a hand on you.
I stood there with my hands wrapped around a college bound student’s neck and explained that there were opportunities before I got to this point that the student could have reacted differently to better protect, defend or even prevent this.
As I stood there with my hands on the young women’s neck a mom standing behind me piped up with great wisdom:
“There’s no friendly explanation for that.”
She was right.
Be safe people. Don’t wait for someone to hurt you. There are many things that there are no friendly explanations for.
A few tips:
Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right don’t try to explain it away. Trust it. Always.
Own your personal space. You are not obligated at all to let other people in to your space.
Learn what weapons you have at your disposal.
Take self defense classes that are offered in your area. There are often free classes. Take them! Take your kids! Take your parents! Take your spouse! If you can’t find them for free, call your local law enforcement agencies and ask for them.
Women – don’t carry purses.
Look up as you walk, look at people, be focused on where you are going and who is around you.
Safety in numbers.
Let people know where you are going. I don’t care if you are a grown up. Tell someone!
Be aware. There is no trick to being safe or to self defense.
One thing you must do to defend yourself: REACT !
I can’t give you enough tips here! Go take a class. Then take another one!