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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Self Defense

I attended a session offered for free at work to listen to some self defense training tips.  Here are my notes.
Develop your MINDSET to help prevent and deal with attacks.

First, you must value yourself.  Feel that you are someone worth saving. Don't just give in.  Fight for your worth.
Decide to survive.  This is emotional protection.  If you put your mind to it, you can persist and fight your way through a great deal and overcome your obstacles.
Have the will to resist and fight back.  If you don't do everything you can at the moment of attack, later on you'll wish you did more up front.  Fight with all you've got.
Be aware and alert.  Heighten your instinct of danger.  You can even protect yourself from the stupidity of others.

Practice good HABITS to help prevent attacks.  Have environmental awareness.
Avoid obviously poor habits/behaviors.  In general: don't be stupid!  Pay attention to habits that volunteer you to be a victim/target.
When walking in pairs or in a group, walking 5 to 10 feet apart is better than being grouped together.  It makes it harder for an attacker.  This gives them less control over a situation.  Make it your goal for them to pick someone else.

- If possible avoid walking alone.
- Always attempt to be in a group, or at least in public areas where there are many other people.
- Avoid walking at night where there are no streetlights.
- Be aware of potential hiding places for dangerous strangers, behind bushes, in alleys, behind large trash dumpsters.
- As you approach these potential hazardous areas extend your circle of safety by distancing yourself from these obstacles.

Use your Circle of Safety.
This is your Level of Awareness Zone.  Use distance to your advantage.  Use this process against a potential attacker:
In a 25 feet wide circle around you: the Casual Awareness Zone,
Be aware of all potential danger surrounding you.
Be always thinking about what you could do to protect yourself
An attacker can get armed and into your zone more rapidly than you may realize!  So have casual awareness of what's going on from 20 to 25 feet around you.

In a 10-15 feet wide circle around you: the Active Awareness Zone,
Pay attention to the actions and behaviors of other people in this range.  Pay attention to things like what are they there for?  Is anyone lurking suspiciously out of place? 

In a 3-6 feet wide circle around you: the Obvious Awareness Zone,
Let them know you're there, and not an easy target.
Don't be afraid; don't display fear. 
Increase your distance to suspicious targets that have approached this range in order to lessen the potential danger to yourself.  Make yourself a less easy target.

From 3 feet around you and closer: your Personal Space,
From this range you can retaliate if attacked, but you can't stop an attacker from touching you.  Pay attention to everything, especially if it doesn't fit.  Make barriers. Make or take control of what you can around you.  Don't ask someone, TELL them - be demanding - "Back away", don't use "Please."  Be forceful and use your strong voice, not frightful to let them that this won't be easy for them, and they should pick some other target.

Use maneuvers if they continue and persist, to defend your personal space, if you feel uncomfortable.
Increase the space between you and an attacker.

Maintain your resolve and sense of what's going on, and how to respond; remember, don't give in to fear.  This makes you even more vulnerable to an attack.  If an attacker realizes you are an easy target who will not provide resistance, you are even more likely to be attacked.

Also don't put yourself into a position that would make you easy to grab or be attacked. 


Identify them.

How to know who is a Bad Guy.

Criminal behavior is predatorial, just like animals!  When confronted, go into overdrive t protect your personal space from one.  A criminal needs a hunting ground.  Recognize when you're on one.  They can be unexpected - it may not always be so obvious that you're on one.  Sometimes this could even be your known routes. 
A criminal needs:
- a  place to watch the "herd" for what he wants, screening for his victim. 
- to follow their potential victim.  So be aware of being followed.
- a place to victimize, such as concealed dark places where others cannot see.  In places like these the predator will close the distance, entering you Personal Space.

NOW it is time to "Live on the X."  Make it hard for them

Know what to look for  -
Attack indicators:

Targetting.  Places where they can make their move.  They are watching your position, stance, and location.  Keep an eye out for unusual, unexplainable movement.
They will eliminate escape routes, trying to separate you from the herd.
Physical/emotional preparation.  Clenched jaw muscles; breathing harder; etc.

If you are escaping from an attacker, use mace in choke points like doorways where they have to pass through.

If you're already in their control, go limp as a tactic.  (Only if they already have hold of you!  Fight not to be in this position first, of course.)  It is a lot harder to drag "dead" weight!

Screaming draws attention.

Act like you're aiming for the groin and they will move to protect.  This gives you an opportunity to create distance.

If they trap you in a situation where you're being followed in your car, keep going, to a safe place.  Stay in you car - it is a weapon!