Here’s my quick list of advice you use to prevent getting attacked or mugged. As with life, your mileage may vary but these are sound, useful tips that I use daily.
Breath – You must breath to do anything else such as thinking, running or defending. It is first because it is the most important of all tips.
Awareness – Most situations can be avoided by just being aware of the potential for attack or attackers. Know your surroundings and watch unsavory types like a hawk.
Stay in the light – Nothing says, “attack me please” like walking around in the dark. Stay in well lit areas so others can see you and you can see them.
Stay in crowds – Nothing says, “attack me please” like being alone. You’ll less likely be attacked if you stay in a group. A mugger, like a lion on the savanna, won’t attack a herd of prey. He’ll wait until one strays from the herd and isolates herself from the mutual protection of the group.
Eye contact – Make eye contact with everyone looking at you. Don’t make faces or taunt. Just look at them and acknowledge that you see them. This isn’t a license to stare. You need to look at the other, hidden thugs in the shadows too.
Keep moving – It is easier to surround and attack a motionless target. It is difficult to out flank someone who is moving so keep walking and take corners with a wide turn.
Confidence – You need attitude and confidence. Even if you don’t have any, fake it and walk boldly wherever you go. Have purpose in your stride and demeanor. Keep your shoulders back and head up.
Preparedness – Keep the things you need for defense handy. If you are going to your car, get the keys out as you walk. If you are nervous about a room, find the can of mace you have in your purse. Do it before you need it.
Trust your Instincts – Nature built in an early warning system in our bodies called instincts. If you feel bad about something or somewhere, act on it and get away. There is probably a reason you feel that way. There’s no reason to prove yourself right and get attacked.
Train to Defend – Lastly, train to defend yourself from an attacker. You need to learn easy moves and apply them on a real person. It doesn’t have to be full force contact but working out with a real human partner is very important. Also, taking a self-defense class once a year is not proper training. Defense is a skill and like all skills, you need to maintain them and hone them.
That’s why we teach Kempo at our school, it is a solid method for learning to defend yourself from danger. There are a few methods that work faster—such as EZDefense or FAST—but don’t provide the other benefits of martial arts training. Consistent training is the best way to defend yourself. Remember that 90% of self-defense is mental and 10% is physical. Use your brain to avoid dangerous situation.
Do you have suggestions for other things you can do to prevent attacks?