Safety Tips When You're Out & About
15 Ways to Prevent and Defend Yourself Against a Street Assault
Through the years we’ve had people attend our self-defense and MMA classes for many varied reasons. From someone who has experienced assault in the past to someone who wants to stay as safe as possible in the future, an understanding of the importance of learning to defend one’s self is key. It’s survival. I think we all have that part of us that thinks “it’ll never happen to me”, until it does. That’s one of the human flaws, right? That feeling of invincibility. But maintaining this denial is only doing yourself and your loved ones a disservice, and ultimately putting yourself in harms way. Every person deserves to know how to defend themselves from attackers, protect their space, and protect their loved ones.
Here we’re sharing 15 tips to preventing and defending against a street assault. Keep in mind that this is a general and foundational list of safety tips:
Be aware. This is the most important tip of all, and the foundation of protecting yourself in every situation. Always look around you and be aware of who is there, where you are, and what is happening nearby. Do not run or walk with headphones in; you need to know what sounds and sights surround you at all times. And on that note, you also want to:
Walk confidently, head up, steady stride. A confident stride and a clear sense of awareness can make you less of a target.
Trust your instincts. If you feel something isn’t right – it probably isn’t – get away as fast as possible. Listen to your inner voice and take action. Do not try to rationalize it away. Do not be nice because you think you should be.
Stay in groups. There really is safety in numbers. This is especially important when walking at night or in more secluded areas. And also:
Stay in crowded, well-lit areas. Switch sides of the street if your side is dark, avoid that alley, etc.
Walk facing traffic, not with traffic. When walking with traffic, one can be more easily grabbed or forced into a car.
Keep valuables secure – including cell phone. Hold purse or wallet firmly under your arm or hidden, and keep your cellphone away. Remember #1?
Maintain space. Change path, direction, or sides of the street if you feel uncomfortable.
If you are being followed or watched get to a safe well-lit and preferably crowded area as soon as possible. Call 911.
If someone is getting too close for comfort, make noise. This is not time to be embarrassed. Shout, yell, make noise and draw attention.
If you are being mugged, give them what they want – don’t hesitate. Purse, keys, wallet, anything but YOU. Run…
Escape. The best way to beat an attacker is to get away – do whatever you need to do so you can run away to safety as quickly as possible.
Never, EVER go to a secondary location with them. Your odds of survival go down significantly. If they try to force you to, fight. Fight for your life.
Practice. Taking a one-time self-defense workshop is a great start, but for best benefit don’t stop there. Find a reputable self-defense center to train, ideally multiple times every week ongoing, to build skill and confidence. Train at a safe but high intensity – what good is your technique if you don’t practice it at full power? When looking for places to train for self-defense look for good reviews, and for instructors with backgrounds in: -Krav Maga -Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu -Muay Thai
Visualize success. Visualize yourself successfully avoiding, fighting, and escaping from various self-defense situations. Believe it or not, your body will do what your mind imagines.