The First lesson to learn in Self-Defense is that you are important. The most valuable possession you will ever have is you. No-one has the right to hurt, intimidate or harass you. You have the right to protect yourself and you are well worth fighting for. The second most important lesson is to learn to understand that your mind is your most valuable weapon, in self-Defense we use our mind to control panic and fear, use our brain to assess a situation and to judge the most appropriate action to take.
We use our Brain to make choices and making choices is a big part of Self-Defense.
Self Defense is not just about learning a few techniques; it’s about all the things we do on a daily basis to make our lives safer. Much of it is common sense and the rest of it just makes sense. Some things you just do without thinking about whether it’s wearing a seatbelt, crossing the road or using a knife safely. At one time people had to be forced to wear seatbelts in the car, nowadays people sit in a car and reach across without a thought.
It shows that when you do something often enough, it becomes a habit, after that it becomes instinctive.
Body Language – Staring at the ground, hunched shoulders, hiding your hands in your pockets and making yourself small, carries the message- “I’m weak and vulnerable”. Women get targeted as easy prey so having strong body language decreases the risk of being a target. Make eye contact with people in a way that lets them know you’ve seen them (Would-be Criminals are far less likely to do anything if they think they could be identified). Swing your arms when walking, take up space. Strong Body Language not only affects how others see you but it increases your own confidence.
Compare Predators on the streets to Predators in the wild, they are not looking for the biggest, boldest, strongest animal to bring down but the weak, injured or isolated. Try not to put yourself in a position where it increases your vulnerability. Predators are not looking for a fight but an easy kill and when the target fights back ferociously the Predator will often abort.
Asserting yourself is an important part of taking control of your life. If someone’s behavior is making you feel bad, uncomfortable or scared then confront the person. Tell them – Name the behavior, Criticize it, tell them what you want them to do: – “You’re constantly touching me, I don’t like it, stop it” – Repeat if necessary. This is a direct, non-engaging way of establishing what you want, avoid saying please when you are asserting yourself. If someone is bothering you in a Public Place, make a scene, it will be much more embarrassing for that person than for you. Your voice is a weapon too. Yelling will alert other people around and can startle an attacker. It can also help channel your fear into aggression – Shout “NO” loudly and deeply from your stomach. Trust your instincts, if something does not seem right, then it probably isn’t. Say someone unpleasant is following you – Trust your instinct and do something whether it’s confronting them, getting to safety, calling someone or getting a weapon ready.
Get a cell phone, it’s not expensive if it’s for Emergency only, not only can you summon up help from anywhere but you can also use it as a weapon (if you learn how).
We encourage people to use their voice once a physical confrontation has begun. Shouting loudly as you strike serves many purposes. Firstly, you may startle the attacker with a sudden loud shout, you are also attracting attention to yourself so someone may come to your aid, you may be creating witnesses which may come in handy if you caused physical harm to your attacker in Self Defense as it may well come to a situation where it’s just your word against theirs, however, if it just so happened that a passer-by heard you shouting “Let go, let go” then that suddenly becomes evidence. Shouting also tenses up your abdominal region so if you happened to receive a hit at that same time then you are much less likely to be winded by it.