Everyone needs to take the time to learn how to defend yourself. I urge you to not only read this, but make sure your family members understand these self-defense tactics as well. If you are in a bad situation with someone threatening you or your family, do you have to fight back or can you escape? What do you do if you are in danger and do you know how to do it? These are the big questions you need to answer when confronted with bad people trying to hurt you or your family. Let’s look at some insights into how to protect yourself at all times.
The number one thing you need to do is to stay out of any situations that may seem risky. You need to pay attention to what is going on in your surroundings. You must be vigilant to keep a close eye on others behaviors around you, and any activity that may seem threatening to your safety.
This story will explain to you what I am talking about when I say know what is going on around you. I was just out with my son and I dropped him off at soccer practice. I had to go to Menards to get some stuff for home repair. When I came back to pick up my son I stopped at a convenient store close to where he has practice. The neighborhood is not that bad, but I am always aware of what is going on around me. I pull into a parking spot and I look in my rear view mirror. I see a bigger guy about 19-years-old standing by the carry out entrance. I stayed in my car to see if he would walk away from the store entrance or go into the store. Instead, this young man started walking to the side of my car. I locked the doors then started the car back up and I proceeded to back up. He just turned around and went back to the carry out entrance. You may think I am being too cautious, but it is better to be safe than sorry. I did not need the ice tea I was going to buy from the store. Sometimes you have to make immediate decisions like this. For me in this situation, it was safer to just leave.
I am a highly trained fighter with three years MMA, two years Krav Maga, three years Jeet Kune Do and several years of boxing. I don’t want to use my training if I don’t have to. It was safer for me to start the car back up and leave. I don’t want to use any of my self-defense moves unless someone has me cornered with no escape. It’s always best to escape, than try to fight off the perpetrator.
Let’s now look at 5 self-defense scenarios.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
As I said before, you must pay attention to your surroundings. Just being present in where you are and aware of the people around you can be an important self-defense tactic. If you are distracted, this makes your vulnerable to an attack. You also won’t have the ability to put any action in place if you are caught off guard.
The story above is a perfect example of being aware of your surroundings, as I was paid close attention to that man hanging around the entrance. I watched him to see what he was going to do before I got out of my car. Would he leave the area, go into store or do something else? He actually started walking right to my car and to my driver door side, which brought immediate concern. I decided to leave and not engage with whatever this guy was coming over to engage with me. He maybe was just going to ask for money or change, but I don’t know and my safety was my only priority at the time.
You need to understand what is going on around you. We can look at 10 scenarios and this could one day help you be better prepared for bad situations.
Scenario 1 – You are pulling into your driveway and entering the garage so you can unload the groceries you just bought. You see a strange man walking towards the garage. What do you do?
- Say hi and see what the stranger wants.
- Get back in car and lock your doors then back out closing the garage door.
- Unload the groceries and ignore the guy walking up.
- Close the garage door and grab your can of mace or your stun gun to be prepared.
There are several ways you can react to this scenario. I would not do A or C because that puts you at a disadvantage if this guy decides to attack you. Option B is the best choice because you get away and that is what we always want you to do in potentially bad situations. The option D is good if for some reason you cannot get back into the car quick enough or the guy gets into garage before you can shut the door. These situations you don’t have much time to react, so if you are aware and play out scenarios in your mind before they happen, you will be better prepared.
Scenario 2 – Someone comes to your home and rings the doorbell , so you look at your video doorbell camera or through your peep hole or window and you see it is someone you do not know. What do you do?
- Don’t answer the door just pretend no one is home.
- Answer the door to see what they want.
- Make sure door is locked and ask the man through the video doorbell or yell through the door to ask them what they want. Grab your self-defense weapon to be safe.
- Grab your self-defense weapon in one hand, and with it ready, then open the door to talk.
I would not do option A only for the reason that some burglars knock to see if anyone is home before breaking-in. In this case, the criminal might then try to break into your home if he thinks you are not there. The best thing to do is option C: Grab a defensive weapon like mace, a gun, a knife, or taser. You can use a video doorbell camera to talk with them or yell through the locked door to ask who they are and what they want. I would not do option D because opening the door to a stranger, isn’t safe. If after talking with the stranger, you feel it’s okay to open the door- Hold onto your weapon, just in case something dangerous ends up happening.
Scenario 3 – You are jogging in your neighborhood and you notice a car seems to be following you.
- You abruptly reverse course and go the way you just came. Then look to see if the car has turned around to follow.
- Walk up to the car to ask them why they are following you.
- Run home or go to a close by neighbor that you know might be home.
- Pull out your mace or taser that you should be carrying with you and have it ready. You then want to reverse direction and get back home just to be safe.
When jogging or walking around neighborhoods, most people wear headphones and are oblivious to what is going on around them. If you see someone either driving or walking that you think is following you, then you must take certain precautions. The best one above is option D because you are ready for anything with the weapon and you are heading home where it would be safer. Option A and C will also work especially if you did not bring your mace or any other weapon with you. I think we all know not to do option B.
The other thing that I do on sidewalks is when I see a group of people walking towards me and I am by myself I will cross the street. I do this when the group that is coming towards me is a group that makes me nervous just by their looks. If they cross the street looking at you intently then this is a bad situation. You need to spray the mace at them and run the opposite direction. Do not get fooled or think it was common coincidence. It does not matter if you are a man or a woman. Knowing the situation and how it unfolds could mean the difference between going home or going to the hospital.
Scenario 4 – You live in an apartment, you just got home to see a guy struggling to load some stuff in his van and he asks if you can help.
- You say yes and go over to help him load the heavy equipment into his van.
- You say you will tell your boyfriend to help him, once you get to your apartment.
- You should be holding mace in your hand while walking to your apartment from the parking lot. Have the mace ready and tell him you cannot help him and hurry or run to your apartment.
Guys should not be asking women for help with anything that involves moving, cars, etc. I would not trust anyone so do option B or C. You never do option A, no matter how rude you think you’re being by saying no. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. I am sure this may not happen all the time and people are just in need of help, but why risk your life. It’s just too risky to take the chance.
Scenario 5 – There is a van or big SUV parked next to you in the grocery store parking lot at night.
- You just go ahead and walk to your car, put in your groceries in, and go home.
- Ask one of the grocery male employees to walk you to your car.
- Wait for that vehicle to leave before going to your car.
I know this may sound paranoid but these are things you need to be aware of for your safety. One mistake and it could ruin your life plus your wellbeing. You have to do Option B or C which is the safest thing for you to do. Option A is not smart, ever. Don’t think everything is okay, when you have no idea what’s going on. It’s critical to be mindful of scenes like this, and make safe decisions even if it takes you more time to get where you’re going. What if you are the one that someone picks out and kidnaps? I watched the show I survived and this exact scenario happened to a young woman where she was forced into her car by a guy with a knife. He made her drive him to a different state where he had connections because he just got out of prison. She survived but it was a very bad 24 hours for her.
There is footage on camera of this kidnapping from the store where it occurred and it showed when this criminal approached her in the parking lot, threatened her with the knife, and got her into his car. You never want to go to the second location, so she should have tried to fight to escape, scream, and run from the perpetrator. This took place in the middle of the afternoon, so she could run back to the store which was close. The odds of him running after her in a parking lot with other people coming in and out of the store are very slim. He would have run away looking for another opportunity to grab a car or hostage.
I want to stress to you something I think most men and women do not think about. If someone is trying to kidnap you to take you to a different location, the odds of you surviving are small. You must try to escape and run away from anyone trying to take you to a second location. You have a better chance of surviving if you fight, scream, or run right when they try to kidnap you. Even if they have a gun, your chances of surviving are far better if you escape and run. Run in a zigzag pattern so it’s more difficult for them to shoot you. The chances of being shot are small, as you run away, because that would draw attention to the criminal even more. Make a scene yourself, keep screaming and yelling help as you run. Chances are, this will throw the criminal off his guard and ruin his plan, and he won’t want to risk getting caught, so he will flee.
I hope these scenarios helped you learn more ways to protect yourself if you come across any threat of danger. It’s imperative you pay close attention to your surroundings at all times and make mindful choices to stay safe. I highly recommend you have a small weapon in your purse or in your car or in your pocket, just in case you need it to defend yourself in an attack. You can read more about self-defense weapons here on this article.
For further reading on staying safe, you can also read this post on keeping your home secure.