Discussion in 'Women's Self Defence' started by Thomas, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    One of the topics we usually bring up in self defence (women's or not) is "awareness" and I have noticed that many of us (myself included) haven't really provided any details on this area yet. Here's a couple things I teach:

    (1) As you walk, keep your head and look side to side, above you and below you. Don't do it too much but do it enough to see potential obstacles and take not of the people around you.

    (2) Walk upright, focused and confident. A shy person who avoids eye contact may be mistaken as weak. Look at people who pass you but don't stare or look too long.

    (3) Try to park under street lamps (esp. in parking lots) where you can be seen and where you can see people around you. Also, try to park as close to the area you are going.

    (4) When you get to your car, as you approach it, look for anything unusual, like scrapings, broken windows or fluid stains under the car. If yoiu see something, be extra careful.

    (5) (Especially after dark), walk purposely to your car in a direct manner. Have your keys out in your strong hand and hold them as if you need to drive them into someone's face or scratch someone. Try to keep your purchases and/or bags/purse in your weaker hand.

    (6) When you get to your car, take a quick look as in #4, unlock the door and open it. As it opens look into the back and side seats quickly, as well as behind the front seats for signs of people.

    (7) After checking as in #6, get into the car quickly, sit down and LOCK the door. Do NOT stand half in the car with the door open adjusting your bags or looking for stuff. Get in the car, lock the door and then do whatever business you have to.

    (8) When you arrive somewhere, as you prepare to park, look around and note who and what is around. Try to park in a lighted area and look for potential alternate routes of exit or travel.

    (9) When strangers motion for you to roll down your window or stop (hitch-hikers or information seekers or vagrants/beggers), do NOT do it. These people should mean nothing to you and are not worth putting your safety in danger.

    (10) At least once a week, at your home, check out your car. Check tires, fluids, batteries and such to try to prevent breakdowns later on. Make sure all of your ligts work (so you won't be pulled over) and make sure the locks work. At least once, check out how your trunk works and find where the emergency (from inside) catch works in case you ever have to use it.

    (11) Keep an emergency kit in your car with tools, blanket, first aid kit, extra water/oil/trans. fluid and such in it.

    (12) When going anywhere, check in with someone and give them an estimate of where you'll be and when you'll be back. If you're going to be much later, call them.

    (13) If you are walking along (or driving) and see an altercation (verbal or physical), do NOT stop and watch. Most importantly, do NOT try to get involved... especially in cases of spouses/family, they may join against you. If you want to ehlp, call 911 and let them handle it. Don't try to break up fights if you don't know the people very well.

    (14) If someone starts to try to make a problem with you, especially verbally, don't stick around in hopes he'll lay off. Get out of there.

    (15) Anywhere you go, look for an alternative exit in case the primary way is blocked.

    (16) Always try to wear clothes that allow freedom of movement. If you have to wear tight or restrictive clothes (skirts, tuxedos, etc.) for some kind of event, try to get a size that will allow you to move. When you put it on, try a few basic mocvements that you might need. Check the stitches to see if you can rip off parts if needed to run. Wear socks/ sturdy stockings in case you need to kick off shoes for running or use as a weapon.

    (17) Don't chat mindlessly on a cell phone as you walk mindlessly. If you need to take a call, find a public place to talk, even if you have to call them back. Walking around with a "walkman" on takes away one of your senses as well... and distracts you. I only recommend them in the privacy of my own home (but I'm paranoid anyway!)

    That's a few things I put under "awareness"... any ohtres you can think of?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2003
  2. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    Don't use personal stereo equipment when out walking or on public transport, especially at night. It makes you more vunerable.

    For Thomas's (2) I'd added try to avoid eye contact.

    A few of your points stray a little from what I'd say was 'Awareness' and into planning/personal safety, so I'd like to add a few as well.

    Don't carry more than you can run with, or afford to drop.

    When out on the town try and to take a pair of trainers with you (keep your high heels in a bag), so that when your between pubs/clubs/home you can run easier.

    More pub awareness, never leave your drinks untended, if in a large group, try to have some members stay with the drinks if your dancing (also means they keep your seat;) ).

    Try to travel in groups if possible, if not see (12). If meeting a female friend in a pub and your going to be late, try and let them know.

    Just a few, I'm sure I'll think of some more later, good list Thomas!

  3. Coyote

    Coyote New Member

    Always have a white towel. Not only for the reasons mentioned in the world-famous Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, but also because it can be used to flag down help on the street (and it's the easiest color to see at night.)
  4. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    Thanks to both of you for very good tips indeed.

    Best advice I can give without repeating all of the above in one context or another is to have a plan of action. Go through in your mind.... the what if's should you find yourself in a given situation of having to defend yourself.

    Like the exercise I provided in the Improvised Weapons thread.... take an activity that you do during the course of the week (ie. going grocery shopping, leaving the ATM or bank, jogging in the park, et etc...) and envision what you would do if attacked. This will also help you to work on your awareness and identify areas that you may seem oblivious to during the course of your busy day....

    I found a situation where I was wearing high heels and couldn't run after my assailant.... no problem kicking them off and running in stocking feet:D ... you do what it takes but how do you know if you don't think about these things prior to them happening.
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo


    Kickchick excellent post brought up something I forgot to mention:

    When you are in the dojang, between classes, after classes or even during class, grab a partner and practice situations. Work thyem easy at first to get used to dealing with specific grabs and drags and then escalate the power. Also, practice what happens when the techniques fails (opponent shifts or counters). This kind of brainstorming physically is good, too. Make sure to practice what happens when you end up on the ground as well.

    I liked Freeform's ideas very much as well. I guess I shouldn't have labelled the thread "Awareness" but rather something like "Tips to keep in mind when you are out in public or something" (Too long for a thread)

    Something to add, maybe to #10... for people getting pulled over by the police late at night in lonesome stretches of highways, put your 4-way flashers on and drive slowly to the nearest lighted area and/or parking lot before pulling over. There have been cases of police abusing their rights occasionally. Also, never hesitate to ask for ID and write down badge numbers and names.
  6. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    ... with regards to #10, I'd go a little further than that Thomas.
    I would drive to the nearest Police Station/Fire Dept. if you feel at all apprehensive.
    This happened to me (before I became "aware"... many years ago) I was pulled over by a car with a siren and revolving light. assuming it was the police or county sheriff, I pulled over and rolled my window down. The "officer" asked for my license ... looked at it and said... "Great now I know your name, can I have your phone number now so we can see more of each other?"

    .... as I drove over his foot I couldn't believe what had just happened... could have been worse though I imagine!
    So I've warned my daughter of the same... sometimes you just can't be sure that it is a police car following you and if you do happen to NOT pull over you will not be in the wrong if you feel apprehensive.
  7. Reiki

    Reiki Ki is everything!

    all great advice!

    Suggest you also read some of Geoff Thompsons books on self defence - mainly The Fence and put the ideas there into practice.

    Be aware that often these attackers will ask you a question before they intend to do something to distract you.

    Always be aware of your surroundings because you will be less of a target than someone who is switched off.
  8. TkdWarrior

    TkdWarrior Valued Member

    great post Mr. Thomas

    awareness to me is about awareness of self.
  9. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    Interesting thread, pity I didn't find it earlier :eek:

    Some excellent hints and tips of how to become more aware of situations and how to make your self a harder target.

    Definately read Geoff Thompson's "Dead or Alive" as it introduces another aspect of awareness. Being aware of how an attacker opperates will give you a greater edge. After all whats the point in looking around, when you don't know what you are looking for?

    I would also recommend similar to what Matt suggested on the other ( :eek: ) awareness thread. Take the time to people watch. Learn how they interact with others more, observe your surroundings. This way "unusual" behaviour will stand out a mile off.

  10. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

  11. TheMasterSword

    TheMasterSword Cunning Linguist

    i encourage people also to consider getting a dog... either that or asking to walk your neighbor/friend's dog (i'm sure they wouldn't mind :) )

    dogs do not only make great campanions but can be the perfect "alarm" in the case when you are at home asleep...

    when walking a dog will instinctly attack or bark (grabbing attention) at any would-be attacker

    plus many people are afraid of dogs (** even my 270 lb friend is terrified of my friend's poodle!!!!!)
  12. guran

    guran Valued Member

    Self Defense

    Has anyone read "Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker? He started as a kid in a dangerous home-life situation and became a worlwide personal security consultant. Excellent advice on awarenwss, awareness, awareness...

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