Your personal safety is one of your primary responsibilities – and it’ll make a lot of sense if you know how to preserve it. This post of ours is focused on showing you self-defense tips that could save your life, tips that’ll reduce the odds of your becoming a victim of crime. Knoema, a global data analysis and management company, found that in 2017 the assault rate for South Africa, the US, New Zealand and Colombia was at 295.1, 249.9, 521.2 and 249.8 per 100,000 population respectively. The report defined assault as “physical attack against the body of another person resulting in serious bodily injury”. It didn’t include figures from sexual assault, physical violence and assault incidences that led to death.
Why did we have to go searching for those figures? We did that because we want to drive home the importance of your having these self-defense tips. Crimes happen every day but you don’t have to be a part of the statistics, at least not in situations where you can exercise some control. By the way, we have another article on how you can improve your personal safety, you might want to check that out. Now, who’s ready for some self-defense tips? Here we go!
Being alert and observant could save your life
When you step out of the safety and comfort of your home into the streets, your awareness level should go from white to yellow. Looking like you’re unaware of your surroundings makes you more vulnerable in the eyes of attacks from criminals. On the other hand, thanks to their opportunistic nature, the perps avoid folks who look like they’re on to them. Pay attention to your environment and the people around you. This will help you notice unusual people, happenings or an unusual stillness in the air. And if you do notice such, the next thing to do is to carry out a mental assessment of the situation. Ask yourself if it’s a threat to your safety and act accordingly.
Being alert and observant also means that you, as much as possible, avoid making calls or texting when you’re on the road. Another thing you should do away with is the plugging of your ears with earpieces or headphones. This is important because they either distort outside sounds or block them off completely. Now picture yourself outside, listening to music with your earpiece in both ears and someone is running toward you shouting and waving. You’ll first have to take out the earpiece so that you can hear what the runner is saying and that will cost you precious reaction time.
Be Confident and use powerful body language as self defense
A confident body language gives a potential attacker the impression that you’re no easy target. Stand tall, put your chin up and your shoulders back. This not only makes it better for you to see what’s going on around you, it also creates more room for oxygen in your lungs. God knows the oxygen will definitely come in handy if you’re confronted by the lowlife(s). It’s also important to make eye contact with whoever you’re interacting with. This’ll let them know that you’ve seen and are aware of their presence. It means that you can describe them to the police and criminals generally tend to avoid that. What’s more, lowering your eyes or looking away, may cause them to consider you an easier target.
Trust your guts. If you’re in an uncomfortable situation – even if it’s a first date – and your instincts begin to tingle, get yourself out of there. Depending on how obvious the threat is, you might want to be discreet about your flight or loud and abrupt. Whether you’re on the bus, in a mall or in a parking lot, trust your instincts – after all, its basic function is to keep you safe.
Know how and when to fight
Now, we may be talking about self-defense tips that could save your life but it’s important you understand that there’re times when flight, rather than fight, is your best option. In certain situations, getting physical with attackers might be counterproductive and even worsen the situation. What you can do in such scenarios is to try and talk your way out of the situation. You can say that your friends or family know exactly where you are and who you’re with. Another tactic is to act like you’re talking on the phone and mention your whereabouts to the “caller”. If you can make an actual call, that’d be better but if you can’t, the pretend call is a good plan.
You can raise your voice to attract attention and possibly, help. Your yelling can also startle your attacker, allowing you to escape. It also has the added benefits of stabilizing your breathing and allowing you focus. Another way to startle your attacker and buy yourself time to escape is by using personal safety gizmos like pepper spray, flash lights, alarms, stun guns and other stuff like that. Always have them in your hands or pockets and ready to use. Putting it in your bag means that your reaching for it might be obvious to your assailant who may then try to stop you from using it.
When fight is the only option you have in these situations, you’ll do well to remember the following:
- Aim your blows at vital target areas e.g. the eyes, ears, nose, throat, groin, temple and knees.
- Use any object in your hand as a weapon e.g. your car keys, a pencil, your bag/purse etc.
- If you’re grabbed by your hand, rotate your hand toward the assaulter’s thumb and do it in a quick manner.
Take advantage of tech for self-defense
There are a number of applications and web-based software that allows your loved one(s) keep track of your movements and locations. You can also use them to keep track of theirs. Our Keep Me Safe app not only tracks your exact location, it also allows your loved one(s) to discreetly record audio and video clips and take pictures of your environment. Moreover, it allows you to send a distress signal that rings so loudly whoever is on the other end of the app will probably hear it from the moon. Having an app like this gives you more control in assault and situations where you’re being held against your will; it definitely deserves a place on a list of self-defense tips that could save your life.