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Self-Defense is a Great Offense
It’s precisely this time of year that theft becomes more prevalent. The holidays during poor economic times drive some people to acts of crime. I am sure you or someone you know of has had to deal with having something stolen or actually being robbed. The aftermath of having something taken is devastating, frustrating, and time consuming as you report and replace lost items. Here are a couple of tips to diffuse and/or defend yourself from a potentially dangerous situation. Safety is always preferred because things can be replaced, people cannot. So remember in ANY situation conflict is always the very last option.
As Robert Marley said “ We don’t want trouble, but if you trouble trouble, we’ll give it to you double.”
Avoidance: This may sound like a no brainer. A late night walk to the store, or jog around the park or just simply taking public transportation ican be dangerous. In the evening stay in well lit areas and preferably on a main street. If you must travel at night, try and travel with someone or a group. If someone or a group of people look sketchy avoid them like the plague, your wallet will thank you later. And especially for single people (men and women alike) let someone know where you will be or expected return so someone knows your whereabouts.
Stay Alert: If you travel with an iPod or bop to the latest download on your mp3, keep the volume at a minimal level if not off! Keep your phone turned on but avoid texting, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. It goes without saying but traveling or walking at night under the influence is a big no-no, don’t do it.
Be Prepared: If confronted be prepared and stay prepared–follow these steps.
- Stay calm, breathe, survey your surroundings and the “confronter.”
- Keep your distance. Prepare yourself for “flight or fight.”
- Talk with your hands. Talking with your hands will attract attention from on lookers and will keep your hands in the perfect position to defend if need be.
- Look for help. For example just saying in a loud tone “I don’t want any trouble” will get peoples attention. Don’t be afraid to make noise, even scream.
- Arm yourself. Nobody wants a physical confrontation but sometimes the choice is not yours. Take classes with your local gym or Dojo, regular participation in a controlled confrontation is great exercise and will prepare you for any situation. If you carry pepper spray or a tazer, do some test runs.
- Reduce your attraction. If possible do not carry cash on you and keep your electronic devices (e.g. phones, mp3, etc.) locked. If you are out in crowds or new surroundings, wear minimal jewely and make sure your attire is not restrictive in case you must flee an assailant.
Again in any situation it is best to stay calm and assess everything! A calm mind is a deadly and efficient one. I pray none of us are put in this situation but if so remember these tips and hints. Thanks for reading. Peace and Hotep!
Michael “Don” Cornelius Thomas is currently pursuing a degree in medicine and has studied yoga. An experienced boxer, Thomas is also available for personal training. He resides in California.