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Typically when we think about self defence we are reminded of action movies, where the main character is highly trained in combat, defends him/her self and fights off bad guys. However, having trained in different martial arts for over 20 years and a lot time researching self defence, I have simplified it into 4 basic areas.
Attitude: First you must walk with confidence, regardless of where you are. Most victims are people who seem insecure or helpless. It’s sort of like a self fulfilling prophecy, act like you’re vulnerable and you will become one. Walking with your head up, show that you’re in control and you know where you’re going.
Awareness: Know your surroundings. Where you are and who is around you is important aspect of self defence, especially if you’re in public places. Take notice of who is walking in front of you, beside you and behind you. Noticing your surrounding gives you time to think and react rather being caught off guard.
Avoidance: The best self defence is having to avoid confrontation altogether. I have an interesting incident to share with you of when I was 16 years old. I had just started training Taekwondo and trainings ended 10 pm. I was at the bus station by 11 pm waiting to get home when I noticed in the glass window a man standing behind me looking in my direction. I didnt think much of it and looked back to see what he was looking at. As I looked at him he smiled and licked his lips. I thought perhaps it’s dry air and he needed to wet his lips. When I took a second look, he did the same thing again. Understandably, I was little freaked out, inside. I saw a bus that had arrived and wasn’t even going in my direction. I hopped on and avoided the situation altogether.
Action: If there is ever a chance that you’re being attacked and you need to fight for yourself, remember we are instinctive creatures. While you will learn the basics of self defence, such as kicking punching, loosening grabs and holds in martial arts school, you have many natural tools at your disposal. Such as head butts and scratching, gouging the eyes and screaming to get out of danger. At the end of the day, it’s about your survival and there is no perfect way of defending yourself. In a street fight anything goes and if it’s unwarranted attack, you must do whatever it takes to defend yourself. The most important thing is you coming home safely to your family.
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