The best offense? A good self-defense

It’s always important to remember safety on the road, in your home and in regards to your personal health. But how much safety knowledge is necessary for something as simple as a lunch break or a walk around the block?

Cities throughout Michigan all experience varying levels of crime, rape and random street attacks, so it is as important as ever to be proactive in self-defense awareness. Especially alarming incidences like “The Knockout Game,” have also helped display the need for personal protection and consciousness.

There are a variety of options to prepare for anything that could happen in your daily travels though. Here are a couple important reminders to keep in mind for the next time you’re out and about:

  • Travel light whenever possible: should something happen to you, too much baggage can weigh you down. If forced to run or defend yourself, it’s easier to react without the burden of too many belongings.
  • Brace yourself: keep a sharp key chain on your key ring for self-defense purposes. Know the feeling of it in your hand and keep the ring in your pocket in case you need to quickly access the device or your keys themselves. If you have a chemical defense spray, know how to use it and keep it accessible too. Attackers will not wait for you to be prepared…so beat them to it.
  • Remain vigilant: whether you’re walking in a questionable area or not, refrain from keeping your head down or using a cell phone. Look people in the eye and keep your spine straight. Confidence deters potential attackers, even if that confidence is just an act.
  • Travel in packs: the saying “strength in numbers” probably sounds like a broken record to many, but it is true nonetheless. The more people you travel with, the lower your odds of being targeted.
  • Go with your gut: if something feels questionable, it probably is. Find a small business or populated area to retreat to if you think a questionable figure is set to approach you or is following you.
  • Get professional training: self-defense classes have become increasingly prevalent and inexpensive. If there’s a college or university in your area, check out their services as well. Classes and lessons tend to be comprehensive and relatively cheap for men, women and children alike.

The bottom line? Your best offense against being a target is a good defense. Ideally you’ll never have to use these strategies, but it never hurts to be prepared.

Photo credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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