Personal Safety and Self Defense Tips
By Master Nick Bradley
Situational awareness is your key to safety and self-defense. Do not make yourself an easy target.
Be aware of your surroundings and know the behavioral climate of the people around you.
Walk with confidence and do not hesitate to make eye contact with people. If someone is following you or scoping you out, making eye contact with them can be a strong deterrent.
Do not walk with headphones or earbuds in. You cannot hear anything happening around you and can easily be taken by surprise.
Do not walk and bury yourself in your mobile phone, again this makes you oblivious to your surroundings.
Keep your hands free. Do not walk with your hands in your pockets. This lowers your response time if being attacked or should you have to take a fall.
If you are not alone, remember, those with you might also be relying on you for safety and protection.
Trust your instincts. If a situation does not feel right or you just feel like you are in danger, do what you need to do to remedy the situation. If this means leaving, do not hesitate to do so. It is better to be smart and alive than brave and dead.
Should an incident take place where you need to resort to physical contact, keep in mind that your goal is to de-escalate and get you and your companions home safely.
Again, if you are not alone, remember, those with you might also be relying on you for safety and protection.
Attempt to maintain distance from the aggressor.
Act with confidence and make as much noise as possible to draw attention to the situation. Use strong and loud verbal cues to try and dissuade them from attacking. Attackers often look for weak targets. Don’t be one.
If you can escape the situation without engaging, do not hesitate to do so.
This is not a contest in a ring and there is no such thing as a fair fight.
Only act enough to stop the confrontation. Once you gain the advantage, if you continue the assault the target, you are now the aggressor.
Martial arts are an excellent form of self-defense, but do not be afraid to legally conceal carry a firearm or blade. If you are going to carry a weapon, train with it.
If you can de-escalate, disengage, and escape, do so.
Contact local law enforcement and file a report on the situation. You might just save someone else’s life.
About the Author: Nick Bradley is a lifelong student of Grandmaster Jae Jeannotte and a Master of American Jae Mu Kwan Hapkido. He has over 25 years of experience in physical and cyber security with a specialization in threat assessment and incident response coordination. Additionally, Nick is a veteran of the United States Army and is the current Georgia State Director of the USA Hapkido Union.