Last night I was walking out of work and the parking lot was pretty dark as I am walking, I realize that I didn’t follow my own rule…Never walk alone with your hands full. I have this rule as well as several others that I try to follow and share with others so they are more aware of their surroundings. This is something that I learned when I was a teenager taking taekwondo, it doesn’t matter your size, gender, color or anything to someone on a mission to take something or hurt someone. Obviously if you the smaller you are the more likely you will be to be pinned but if they are determined enough they won’t care.
I wanted to share with more than those that surround me how I do my best to stay safe in this crazy world we live in. Now, these are definitely not 100% foolproof but they can help for sure.
Also, keep in mind that I am not a professional and I am just giving advice on what I do or would do and have been taught.
So the biggest rule that I follow is to never walk alone in the dark with your hands full. This is because if a perpetrator is out to get someone YOU will be a prime suspect because you can’t defend yourself if your hands are full. Now if you do find yourself in a situation like I did last night where you totally blank and you walk out into a dark parking lot alone with your hands full, here is what I advise. First make sure you are aware of your surroundings, know who is around you, what you are near and most importantly WHAT you are carrying. When I say that I mean what are you carrying that could potentially be used as a weapon of self defense? Here’s a few things that come to mind:
- We will start with what I had in my hand that could have been used as a weapon, my tumbler cup and plastic straw. No I am not talking one of those flimsy straws, I mean a sturdy legit plastic straw. This can be used as a weapon for sure. Yank it out of the cup and go for the eyes and BAM, down they go! Then open up the cup pour the contents on the, smack them over the head with it and run.
- Keys, we all have keys of some sorts. Even in todays modernized smart home world, we have at least one key. What do you do with said key? Well you wedge it nice and tight between two fingers on your dominant hand and start walking. If a perp comes for you you have your weapon ready to go, all you need to do is punch and it will most definitely puncture them a good bit. The best places to try and aim for are the face, neck and abdomen. Any of those spots are sure to at least take their attention away long enough for you to get away.
- Cellphone, yes I am 100% sure you were probably walking out with it in your hand. YOu were probably texting or chatting away on it as you walked out into that deep dark parking lot not even thinking about what could happen. Well first off that fancy phone your flaunting around just made you a prime target, it’s out, its probably not gripped very well and it is on so they know it works. Well IF you do find yourself in a sticky situation with your phone in your hand, smash their face in using it. Seriously, phones are replaceable, you my dear friend, are not. It isn’t worth it. Smash their face and run (try to keep your phone in your hand when you do so that way you can call for help after you are far enough away) phones these days are plenty big enough so they will do a decent amount of damage.
- This one is for the ladies, well actually theres the murse now too so well just say it is for anyone carrying a bag. Hell could even be a backpack. This is a good one because it can be used in so many ways. So we’ll go with the simplest maneuver first, hit em with it. Pull it off swing it around and beat the crap out of them with it, it is a bag so it is going to have some weight and do SOME sort of damage. Then if they catch the bag from you not a big deal, that means now THEIR hands are full and you have a quick head start to get running, again, the bag is replaceable as well as its contents, YOU are not. Leave the damn thing and run. Next, take the bag by the strap and wrap it around the perps neck and pull the adjustment strap until its tight enough to sort of take their breath away, we don;t want to kill them, just maybe incapacitate them a little so you can get away. This one is assuming they don’t have a weapon themselves and you catch a moment to get in close enough to do so. But it only takes a second to swing it around and lasso it like a bull in a rodeo. Lastly for this you can also take the bag and just dump it, this one is super easy! Literally open it up dump the contents and run like a bat outta hell, they will be so confused and want to see what it is you’ve dropped they won’t even bother with you until you are far enough away you are probably safe.
- You have limbs USE THEM. This will make you laugh, but anyone will tell you that I am one to bring humor into everything. Drop everything, literally, all of it, drop it right there on the ground STAT. The flail like a toddler whose mother is trying to put those adorable footie pajamas on after they haven’t napped and are way over tired. Flail, let it out, bust a move, start singing go to town. They will not know what the hell you are doing and be so confused they won’t see it coming when you decide to throw some jabs and bows at them. For real, it’ll work.
Next we move on to the next rule: This one should be common sense, if you are worried about an area, do not go alone. If you are in a new environment and do not know your way around and it is dark or seems weary, have someone you know walk with you, invite them to go wherever you are going and walk together. Two sets of senses are always better than one! If you are at work and find yourself there late and walking out alone, move your car to a closer spot earlier in the day (we will cover this more in the next topic). If it can be avoided, avoid it. If you know you are going to a party in an area you don’t know then take someone with you. It’s that simple. If you can’t find someone to tag along then make sure to pick up some mace, and carry the least amount of crap you can, only the necessities. Worst case see the above rule.
On to the next one…you are at work and it’s been a hectic day, next thing you know it’s 9pm and pitch black out and everyone else has left for the day. Crap. What should you do? Well a few things, if you work in a bigger building or company chances are there is some sort of security patrol, I would recommend you give them a call and ask for one of them to walk you out. If not and you are really that worried (ie you work downtown and are parked in a parking garage or something along those lines) then call the local police station and see if someone can come walk you out. Worst case you have to wait a while because it is not considered an emergency. There is also the chance that you’ve got some cleaning people and chances are one of them (unless you have some strange cleaning company) would be more than willing to walk you out, if it a female worker you can always offer to give them a ride back to the entrance so they don’t have to walk back alone. But, in all honesty here is what you SHOULD have done. Even if I am not sure if I will be there late I will move my car on lunch to a spot in the lot that is closer, if there is not a closer spot then at least attempt to get one around a bright light. The other option is find a quick potty break, run out unnoticed, move it and return to work with a lighter chest knowing you will be safe when you leave no matter the time. Once again, worst case revert to rule number 1 and find something in your hands to use as a weapon!
Last rule and by far the most important rule of them all. Take a self defense class, learn some moves to take a perp down. I will share some images at the end here (not my own but if I can find some stick figures to use I will, HA). There will unfortunately be at least one point in your life that you will encounter a scary situation where someone is out to get you. Todays society is mean and angry and they do not need a reason to get you other than you looked at them funny through a cement wall. You laugh but it is the reality of it, the sad reality and it is mortifying to know that I am raising two beautiful and amazing kiddos into it. Anyways, back to self defense classes. They are worth the money and it typically does not take more than a couple. Hell most places offer a free week or month trial before you sign up, that in and of itself is sufficient. However, if you are not able to afford taking the classes, there is always YouTube! One of these days I will pop on and show you me doing some of the moves, that day is not today though! So what can you find on YouTube for self defense? Well I will take this a step further and do some searching for you!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORAOkP1h3R0 – this guy is great, now you have to listen closely to understand him. I like how he shows the techniques from both directions.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HZXiUouqII – lengthy but GOOD, also shows how to fight when weapons are used.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAN4GxamfA0 – ahhh good old pressure points! These are great, because they are very easy to learn and utilize!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvK7aaKlJFE – I like this one due to him showing the most common attack techniques.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8BVx2S6IMo – this one is for the kids, we currently have ours enrolled in Taekwondo and I love that they are so enveloped in it. It teaches so much more than self defense, it shows them structure and discipline.
There are hundreds of videos out there to teach you some of the most basic moves and they are free! If you can read this you have access to the internet and access to the videos! So I have babbled on about all these rules and some advice on how to defend yourself in a situation and I hope that you learned at least something from it. If you did not read the whole thing and just skimmed over it and are reading the ending then chances are you did not learn anything. So if you did here is a recap with a bonus (because you’ll need it, not because you’re special).
- Best advice, know your surroundings. If you are somewhere new do some research on the area, it doesn’t need to be anything FBI investigation worthy, just light so that you know most of the major streets, stores, bars and restaurants as these are all places that you will most likely be able to find help if you do end up getting attacked.
- Never have full hands, if you do have your hands full use whats most accessible as a weapon, or at least go back and read the first paragraph 🙂
- Flail, dance, sing, then throw punches when they least expect it.
- If you are feeling a bit on the weary side about your walk, do not go alone. Find a security person, cop, friend, relative, dog, anyone that you know to accompany you.
- Move your car to a well lit and closer spot at some point in your work day.
- Learn some self defense classes aren’t that expensive and are worth every penny. If you can’t afford them the there is YouTube and YouTube is free.
Bonus – USE YOUR VOICE!!! If a perp comes at you, they will expect you to be afraid and scared, show them you mean business by using one simple thing, have a strong and stern voice, have confidence in yourself, you will feel it and they will hear it. Screaming and crying feeds their hunger, it shows them you are afraid and weak and that tells them they can take you because you are vulnerable and we do not want that. Talk to them like you talk to your kid (if you have one) when they do something wrong. Do not let them best you by screaming like a little one that has just discovered they too can sound like a tiny pterodactyl.
Now I must say this again, I am not a professional. I am a strong female that has learned a lot and in some of the worst ways and these techniques have saved my rear at least once so I figured I would share them with the world. Well for the part of the world that wants to read it anyways!