Sunday, January 3, 2010

10 Self-Defense Prevention/Awareness Mistakes

The last few months have been incredibly busy with work and the holidays. I was often rushing here and there while trying to accomplish many things simultaneously. I would catch myself breaking some of the basic tenants of self-defense prevention/awareness strategies. I shake my head and say "I should know better!" Every once in a while it is good to review the basics.

10 Self-Defense Prevention/Awareness Mistakes

1. Walking alone or running alone with head phones. This is my personal awareness pet peeve. I see people doing this every day. Take a look around your neighborhood and see how many people are plugged in and not paying attention.

2. Gas tank on E. I catch myself driving on fumes way too often. I think I can get to one more destination before I need to pump gas. My Dad fills up the moment it reads half a tank. I should be more like my Dad. :)

3. Distracted. Who hasn't been busy...overburdened with packages, on the phone, texting, etc. Make awareness a self-defense priority.

4. Unlocked. Lock your car and home (including windows). I only have one set of car keys and tend to leave the car unlocked. I need to get an additional key and lock up.

5. Ripping not shredding documents. I have a shredder but it is in the garage. I need to shred documents/mail with personal information instead of ripping them up.

6. Not carrying a cell phone. I have gotten in the habit of leaving my cell phone at home. I need to carry it and keep it charged in case of a family emergency.

7. Keys at the bottom of a purse. Always have your keys ready. I am good at this one because I do not often carry a purse. :)

8. No emergency car kit. I put a flashlight back in my car. Other useful items...blanket, band-aids, fix-a-flat/pump, flare and tire gauge.

9. Forgetting where you parked the car. This happened to me once this shopping season. When the parking lots get crowded, my usual parking area was full. I parked in the nearest available space. The only problem...I did not initially remember where my car was parked.

10. Women going to parties/bars alone. My husband added this one to the list and it is his personal self-defense prevention/awareness pet peeve.

There are many more but these are the ones that immediately came to mind. Please add to the list!


Anonymous said...

Geez. I think I did everything on the list. I need to be more aware of my surroundings.

SueC said...

Happy new year Michele! This is an excellent reminder to us all of how to keep safe in a variety of circumstances. I hadn't thought about keeping the car filled up as a self-defence strategy but of course it is.

I think the only things I can think of to add to the list would be 1. Don't leave your drinks unguarded in a pub/bar and 2.Don't slavishly follow your satnav - it can lead you into trouble!

Michele said...

Hi Sue...Happy New Year.

Thanks for adding to the list. Keeping drinks guarded is excellent advice.

You make a good point about navigational systems. I do not have a GPS but ran into trouble as a passenger. My family went on a weekend trip to DC. My sister was driving and was following a GPS. We ended up circling DC twice before we found our way back to the hotel. We realized it after we passed the Washington Monument for the second time.

Felicia said...

Hey there, Michele! I like the idea about keeping keys at the ready. One of my training partners always reminds us of this as we are leaving class (the parking lot is dark); he not only keeps his handy but in his hand with the door/ignition key between two fingers in case he needs to jab someone somewhere "special" eh-em. I never forget that one - although I, too, drive on fumes far too often. Horrible in terms of self-defense/awareness and bad for your car as well, I hear...

Michele said...

Hi Felicia! Thank you for commenting.

I am going to try to break my habit of driving with a near empty gas tank. A friend of mine never lets his tank go below half and always has one car with a full tank.

Perpetual Beginner said...

A friend taught me the keys between the fingers trick, but warned me never to use my actual car key as the jabbing weapon (it stays in my palm). Her reasoning is that if you may bend the key in hitting somebody with it, and you'll need the car key to get away!

Michele said...

PB: Good tip!

I hold my keys in a fist. The keys are exposed at the end of my hand. Holding the keys this way...I think about a raking motion rather than a jab.

Felicia said...

I was thinking more of jabbing/striking a SOFT spot - think family jewels, cheek or pec. area - which won't break the key. Holding the key totally in your palm might hurt your hand, no?

Going to fill up my gas tank now...

Michele said...

Felicia: Good point...the soft areas would not damage a key.

I am going to experiment with different ways to hold keys. I usually have several keys exposed at the end of my hand. The key rings are in my palm (I have a lot of keys). I think about the applications of the Tekko kata. Sounds like a topic for a future blog post. :) My husband carries a pen with similar applications.

I filled up my gas tank yesterday.