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Insuring Your Own Safety: Self-Defense Can Save Your Life

Self-defense techniques can be crucial, even lifesaving knowledge. Although there are many forms of self-defense, they are generally defined within two categories. Avoidance measures ensure safety by trying to prevent potential hazardous situations. Defensive methods engage in protective activities in response to an actual attack or life-threatening scenario. Although avoidance measures and defense methods should be taught within a well-rounded self-defense curriculum, the following is useful when considering techniques and options available.

  • A Women’s Guide to The University of Chicago: Protecting Yourself
  • University of Colorado: Communique: Staff Council receives self-defense advice
  • Loyola University, Maryland: Self Defense: Learn To Fight Back, Protect Yourself
  • Pasadena City College: Crime Tips
  • El Camino College: Crime Prevention Tips On and Off Campus

Examples of effective avoidance tactics include walking with a purpose. Having a confident posture may deter potential attackers away. Also, when working late be sure to leave with co-workers and walk within well-lit areas that are sure to be seen by others. Walking in the middle of the sidewalk, rather than the side by foliage or the street may prevent kidnapping or attacks from people hiding in shrubs or bushes or those coming by car. Be sure to keep car doors locked at all times and try to have a key ring with an alarm system in case of emergency. As local governments have different laws and regulations on defense sprays, consider checking with the local law enforcement agency on pepper spray or mace.

  • The College of Davidson and Davie Counties: Quick Self Defense Tips
  • National Institute of Justice: Certain Self-Defense Actions Can Decrease Risk
  • North Dakota State University: Self- Defense: Tips from the Streets of Marseilles
  • Wayne State College: Self-Defense Tips
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: University Police: Campus Safety
  • California State University, San Bernadino: Coyote Safety

Defense methods are those that include physical push, restrain or contact, or even when electing to include weapons such as knives or firearms or non-lethal weapons such as taser or stun guns. Most defense methods should only be used when a life is in danger or bodily harm seems inevitable. Athletic courses can be taught to be used in self-defense situations. Karate, Jujitsu, boxing and general self-defense classes are all great options for those in good shape and physically fit. Stun guns are legal in most states and are an affordable option for added safety. Conveniently sized and shaped, some are even camouflaged to look like a cell phone, lipstick or other every day item so the attacker is unaware of the potential danger. Weapons courses are another great way to feel more secure. Pocket knives and hand guns should be considered a last alternative, though may come in handy in life or death situations. Rape aggression defense classes are common throughout the country and include realistic self-defense techniques for women during a 12 hour course.

  • University of Virginia: Women’s Center, Sexual and Domestic Violence Services: Self-Defense Classes: What to look for in an appropriate self defense class
  • Virginia Tech: Self Defense: RAD
  • The Police Notebook: University of Oklahoma Police Department: Personal Safety Devices: Do these gadgets really work?
  • Ohio University: Police Department: Rape Aggression Defense Systems (R.A.D.) Radically Changing Defense for Women
  • Illinois Valley Community College: Experts offer self-defense tips
  • University of Oregon: The Fundamentals of Firearm Safety
  • St Louis University: A Basic Firearm Tutorial: Statistics for Firearm-Related Deaths
  • Tulane University: Basic Firearms Safety Rules
  • State of California Department of Justice: Office of the Attorney General: Tips for Gun Owners
  • Department of Social and Health Services, State of Washington: Children’s Administration: Gun SafetyTips
  • City of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee: Lawrenceburg Police Department: Gun Safety

People of all ages can experience moments where they feel unsafe or feel they are at risk of bodily harm or property loss. Learning self-defense techniques may reduce the risk of danger and provide an added sense of security and confidence. Although there are many techniques available, general self-defense should include both defensive and avoidance techniques. This includes safety tips such as locking doors, walking in groups and staying in well-lit areas to prevent attack and fighting, and defending oneself if attacked. Both techniques should be learned so prevention and execution can both be utilized, if need be, as proper knowledge attained prior to dangerous situations can save lives.

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