With statistics showing that there are over 1.2 million violent crimes across America each year, including muggings, assaults, rapes, and other attacks, more and more people are beginning to take self-defense seriously in order to defend themselves against would-be attackers.
Not everyone is able to take self-defense classes on a regular basis or hit the gym regularly enough to build up an intimidating physique, not to mention the fact that the laws regarding self-defense are sometimes a little difficult to decipher, making it hard to know what is and isn't allowed.
However, there are some simple and effective ways you can keep yourself safe in dangerous situations, and you don't need to be a kung fu master to figure them out. Here are some of our top tips for self-defense that might just save your life.
One of the simplest things you can start doing to make yourself safer while out and about is to be constantly aware of your environment. Too many people find themselves walking along the street staring at their phones or lost in their thoughts, giving attackers the ability to catch them unawares.
By observing your environment and keeping your gaze all around you, you can identify possible threats to your safety more easily, as well as being able to take evasive action, looking for well-lit streets you can run down or nearby open bars or businesses you could go to if you think you're in danger.
You might not even realize it, but your bodily movements and walking style could actually be making you a more viable target for potential attackers while out and about. Walking in a slouched manner, with your head down to the ground, makes you appear weaker and less confident overall.
Nobody wants to look like an easy target, so adjusting your walking style can make a big difference to your chances of safety while out and about. You don't need to go too far and draw too much attention yourself, but start lifting your head and putting your shoulders back as you walk to appear more confident and sure of yourself.
When finding themselves in a dangerous situation or confrontation with an attacker, many people go silent, relying on the muscles in their arms and legs to try and defend themselves, rather than thinking about the use of their voice.
Shouting or screaming a simple word like "No!" or "Stop!" can actually have a huge impact on any would-be attacker, sometimes stopping them right in their tracks, as well as potentially alerting any nearby people who might be able to come to your aid.
Target Key Areas
If the worst case scenario comes to pass and you find yourself in a physical confrontation with an attacker, simply letting them do whatever they want is rarely the right course of action.
You don't need to be an experienced fighter to keep yourself safe in these kinds of situations, and your focus should be on simply incapacitating or distracting your attacker long enough for you to get out of there.
With this in mind, remember the key target areas where you can do a lot of damage like the eyes, throat, or groin. Target these spots and try to get out of the situation as quickly and safely as possible.
Follow Your Instincts
By our very nature, humans want to stay safe, avoid conflict, and keep themselves alive, and your body can provide you with a lot of signals, signs, and subconscious messages when it feels threatened or in danger. It may sound cliché, but following your instincts can help to save your life.
If you feel like a street or alley doesn't look too safe, it probably isn't, so don't run the risk of walking down it. If you think someone walking your way looks a little threatening, take out your phone and call a friend, cross the street, or hail down a cab and get a ride somewhere else.
Taking self-defense classes is a great way to prepare yourself for potentially dangerous and scary situations, but in the meantime, these simple tips can help you feel safer and have a better chance of protecting yourself too.
So, the next time you find yourself out and about in the city after dark or walking along an empty street, potentially at risk of an attacker, remember these useful techniques and do whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe.