Safety in Everyday Living Summary

The purpose of my blogs over the course of this semester was to convey the importance of self-awareness in terms of safety of the individual and the family.

Please checkout my video presentation which addresses safety and self-defense.

A great deal of my evidence is based on my thirty + years of experience in martial arts and self-defense. I chose to illustrate my argument with images and photos, personal examples, outside sources, narratives, and some statistics.

My first post discussed my background in self-defense and my purpose in choosing this area of discussion for the blog post assignments in the Digital and Multimedia Writing class at Clayton State University.

The second post covered some of the things you might want to do when you’re out and about taking care of business every day. The discussion involved knowing what to carry in order to help protect yourself and having it handy for quick access when needed. The conversation revolved around the need to be aware in public in unguarded moments when you are most likely to be accosted by an attacker. The blog summed up ten suggestions to take when you are alone and in public.

In the third post, the conversation revolved around the 4 “F” in any stressful situation involving an assailant. These are the instinct to “Fight,” Face,” “Freeze,” or “Flight.” Depending on your training, one of these four things will occur in a confrontation. Some folks will fight their attacker. Some will simply face their assailant and calmly judge what to do next. Some people will freeze in confusion. Their brains will simply short circuit, and they will do nothing, allowing the assailant to obtain the advantage in the situation. And some will flee, their fear taking control, forcing them to turn and run as fast as they can. Your level of awareness will certainly govern which of these four “Fs” takes control in a tricky situation.

The fourth blog covered the area of family and child safety. It discussed the importance of being correctly conditioned “to respond to these types of situations.” And the fact that no amount of training can guarantee your safety in every case. But knowing what to do and having practiced it repeatedly will certainly create a greater chance of a good outcome in a bad situation. For example, carrying a can of mace or pepper spray is a good idea for anyone who is out and about doing daily chores like shopping exercising. It is also important to understand that what you see on TV and in the movies is ALL choreographed and almost none of what the actors and actresses portray will work in real life. This blog also discussed the importance of teaching your children a password that only the family knows. In any situation involving a child, if the adult doesn’t know the password, the child cannot go with them under any circumstance.

But the real enemy of safety in life situations is complacence. It’s getting into the habit of taking things for granted so that you don’t place much importance on them. That’s the kind of thing the bad guys look for.

Remember. Be Alert. Be Safe. Be Happy.

Be Smart. Be Prepared. Be Safe

In the past few blogs, I have discussed the importance of being aware of your surroundings at all times when you are out and about. I cannot emphasize this enough but don’t be paranoid about it. I have also talked about the actual physical reaction you go through when a scary situation happens to you—the four “F’s.”

“What’s the password, mister?”

            Today, I want to talk about the importance of being correctly conditioned to respond to these types of situations. Keep in mind that no amount of training will guarantee your safety in every case. There are also those random events that seem to come out of nowhere, which we do not have control any over, e.g., the coronavirus pandemic, a plane crash, etc.. Still, training will minimize the number of random events, like a mugging, that can happen to anyone.

            For example, don’t just go out and buy a can of mace or canister of pepper spray and think you will be able to use it effectively without any training. That’s a conceit, not common sense. You should purchase a bottle or two and practice with them in an open area so you can see how far the spray will go and how full is the concentration. Is it effective past a specific range? How steady is the stream? Which one is the most effective?

            You should also consider where your protection should be staged. You negate its purpose if you have it stuffed in the bottom of your purse, for example. You’ll never get to it in time if a situation jumps off. Plus, it gives you a false sense of security. You need to have it staged close by for instant access.

            It the assailant covers his eyes from the spray, aim for the nostrils or mouth. Your shower will discharge in a few seconds. Once it tapers off, you need to think about hoofing it to a place of safety as quickly as possible. Don’t just assume one little squirt will do the job. You need to saturate the perpetrator assailant thoroughly while you are moving away from danger to a spot of safety, preferably where there are other people, screaming at the top of your lungs. Unless you are a trained martial artist, do not engage an assailant. I cannot emphasize this enough.

Take that you creep!

            The ideal scenario would be one where you go to some type of real training with an expert to cover as many probable situations as possible. Maybe even some martial arts training. But earning a belt is not necessary for most people. Simple practice routines will work. Like giving your kids a password to use so they can’t be tricked by strangers or having a quick-release holster if you carry, etc. Most of it is just common sense.

            Do not be fooled by what you see in the movies or on TV. It is ALL choreographed, and almost none of it will work in a real-life situation. It is shown only for dramatic effect. Martial arts is only useful if you train for real situations. I once knew of a guy who had three black belts (yes, and he earned them all) who got his rear end handed to him in a road-rage incident. In the heat of the moment, he forgot all his training, and the other guy, a weight-lifter, handed him two black eyes and a busted ego. He was trained but let his ego take control instead of common sense. So you might ask, what good does all that training do if you can’t use it when you need it. Remember, his mistake was letting his ego get in the way of his common sense. Don’t do the same thing he did. Trying to fight a weight-lifter bare-handed is not the same as squeezing the trigger on a container of pepper spray. There is a world of difference between the two.

            The real enemy of safety is complacence. It’s getting into a habit where you take things for granted, assuming you are safe in your everyday routine. That’s the kind of thing the bad guys look for. In fact, they count on it. Don’t become a victim of your own careless behavior.

            Be smart. Be prepared. Be safe.

The Four “F’s”

In last week’s blog, I spoke about the necessity of being alert when out in public and what you should do to protect yourself from a harmful solicitation (mugging). In this week’s blog, I want to talk about what happens when you are surprised by someone who means to harm you. It’s called the “fight or flight” response.

“F” or “F”

When you are accosted suddenly and without warning, your body and mind act in a predictable manner. Chemically, your body ramps up to meet the challenge by the release of certain hormones—your heartbeat increases. Your breathing becomes more rapid. You begin to sweat, perhaps even tremble. Your adrenaline reaches higher and higher levels as you prepare for either fighting or fleeing. It’s nature’s way of saving your life. This is called the “Fight or Flight” response.  

How you react to this stimulation depends on how you have trained. By that, I mean, how and how much you have practiced reacting to a given situation. If you have absolutely no training, your most probable reaction will be to either immediately jump into a fight with your opponent, or you will immediately hoof-it as fast as you can to somewhere you perceive as safety.

“F or F or F”

In addition to the “fight” or “flight” response, there is a third possible reaction.

Freezing.

The sudden onslaught has confused and bewildered you. Perhaps you have even been struck physically by an assailant. Your clouded mind cannot think of what to do. So you freeze and do nothing while your assailant completes his attack without you even fighting back or fleeing.

“Four F’s”

Now we will look at a possible fourth reaction.

Facing.

This is a place where you have perceived a possible detrimental situation. Because of your training, you have been able to quickly judge the circumstances and have decided to face your attacker, hopefully with some defensive weapon in your hand. You wait to see what his intentions are. He understands that you are armed. Now, he is put in the position of either fighting or fleeing. And since most blind-sided attackers—you know, the ones that like to sucker-punch people—are cowards, he will either pretend to need some assistance (“you gotta’ light?”) or turn aside and walk away saying nothing at all. (keep in mind, the pretense of needing help may be a ploy to get closer to you. Just say no).

Being adequately prepared every time you go out by being properly trained is essential to your well-being and that of your family. Training and self-defense devices give you a more significant advantage in situations regarding personal and family safety than having no training, or no self-defense devices does. So give yourself an edge. Get self-defense devices. Get safety training. Be prepared.

When You’re Out and About

DMW — Blog 2

Personal Safety in Everyday Life

I thought I would start this second blog of safety in everyday life with a general discussion of personal well-being in your daily routine. When you depart the security of your home, what should you carry, if anything, and what should you be aware of in the way of protection for yourself and your family regardless of your sex.

Not today, pal.

            First, you should always carry something in the way of a self-defense device. By that, I mean, you should bring some type of interjector (device) that enhances your self-protection. It could be a whistle or loud personal alarm of some sort. There are many offered on the market today. These can and should be attached to your keychain in some manner, which allows quick and easy access in a time of need. You might also look at the latest repellant, such as pepper spray (my favorite) or a tear gas spray of some type. That, too, you can attach to your key chain for quick access. Please understand. Most adverse situations jump off very quickly, and you must be able to react accordingly. Anything that delays your reaction to what’s coming at you is likely to work to your detriment. Having these safety devices on a key chain or a shirt pocket or even a bracelet gives you quick access to something that may save you from injury or worse.

            For ordinary individuals, I don’t recommend weapons like knives, batons, or even guns unless you are well-trained in the use of such weapons. The ignorant use of these is more likely to cause harm to yourself than to others.

            If your carry, then always keep in mind that the weapon is only useful if you can use it promptly. By that, I mean, in some cases, if the action jumps off before you can pop the flap, then a firearm isn’t much good to you, is it? Overreliance on a gun gives people a false sense of security and overconfidence in their ability to handle close-quarter situations.

            In any case, the best defense posture for you to have is to be aware of those situations, which may provide an assailant an opportunity to engage you, regardless of his motive. I gave an example in my first blog, which illustrates the kind of situation in which you should be alert but are distracted by pressing current events.

            I always stop for a moment as I am taking my keys out of my pocket right before I open my car door and take a quick look around to see who is watching me. Just this one little thing may save you a lot of grief. A bad guy always looks for an easy mark . . . those who are not paying attention to their surroundings. If he sees you are alert, he will most likely seek an easier victim. You know . . .  the one who isn’t paying attention.

            Remember !!!

1. Try not to walk alone, especially at night. Darkness and isolation can draw threats.

2. Walk steadily and with confidence.

3. Try not to “show” your wealth. Leave the gold & diamonds at home when shopping.

4. Travel with friends. There’s safety in numbers.

5. Go into the light and seek help if you feel like you’re being followed.

6. If in unfamiliar territory, seek advice from locals as to which areas to avoid.

7. Know your destination and how to get there before you leave.

8. At night, avoid parks and travel in well-lit areas with friends.

9. Casually look around you as you walk with your head up. Walk away from threats.

10. Don’t be distracted by smartphones. You can talk but look around too. Especially when entering a vehicle.

Self-Defense for Safe Living

Most of us get so busy during the day that we fail to think about the things that will keep us safe. Safe from the environment. And safe from each other.

That’s not to say that we should be paranoid all the time. You know, always looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re not being followed. That’s a silly way to live.

Or not paying attention to the things in the environment that are dangerous and can hurt us or our family.

I would like to dedicate this site, for a period of time, as a forum. Not just me lecturing about everyday safety, but also to answer questions and give advice (if I can) to those who may be in need of guidance concerning safe living.