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.

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.