How adapting 4 easy self-defence tips can keep you safer

Taking on a few simple concepts to help protect yourself will help you feel confident in every area of your life. Start today!

Most of us think of learning self-defence to fight off an actual attack. However, there is much more to it than that. If you think about it, it is much easier to deal with an attack before it actually happens by preparing a safety strategy.

Almost all people who fall victim to an attack, say they ‘felt’ that something was wrong sometimes long before anything really happened. Trust your feelings and act on them. And always put safely before ‘being polite’. Self-defence has a huge amount to do with confidence, assertiveness and taking action. The more you apply these principles in everyday life, the safer and happier you will be.

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Effective self-defence doesn’t happen during an attack, it happens well before it

Tip 1: ABC of healthy habits
a) When you are walking to your car have your mobile phone in your hand but don’t be on the phone speaking with someone or browsing the internet. Don't be paranoid or distracted, just be aware.

b) Get into the habit of carrying your car and house keys in your hand so you can get inside quickly. And you can also use it as a ‘weapon' if needed.

c) If you are feeling overly tired then give yourself a night off and stay in.

d) If you come across someone in need who you don’t know then don’t feel embarrassed to keep your car door locked and instead phone for immediate assistance.

e) Keep financial matters private and consider having a trusted locksmith install a deadbolt lock. Review your home safety and ensure there are no easily accessible points in your home such as windows.

Tip 2: Create a safety plan
Start by thinking about easy ways you can stay safe such as taking the main street home in well-lit areas instead of the short cut. Or it may mean that you have someone pick you up after a night out or get a cab. Confidence is important so consider taking a short self defence course or taking up a regular exercise habit to strengthen you physically. Light weights are a great option. Speak to your health professional.

It is important to remember that most people who are on the attack don't actually want to struggle. They don't want to fight. They want an easy ‘victim’. If you look like you'll put up a fight, in most cases, they will look elsewhere. Confidence, or the way you carry yourself is your first line of defence against an attack.

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Being confident is your first line of defence

Tip 3: Trust your intuition
We all have a very reliable ‘inbuilt alarm system’ that warns you of danger. It will tell you if you should be wary of your co-workers inappropriate remarks, or if they are harmless. To some degree it will let you know if it is safe to walk down this path or if you should consider crossing the street at the lights where there are plenty of people around. It tells you this by the way you feel. We all have it, but many of us have learned to override it because we learned to be ‘nice’ and we don’t want to be paranoid for seemingly no reason. It’s called intuition.

An intuition is a feeling such as a hunch, a suspicion or even fear. It is a subconscious warning signal that tells us to investigate further, but without the logic or reasons behind it. It is there for a reason so don’t discard it blindly because someone ‘seems’ nice superficially.

The huge benefit of an intuition is, that it gives us the opportunity to deal with a situation before it really becomes dangerous. Therefore, if you get a hunch that something is wrong, don’t just hope for the best, do something and protect yourself.

Tip 4: Put your safety ahead of ‘being polite’
You need to be willing to make it clear that you are not a victim, that you will stand up for yourself and if necessary fight. If someone approaches you and you have a bad feeling about them you need to stand your ground. The earlier and the more convincingly you do this, the easier this will be. Don’t be embarrassed to get as loud and aggressive as you have to be or to get help from a helpful stranger. This still gives you a chance to defuse the situation early.

Upcoming self defence workshops
FemFatale Essentials: Sun 27th Sep and Sat 3rd October in Sydney ($75, but enter coupon code: WYZA to attend for the special price of $47). 

What do you think of using self defence techniques to make you more confident? Join the conversation below. . .