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Every day, each and every one of us takes unnecessary risks. These risks are taken with the idea that "Nothing will happen to me." I do not suggest you become afraid to leave your home. I do suggest everyone be aware of his or her surroundings.

There is no substitute for a good self-defense class but there are many things a person can do to make their life a little safer. The following tips are for those who have had little or no training

1. BE CAUTIOUS. Any knowledge can be helpful but don’t allow it to become harmful, by giving oneself a false sense of security. A technique that isn't practiced on a regular basis often has no effect. Mainly because the person freezes and doesn't remember the technique!

2. NO technique works 100% of the time in any given situation. If you try something and it doesn't work, don't freeze. Move on to something else.

For everyone here are some other simple rules to remember.

1. The only wrong move in self-defense is no move at all. Scream, kick, claw and fight back. Use all your available weapons. These include hands, teeth, head, knees, feet and elbows.

2. Keep your head and stay calm. Hysterics do you no good and will only get you hurt. There is nothing wrong with faking hysterics, faints or submission. It can often lull an attacker himself, into a false sense of security. Your best weapon is surprise.

3. Listen to your sixth sense, it is there for a reason. If you have a gut feeling not to go into a parking garage or dark lot, then don’t. Call security to have them walk you out. They are there for a reason so take advantage of it and make them earn their salary.

4. Be aware of your surroundings. Men are NOT the only ones to sexually assault, rob or murder. Texas executed a woman this past year. She killed her victims using a pick ax. Woman, are also used as bait or distractions. Many times there is a partner in crime hiding out of sight, waiting for someone to pause to help a woman in need.

5.Every woman has been told to kick an attacker “where it hurts.” This is great except for one little problem. Every man has had a mother, sister or wife who has been told the same exact thing. This means just about every man is expecting a knee to the groin area. There is nothing wrong with trying this technique. It just may not be as effective as your mother claimed. There is one thing to remember though. Groin kicks or hits hurt men AND women. Ask any woman who has had experience in Karate tournaments and they will verify this.
6. Do not shut your eyes when hitting, screaming, or blocking. Keep them wide open and focused. When hitting, try to drive your fist or hand through the attacker while screaming at the same time. This will often focus the hit and make it more effective.

7. SCREAM! False alarm is better than not getting help when needed. Fire will often get a quicker response than rape. The amazing thing in teaching self-defense to women, they often can’t scream. Tell the attacker NO! Be forceful about it so you don’t sound like the Chip and Dale
cartoon characters. Practice the ability to say no. So many women have been taught all their lives not to say no to others. It is a handicap that needs to be overcome.
8. A weapon of any type is of no use lost in a purse or drawer. Keep all pepper spray, weapons and personal alarms where they can be gotten to in an instant. Practice drawing and using these things so you will be familiar with their use. Firearms are of little or no use unless you are proficient with that particular weapon. A Ruger 9mm works quite different than a Colt revolver or a Marlin 30-30. Is there a safety on the weapon? If so, practice using it under pressure, so the act of disengaging it becomes second nature. When drawing a weapon, be ready to USE it. The situation can become much more dangerous if an attacker knows you are bluffing.

9. There is no material object that is worth your life. If asked to hand over a purse or car keys, find out if they are wanted air mailed or hand delivered. All things can be replaced expect human life.

10. If you are able to get free - run away! Don’t stick around to see if an attacker is hurt or about to get back up. Who cares? There is a simple motto to follow concerning this.

HE WHO RUNS AWAY, LIVES TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY.