Self-protection Tips

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By Sifu Lawrence Hochobeb

– Emit an alert, confident attitude that will prevent most attackers from selecting you as their victim.
Make sure that your body language and attitude let people know that you know they are there without acting scared or challenging them. Move as if you are sure about where you are going. Instead of staring at someone aggressively or looking away passively, glance briefly towards the person and then continue on your way.

– Take charge of the space around you so that a potential attacker does not have the opportunity to get close to you.
If you are in an isolated place, move away from people who seem like they might be a threat to you. Just leave and get to a safe place. If someone is being rude or calling you to come over, you could simply act as if there is no problem – smile, wave or say something neutral like, “hi” or “no thanks” or “sorry”. If someone starts confronting you and you can’t just leave, take charge by setting a boundary. Tell the person politely and assertively what you want. Be sure to use a calm firm and loud voice and strong neutral body language.

– Know where safety is and how to get help.
Always have a plan for where you would go if you have a problem. Be willing to make a scene and order onlookers and persons walking by to call the police or come to your aid. Be willing to embarrass, inconvenience or offend other people in order to protect yourself.

– As a last resort, know how to forcefully defend yourself.
Be prepared to keep fighting until you feel it is safe to leave and get help. Strategies can be yelling at members of the public for help and hitting and kicking the attacker.
Whatever you do, sound, look and act with MEANING! Do what you can to prevent being robbed, however, remember that you are more important than your property hence I do not recommend that you fight over your property since the risk of injury or even being murdered goes up if you keep the robber from taking your possessions. Your things can be replaced but your life cannot.
However, every situation is different and you have to evaluate the situation in order for you to take the best course of action.

Summary
Use your awareness to notice trouble and to avoid being chosen as a victim. Leave if you can. Yell for help. Fight if you have to.

– Sifu Lawrence Hochobeb is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Namibia Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy.

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