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Prepare for confrontation


Some ways to prepare for confrontation.


Stay aware of your surroundings. Make sure you know the area or establishment you are going to. If you sense danger or extreme risk, do not go there. Once you are in an area or building, make a mental note of how to escape. Also, look for ready weapons, such as sticks, chairs, saltshakers, ashtrays, etc. Sit or stand with your back to a solid wall so your back is protected. Note where you can run or roll to seek cover.


Wear clothing that is appropriate for that destination. Consider that the attire you choose may cause an offensive response towards you. Slick or sticky soles on shoes may limit kicks. Tight clothing may limit movements, as well as kicks. If needed, your belt can become a weapon by wrapping it around your hand and striking with the buckle.

Do not neglect the obvious

If you are concerned about being in a situation that may require you having to defend yourself, then you must become aware of common everyday actions that are obviously dangerous when considered from a defensive standpoint. Some obvious aids to self-defense that are often overlooked are:
  • Long hair. All attackers, especially inexperienced attackers, like to grab anything they may reach during a fight. Long hair and ponytails make excellent handles. When competing in judo in the 1960's and 70's, I always liked to face long-haired opponents. When grabbing the back of their collar, I made sure to also grab some hair. When on the mat, a knee on a ponytail severely limited movement.
  • High Heels. You are not going to be able to run, resist, or kick effectively in high heel shoes. Only on television and in movies do the heroines wear high heels.
  • Tight clothing. You will not able to kick effectively while wearing tight pants or a tight dress. Also, a tight jacket or coat will severely limit your movements and punching power.
  • Neck ties or scarves. It is easy to hang a prisoner who already has a noose around his neck. Do not wrap a scarf around your neck if you are in a threatening situation. Only in the movies will you see a person whip the end of a scarf around her neck and then turn a walk away from a threatening person. In real life, you would find your head being jerked backward by the attacker grabbing and jerking the scarf. Police officers are not stupid, they do not wear wrap-around ties; they wear clip-on ties. For dress occasions or business wear, clips-on ties look fashionably bad, so you must judge was is more important in certain situations, fashion or protection. If you are concerned for your safety and still want to look good in a tie, put on your tie in its normal way, have a friend cut it in half behind your neck, hem the ends, and sew Velcro to the ends. Then the tie may be worn normally but it will rip away if grabbed.
  • Jewelry. Jewelry not only attracts muggers; it may hamper your efforts in defending yourself against them. Necklaces or chains around the neck and pierced ears, nose, etc., make excellent weapons for your attacker to use against you. Rings may help you since they may enhance the effect of your punches.
  • Hampered arms. It is difficult to defend yourself when your arms are holding packages or a child. When your arms are hampered, be more aware of your surroundings.
  • Stance. Do not assume a fighting stance. It gives your attacker a warning of what techniques you may use to defend yourself and it puts them on guard. Upon warning or indication of an attack, step back with your strong side away from the attacker. Raise your open hands to face level and tell the person to stop. Act passive but be prepared to block an attack and then to counterattack with authority. Your goal is to incapacitate the attacker as soon as possible. 


 Bachman, L. Street Defensive Tactics.

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