Walk Strong

I know it may sound less-than-exciting, especially if you’re more of a feisty personality like yours truly but the best thing you can do in self-defense is to not be there. Yup. Mr. Miyagi was right when he said in the Karate Kid, “No be there.” 

Avoiding a dangerous situation starts with two things: presenting yourself with confidence and being aware of your surroundings. When you walk with confidence, you will consequently be more present and aware of your surroundings and able to listen to your instincts and note any red flags about a place or a person. 

When someone of ill-repute (whether a stranger or someone we know) wants to find a target, they want an easy prey. 

Don’t be an easy target!! 

We can do this by focusing on how we walk, making eye contact and using our voice. 

A study was done in the 80’s in New York City by two psychologists that I find fascinating. They set up a video camera in an intersection in New York City for 3 days in a row for 2 hours a day, simply recording people walking. Then they showed this footage to prisoners incarcerated for violent attacks and asked them a simple question. “Who would you choose as your victim?” They ALL chose the SAME victims!! What! The feedback these prisoners gave was that it was all based on how the person carried themselves. A shuffled walk, a distracted person, someone low on confidence, eyes down, chin down, etc. These types of predators want an easy target and they want someone who won’t give them a fight. 

I don’t care if you have to fake it at first until you really have the confidence but please don’t present yourself as an easy target. Start today. Now. 

Practical ways you can do this?

-Walk with a strong, confident gate. Not with steps too short or too long. Just right. 

-Shoulders back, chin up! This also helps you be aware of your surroundings.

-Make eye contact. Even if someone makes you feel uncomfortable. Actually it’s even more important then because it not only tells the person you see them but also that you aren’t intimidated and will not go down easily. 

You got this! 

Tips For Traveling

5 Tips To Keep You Safe When Traveling

Just like you would be situationally aware and present yourself confidently when you are in your home town and comfort zone, you must do the same but dial up your level just a bit when you travel.

Whether you travel with a group, with work, with family or alone, it’s important to keep your safety in mind and pay attention to your surroundings. Here are some safety tips for your journey:

1.)Act Confident

I don’t care if you have no clue where you’re going or what you’re doing. Don’t look lost. This will only make it easier for someone with ill-intent to spot you and hone in on you as an easy target. Blend in – don’t stand out like the tourist you are. If you think you may be being followed, say, in an airport for example, strike up conversation with a trustworthy-looking family or group and don’t be afraid to make eye-contact with your follower. Let them know that you do see them and you’re not afraid to do or say something.

2.)Don’t make it easy.

Keep valuables at a minimum. If you need to carry cash or a card that’s fine, but maybe don’t flaunt it in a designer handbag. Layer your money with small bills on the outside and larger bills on the inside. Don’t carry your phone in an outside open pocket in your bag or pants. Especially in large crowds, this can make it easy for someone to slide it out and be gone before you realize it. By then it’s probably too late for you to track it if they know what they’re doing. Minimize what you carry and when you do need a purse or a bag, choose a backpack or cross-body style so it’s harder to get. Think about details, like where the zipper openings are and how easy it would be for someone behind you on a busy sidewalk or a tram to slide something out. Keep valuables on an inside pocket or across your chest so you can see them at all times. When parking your car, don’t leave any bags in sight. Criminals have breaking into cars down to a science and they’re super efficient. It doesn’t take long and they don’t really care if it’s daytime or a busy area. In fact, sometimes that makes it easier.

3.)Keep your hands free and your eyes up.

As always but especially when traveling, having your hands free leaves you less-distracted, it allows your gate when walking to be stronger and appear more confident and it allows your hands to be free to reach for a self-defense tool if you have one on you (and I hope that you do, if possible). When you’re in airports, bus stops, etc., keep your belongings on you or wrapped around an arm or leg at all times. Not only will this help you if you’re like me and have adhd and “out of sight out of mind,” but it will also help you not to leave things behind or allow them to be easily taken. I like to minimize what I carry and have what I need easily accessible so I’m not fumbling around. My carryon is usually a medium sized backpack and then a belt bag that has my essentials that I need more regularly. For me, these are my ID, my cell phone and obviously, lip gloss.

4.)Choose a weapon

…or some type of tool that you are comfortable using and have it readily accessible. Obviously, there are places that don’t allow true weapons so use your creativity for items that could work as weapons. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws in the place that you travel and know whether that weapon is allowed on your person. No need to have to deal with jail time if you don’t have to. As always, be super comfortable and confident in your choice and know that some weapons need quite a bit of violence put behind them in order for them to do their job. My favorite to carry is a knife. When checking it in my luggage, I put it in my toiletry or makeup bag so it’s not just out there. Yes, sadly things get stolen out of our luggage. Don’t make it easy.

5.)Don’t announce where you’re staying.

Whether it’s from social media or your mouth, be sure to be aware of your audience when you talk about your travel. When you’re out of town makes a great time for home intrusions if they know they’re less likely to get caught. Once at your destination, take note about who is around when speaking aloud about where you’re staying, which room number, etc. When using an elevator, ask others what floor they’re going to first before pressing your own button. Use your instincts as to whether you should continue on to your floor or if you need to get off the elevator.

As always, with all tips for self-defense, please take these as a way to give yourself freedom and confidence to travel. Be prepared, not paranoid. Have a blast and enjoy the journey.

You got this!

When Going Alone

Let’s face it. There are times that you want to or need to walk somewhere alone, be it nighttime or daytime. That’s totally fine, but I want to share some tips with how to keep yourself safe when you do this. 

You might be walking alone in a parking lot, on a sidewalk or you may be taking a walk or run in your neighborhood streets, park, or nature trail. Whatever your situation, you need to be aware of your surroundings and have your guard a level up since you’re alone. 

Note this, though: the key in all of the self-defense tips I give you is to be prepared, not paranoid. Being prepared and confident should give you freedom, not have you live in fear. 

Alright so here are some practical tips to keep yourself safe in different situations. 

Parking lots:

-Park in a well-lit area. Some people feel safer parking right next to the cart return if at a grocery store. 

-Be aware of people inside nearby cars when parking and when walking to and from your vehicle. Obviously not everyone is just waiting for their next prey, but know that it does happen and people do sometimes work as a team. 

-Do not sit in your car unnecessarily or distracted. 

-Check your surroundings, keeping your chin up and eyes alert. Make a mental note of unusual behavior. Greet people with a smile! This can not only brighten a normal person’s day but also let a predator know that you know they’re there. 

Sidewalks:

-I would say don’t walk too close to the curb but I’ve been on plenty of sidewalks that have little alleyways and crannies on the inside of the sidewalk as well. So comfortably in the middle is a good idea. 

-Make note of people making the same turns as you, whether on your side or on the opposite side of the street. 

-If you feel in danger, pop into the closest busy or well-lit store. Stay until you feel safe or call someone who can meet you there. 

-Use your surroundings! Many sidewalks have window fronts that work great to casually check your surroundings by looking in the reflection to check behind you.

Parks/Trails:

-Always tell someone where you’re going and when you estimate you’ll be back. 

-Use an app or other tracking and sharing device to share your location with a trusted friend or loved one. 

-Don’t use the same trail over and over. Change up your route occasionally. 

-Go Guarded has a great runner’s ring you should check out.

-Stay in well-lit or well-populated areas when you can.

The basics remain the same wherever you go. Be situationally aware and don’t present yourself as an easy target. Keeping your ID on you is also a good idea so that you can be identified, if God-forbid anything happens to you. I would absolutely advise finding a weapon (lethal or non-lethal; the choice is up to you) you can keep on your person that you are comfortable using. Just be prepared to put any necessary violence behind that weapon and know that it is up to you know the legalities surrounding that choice and the state or country you are in. 

You got this! 

Fortitude Mindset

STRENGTH OF MIND

The definition of “fortitude” starts out not by saying the strength of a person’s physical body is what enables them to do what seems impossible but rather the strength of their *mind.*

Fortitude is the “strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.” 

Believing that you *can* protect yourself and that you absolutely have the right to that ability is imperative to being able to defend yourself when needed.

Training is essential and allows your body to follow through on that belief when needed.

I cannot wait for you to see in yourself what I see in you and what I know is there. A strong person, able to unlock fierceness and ability to present yourself with confidence, to assess a situation, note the dangers, listen to your God-given intuition, and do whatever is necessary next. Escape or fight. 

”Self-defense is not just a set of techniques. It’s a state of mind and it begins with the belief that you are worth defending.” -Rorion Gracie

You are loved and you are strong. Be confident and know that I’m thrilled to be right here to help you as you learn.

You got this!