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 pony tails 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 gi collar, I made sure to also grab some hair. When on the mat, a knee on a ponytail severely limited movements
- 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 (dorky officers may wear a clip on bow tie). For dress occasions or business wear, clips-on ties look fashionably bad so you have to 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 actually 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.
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.
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.