Years ago when I and two other female black belts ran a karate school together, we not only taught people to learn karate but also self defense. Self defense is largely all about being aware of where you are and who is around you. I wince whenever I see people so involved in their cell phones or ear buds that they don’t hear or see what or who is around them. And believe me, the bad folks who want to steal from us or hurt us are well aware of this.
This is not to say that everyone you see is a bad person; it’s just about being aware. For example, when you are out and about on your own, walking, running, biking, etc., DO NOT WEAR HEADPHONES OR EAR BUDS! I know you think that you can listen to your music and stay alert, but the fact is that you actually can’t. If you are plugged in to your device, then you are not plugged into the world around you.
Also (and this is very important), be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you are out jogging alone, be aware of where you are; are there houses around, are there people around, etc. You may want to keep a canister of pepper spray with you just in case. If you choose to run or walk in a area where there are no houses or stores or other people, be aware at all times. If you are running on the side of a road, be sure that you are facing traffic. Why? Because if you are running with traffic, it is incredibly easy for someone to slow down, open a door and pull you in.
Whether or not you are a martial artist, it is imperative that you stay aware at all times. I was a martial artist for years, and I taught what I called “Common Sense Self Defense” for years. But you don’t have to be a martial artist to protect yourself. I still observe the rules I learned a long time ago to keep safe. The ultimate best weapon truly is your head. Keep it in the game, be aware of where you are, who is around you, and don’t think for a second that something can’t happen to you. I understand: bad things can happen to the most prepared and aware person. But you stand a far better chance of staying safe if you stay AWARE.
And one more tip: whenever you’re in your vehicle, LOCK THE DOORS. This also goes for when you get out to pump gas. Take your keys, your credit card/cash and lock up the vehicle while you pump gas. It is incredibly easy for someone to sneak around the side of your vehicle, open the door a crack and grab your purse, wallet, the cake you just picked up at the bakery (and wouldn’t THAT ruin your day?), whatever. Play it safe and make it a habit.
Be prepared, not scared!