The concept of awareness is so simple that we’re almost embarrassed to teach it. Ironically, though, it’s one of the most ignored yet effective forms of self-defense available. Whether at home, at the office, in a parking lot, at an ATM, in a car, or on a train, the best self defense is awareness. People don’t have to be on red alert all the time. Fear can actually stifle sensitivity. They simply need to take notice of their environment--and daydream only when they know they’re safe.
Avoiding Purse Snatchers, Pickpockets, and Muggers
To thwart these kinds of robbers, carry your valuables, such as license, keys, and credit cards, separate from your wallet or purse, especially when traveling. Purchase a money belt or pouch that can be easily concealed. Follow these tips as well:
- If a purse snatcher grabs your bag, don’t fight back. Let it go. Many have been injured or killed because they valued their possessions more than their personal safety.
- Be aware that most street robberies are perpetrated by one or more criminals who use a diversion. It could be as simple as asking the time or some other question. You’re being assessed as a potential target.
- Don’t stop on the street. Keep walking and politely decline requests for information, directions, the time, or money. Say you’re in a hurry, you have no money, whatever. If the person attempts to stop you physically, be ready to escape. If you can’t escape, be ready to fight.
- Keep in mind that you don’t know if the person accosting you is working with an accomplice and setting you up for rape, robbery, assault, or murder. In the case of panhandlers in public places, you could have some loose change to give them, but don’t ever go into your purse or wallet to get change. If you’re actually being robbed, and the robber asks for your money, don’t fish around for bills. Give the robber your whole purse or wallet.
- If you’re walking, somehow become cornered by one or more people, and your inner alarm goes off, attack immediately and ruthlessly. As soon as you can, escape. Hit hard and fast, disable the one closest to you, push that attacker aside, and run through the gap. You can survive.
This is an excerpt from Attack Proof, Second Edition.