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Too many peoples enroll in a self-defense class after they've been assaulted. When they recount the incident, they often say the same thing: I had this bad feeling, but I told myself not to be paranoid, or I knew I shouldn't have gone, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings. If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't safe — that's the bottom line.
Don't make yourself an accessible target. The outcome of a battle is often determined before the first blow is struck. When you have the opportunity to escape from a situation before it turns bad, take it. If an approaching person gives you the creeps, walk to the other side of the street. If an elevator door opens and the guy standing inside makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, wait for the next elevator. Those actions aren't cowardly; rather, they're a smart way to eliminate danger.
Be aware of the message your body sends to those around you. Like animals, human predators target those they consider the weakest or most vulnerable. Attackers search for women who appear frightened, confused or distracted. They look for women who walk with their head down and their hands stuffed in their pockets, or perhaps one who's overburdened with packages or distracted by children. Remember that attackers do not want to bait a fight; they want an easy mark. By walking with confidence and awareness — looking around and keeping your head up and shoulders back — you'll dramatically reduce the likelihood of becoming a target in the first place.
Good verbal skills are an effective self-defense tool, one you're likely to use more frequently and successfully than any physical technique. When a predator engages you in conversation, he's actually interviewing you to see if you'll make a good victim. An experienced attacker is practiced at using his words to freeze you with fear, thus reducing the chance that you'll try to defend yourself. Although an aggressive verbal confrontation can be terrifying, you have to be strong enough to show the attacker he's picked the wrong victim. If
In a self-defense situation, one of your secret weapons is the element of surprise. Most predators feel confident that you won't defend yourself, and you should capitalize on that misconception. If you assume a martial arts stance, it immediately tells the attacker that you know how to fight. In response, he's likely to be more aggressive. Instead, use a confident, relaxed stance in which your hips and shoulders are forward, your arms are bent, and your hands are up and open. This conciliatory posture may mislead the attacker into thinking you're willing to comply. If it becomes necessary for you to strike, he probably won't be prepared for it.