Avoid potentially dangerous situations
It's usually safer to go with a friend or in a group, especially after
(but just because you are with a friend, don’t assume you don’t need to
an attacker with a weapon can threaten a whole group)
doors and windows at home locked (or use the safety catches on windows
that only let them open a few inches)
hide a key to your house in an obvious place outside your house
make your garage door code something easy for someone to figure out
open your door to strangers or for unscheduled appointments
(Even with a chain on the door, an attacker could push hard enough to
break the chain)
for identification to be shown through a window or peephole even when
you’ve scheduled an appointment for someone to come to your home; if you
don't feel comfortable with the situation, call the company this person
says they represent
your dog always barks when someone comes to the door, don’t try to break
them of that habit; you want a stranger to know you have a dog
- If you
come home and a door is unlocked or a window is broken or lights are on or
off that shouldn’t be or you don’t hear your dog that normally barks,
don’t go inside; instead call the police
your car doors locked and don’t lower your windows far enough for someone
to reach their hand in
- If it
may be dark when you come out to your car from work or the grocery, park under a light and/or ask
someone you know and trust to walk you to your car
- You may feel safe because you carry mace or pepper spray, but on a
windy day, your safety spray can blow back into your face and blind you;
attacker is close, they can wipe your safety spray off their face and into your eyes
Trust your instincts
the best books I’ve read on this topic is “The Gift of Fear.” Females are
often raised to not hurt anyone's feelings, to never embarrass anyone no
matter how inappropriately they behave, to always use a quiet "ladylike"
voice, and to put other people's needs and wants before our own.
Attackers know this and may play on it to get you to cooperate. There are
often clues our subconscious picks up on, so:
- If you
don't feel safe, get out of the situation
- If you
feel this person isn't trustworthy, don’t give them a ride, don’t invite
them in and don’t go anywhere with them
- An acquaintance of a friend of a friend of a friend isn't necessarily
someone you should trust or be alone with
- Just because someone is a co-worker or always bags your groceries
doesn't mean you should trust them to give you
a ride somewhere or that you should ride with them or be alone with
- Don't let someone try to embarrass you into cooperating with them
something about your car or house seems odd when you return, stay out and
ask for help
"successful" attacker is going to be one who looks safe, who befriends you
or who guilts you into cooperating until they can get you alone. We tell
our children not to go with a stranger who asks them for help and we
adults shouldn’t either. This includes a new co-worker who offers or asks for a
ride home, someone you’ve just met at a party, the stranger you’ve struck
up a 20-minute conversation with on the bus, a customer who seems a little
too interested in you.
Be aware of what's around you.
who is around you, who is walking toward you, where your car is, where the
lights are, the safest place to run to if necessary, what you have that
can be used as a weapon. Don’t become so involved in a cell phone
conversation that you don’t see or hear a potentially dangerous situation
before it happens. If you are walking alone, though, having
someone listening on the other end of a cell phone call (as long as you
are paying attention to your surroundings) until you get to safety is a
Don't let someone get close enough to lunge at and grab you. And just
because they seem to be oblivious to you as they are moving toward you
doesn't mean they aren't planning to walk past you and then turn quickly
and grab you from behind. We don't like to make a scene or embarrass
ourselves or make others uncomfortable, but it's better to cause a
possible embarrassment than to risk your life.
Have a plan
suggesting that you should walk around in fear. As a matter of fact,
having a plan can make you feel LESS fearful as well as more
self-confident and prepared should something happen. As soon as you are
aware that you do not feel safe, use your plan to decide what you are
going to do to get out of the situation now, or what you will do if it
- Try to
defuse the situation, not escalate it; be assertive, not aggressive.
about what you have that you can use as a weapon, if needed:
Your voice, teeth, hands/fists/fingers, elbows, knees, feet, purse,
keys, perfume, ink pen, nail file
out what direction you should run if you need to get to safety
Do not be an easy victim
An attacker is typically looking for someone who they can intimidate and
get to do what they are told without making noise or putting up a fight.
- Look self-confident when you are walking around
- Pay attention; Do not be absorbed in your cell phone, looking in your
purse or wallet
- If someone does approach you, use a strong self-confident voice and
look them in the eye
- If someone starts to get too close, put your open hands up, palms toward the
other person in a "stop" position and
tell them in loud assertive voice to "STOP!" or "BACK OFF!"
- Be the loud, yelling crazy person; attackers to not want someone who
will draw attention to what they are doing
Other things to
you fight back or not?
No one can tell you what YOU should do in any situation. The goal is to
survive. But if you’ve learned some easy-to-use and easy-to-remember
self-defense techniques, you’ve increased your options if you are
If an attacker tells me
that I won’t be hurt if I stay quiet or just get in the car, what should I
no one can give you an answer that will be right for every situation. And
again, the goal is to survive. But you need to ask yourself why the
attacker wants you to stay quiet (he doesn’t want you to attract attention
to stop his attack) or why the attacker wants you to get in the car (so he
can take you to another location so he can do whatever he plans with less
chance of being stopped) and why you should trust and believe a person who is taking
you against your will when he says he won’t hurt you if you do what he
tells you to.
Frequently asked questions
about our self-defense classes
will a self-defense differ from your regular taekwondo classes?
be less formal than our regular taekwondo classes. In taekwondo we learn
patterns of moves, focus on sparring skills and develop wood breaking
techniques, all designed to help us defend ourselves better through the
repetition and practice that comes with regular workouts. In self-defense
classes we will teach just a few basic techniques with partners and soft
targets that can help give you an edge in a difficult situation.
Do I need to buy a martial arts outfit for this?
fact we’d prefer you didn’t. Just wear comfortable loose-fitting clothing
like sweat pants and a short-sleeved t-shirt. You won’t need
your shoes or socks during the class either. While the class won’t be
you can bring a water bottle if you like. We do have drinking fountains.
we meditate and do a lot of bowing?
There is no meditation or religious philosophy associated with the
Hilliard Taekwondo Academy program in our "regular" classes or in our
self-defense, stranger-danger or bully prevention classes. While there are formalities associated with our
taekwondo program such as answering each set of instructions promptly with
"Yes, Sir!” or “Yes, ma’am!” and the courtesies of bowing to your partner
and shaking their hand, our self-defense classes are less formal.
However, the more promptly everyone responds to instructions, the more we
can accomplish during these classes.
you trying to get me to sign up for classes?
course we’d love you to sign up for classes, because we love taekwondo and
think it’s a great all around strength training/cardio workout and
self-defense program, is great for the whole family, plus a good way to
make new friends, but that isn't why we offer the self-defense classes and
we don't try to sell you on our program before, during or after the
self-defense classes. We don’t want any student we have to strong-arm or
trick into signing up. On the other hand, if you enjoy the self-defense
class and think you might like taekwondo, we urge you to try one of our
taekwondo classes for free to see what you think.
do I get more information?
information about our self-defense seminars, bully awareness, stranger
danger or our taekwondo program, give us a call at 777-6033 or stop in to
visit us. Just check out the calendar and class times on our schedule
Check out which Taekwondo America school is in your community: