Six Rules to Help You Survive a Violent Attack
Do you know what to do to defend yourself against an attacker? And what happens after it's all said and done? Jeremy Haas with A.R.C.S. Self Defense shared his six basic rules with us on The Best of Times Radio Hour with Gary Calligas.
"I want to be aware of everything that's going on around, or as much of what's going on around me as possible," Haas said. "[Especially] coming in and out of stores, in and out of your home."
You could be distracted by digging in your purse, looking at something, chasing kids. Before you enter or exit your vehicle or a building, have your stuff together, get your keys out, stay off the phone.
"The people that will victimize you, they are professionals at the study of people and behavior," Haas said. "They will stand back, look and watch, and then pick out the target in the crowd. So by being aware, just head on a swivel, knowing what's happening around you, you can head off a lot of that because they don't get the element of surprise."
You need to have the mindset to be prepared to do what you have to do to survive an attack.
"If I'm confronted with somebody that wants something material -- my car, my wallet, a purse, whatever that is -- the easiest way, usually, to deal with that situation is to hand it over, give them want they want, let them go on their way, while you make distance between yourself and that situation," said Haas.
That could be heading back into a store, running away or something like that. Haas said there isn't anything material that's worth dying for. But if your children or grandchildren are in the car, that's a different story. You have to decide what you're willing to fight for.
Your body will do certain things. It's ingrained in you from birth. Haas says it's a natural reflex to get behind your arms and try to protect yourself.
"The same thing will happen when somebody tries to punch you, tries to stab at you. It's the same spots that you see the defensive wounds on the hands and insides of the arms when a person's been stabbed, cause they have their arms up trying to protect the main parts of your body."
A flinch to spur you into a push or a palm or even a finger in somebody's eye that gives the bad guy just enough pause to have to regain his thoughts. During that one to two second time, it allows you to begin to run. So unless you are a specific target, the criminal will likely not try to chase you down.
These must be simple to learn and easy to replicate. They're based on gross motor skills. Options include martial arts training such as Karate.
"We want to put steps and feet between us," Haas said. "The more room I can put between them, the harder it is for them to catch up with me, the harder they have to work and the longer they have to do it. The longer this goes on, the greater the chances that they're caught or that there are witnesses to see."
You have to be mentally prepared for the aftermath of any attack. Haas told us that after it's all over, there are a lot of things that will go through your mind.
"Some people feel guilty about the fact that they did fight back and hurt somebody, some people feel guilty about the fact they didn't fight back and became a victim," Haas said. "So by prepping on the front side, you should have a lot better understanding of what's going to go through your mind afterwards, so you're a little bit more prepared to deal with the things that take place."
Aftermath could be being prepared to call your credit card company, getting alternate car or house keys made, or calling police. If something does happen and you have to make that 911 call, know what you want to say to dispatchers, so you can give them as much information as possible. That will help authorities catch the bad guy quicker, so what you experienced doesn't happen to anyone else.