5 Steps to Personal Safety

This article is an abridged version, the full article can be read in the blog section of our website www.TringMartialArts.com. 

Great News!!! Your world is generally a very safe place. You may have to deal with family issues, social issues, school challenges or a job. But for the most part, you don’t encounter situations where you have to really protect yourself. But as we see in the news, there are very real dangers out there and the purpose of this article is to help you to develop a basic set of tools to keep yourself safe.

Great News!!! Your world is generally a very safe place. You may have to deal with family issues, social issues, school challenges or a job. But for the most part, you don’t encounter situations where you have to really protect yourself. But as we see in the news, there are very real dangers out there and the purpose of this article is to help you to develop a basic set of tools to keep yourself safe.

In my 33 years’ experience of martial arts, I have learned that 95% of Personal Safety is a mindset and how you approach certain situations, the remaining 5% is Physical Self Defence.  So I introduce to you our 5 Steps to Personal Safety that we teach in our classes at Tring Martial Arts Academy.

1. Create safe habits
Most of us know what to do to live a safe life. We just don’t always do what we know. Decide that from this day forward you will do the simple things available to you to make your life safer from crime. This does not mean, “Lock yourself in your house and never come out.” On the contrary, once you have adopted this lifestyle, you will actually have more freedom than ever.

Create safe habits by doing what you know you should and by avoiding potentially dangerous situations.

2. Be aware… but not on guard.
By using the example of a good defensive driver as our model, let’s explore the difference between being aware and being on guard.

Good defensive drivers see the big picture. They do not concentrate on a single aspect of the driving experience. Instead through relaxed, soft concentration, they put their attention wherever it is most needed, while still keeping a clear view of the whole playing field. They don’t expect to get into an accident nor do they rule out the possibility of one ever happening. They follow the rules of the road and don’t overreact or underreact to their environment.

A good defensive driver can be confident that they will arrive at their destination safely and stress-free. If something happens along the way, they trust their skills and instincts to respond correctly.

3. Trust your intuition.
We have all had gut feelings about a person, place or event that we should have listened to, but didn’t. Fortunately, most of these incidents were probably not life-threatening. Our intuition is always right in at least two important ways:

1. It is always in response to something
2. It always has your best interest in mind
Keep this in mind: If you ever find yourself saying, “I probably shouldn’t” …Don’t!  These words have probably saved more people from harm than any others:  “If in doubt…Get out.”

4. Take immediate action.
Now let’s imagine the worst case scenario for a moment. You find yourself confronted in a hostile situation. You tried to diffuse the situation by using the previous steps but have not been able to avoid a confrontation. Aggressive action must be taken immediately.  If at all possible, leave the scene quickly.  This is referred to as “bolt and run.” There is an important phrase in self-protection that goes like this “Don’t put yourself in a worse situation than you are already in.”

If escape is impossible you may have to physically defend yourself, this is where having some martial art experience will really help out.

5. Learn from your experiences and the experiences of others
From time to time, we all make mistakes. The trick is to not repeat them. Take a moment to think of times in the past when you unnecessarily put your safety at risk. What can you learn from this experience? How could you have handled this situation better?   What steps can you take to ensure that this will not happen to you again?  You may not always come up with clear and decisive answers to every question, but more often than not, you will pick-up clear, useable distinctions that can help you to better respond to future situations. 

Also, anytime you hear of something negative happening to someone else, ask yourself, “how could it have been avoided?” Learning from history keeps you from having to repeat it.

In closing, here is a recap of the Five Steps to Personal Safety:

1. Create Safe Habits.
2. Be Aware…But Not on Guard.
3. Learn to Trust Your Intuition.
4. Take Immediate Action.
5. Learn From Your Experiences and the Experiences of Others.
One last thing: It is important to remember that self-defense defies logic.  Every day, someone somewhere effectively diffuses a potentially dangerous situation. Every day someone somewhere effectively fights off and breaks free from a violent attack. How?

They have what is referred to as “the not me mindset”. They have decided that they will “NOT” become a victim.

Thank You and Live Safely!

Written by Christopher Allen, Professional Martial Arts Instructor, Author, and Speaker. Christopher is a full-time martial arts instructor, he is an author and blogs about Anti Bullying through his blog www.TringAntiBullying.co.uk and www.TringMartialArts.com

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