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Awareness Is the Key to Self-Defense

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/2/2008 | Sports
The best way to defend yourself is to avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations to begin with. When out and about town or even in their own home, a person needs to be aware of what is going on around them and who is around them. Keep your eyes open, look ahead, and look behind you. Recognize a possible threat before it is close enough to bring you and others you care about, physical harm.

Shopping malls, for example, are huge gathering places. Whether its social one on one, shopping or checking out the scenery, it's easy to forget what's around you, especially if children are involved.

Start defending yourself when you arrive at a shopping mall, before you ever exit your vehicle. You should park in a well-light area. Always park as close to the front of the building before you unlock and get out of your vehicle; determine the safest route to the building.

Be certain to have all of your belongings gathered together and be ready to exit the vehicle as soon as you unlock the door. Keep your keys in your hand, space the keys between your fingers so that if attacked, you can use this as a defense weapon. Identify possible threats as you walk and attempt to avoid when walking near them.

The same rules apply when leaving a shopping mall. You must be aware of those standing around outside. Take note of people that may be watching you or individuals near your vehicle. Your instincts are powerful tools so don't ignore them. If you feel there may be a possible threat, go back inside and ask a security guard to escort you to your car. Have your keys ready to open your vehicle. Once inside, immediately lock all doors.

If you have an electronic key, use it only when you are standing next to the door. If it unlocks more than just the driver's door, avoid using it all together and open your car door the old fashioned way. You'll find that unlocking a car door with a key is in some ways a lot faster and easier than fiddling with keypads too.

Keep car doors locked at all times while driving. Today's newer vehicles often come standard with automatic door locks that engage when a vehicle reaches a certain speed. However, in low speed areas such as a mall or parking lot, door locks may not work at these speeds. So as a precaution manually lock your doors in low speed areas.

You must be aware of all your surroundings at all times. Being aware of possible threats can help you avoid them and keep you and your loved ones safe.