#1 Prevention before anything
We always tell people at our self-defense seminar that prevention is key. This means that while, yes, we believe knowing self-defense is important, but if there are certain steps we can take to prevent even having to take action in this manner, we want to take those preparation steps so that we don't have to use the self-defense we have learned.
#2 Awareness of surroundings
Always be aware of your surroundings. Let me say it louder for the people in the back: ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. This goes hand in hand with prevention. If you are being cautious of who is around you and what is around you, you can prevent almost anything. Be on the lookout for suspicious characters. If someone is following you or you see them pop up in the store near you multiple times, be aware of things like this and tell someone. Ask them to walk you to your car, whatever it may be. I'll talk more about this later on.
#3 Anything can be a weapon
Now we are in the south so many of you may have your carrying license, but if you don't for any reason or you just do not believe in carrying then realize the items on you every day that can be used as a weapon. Look at what you are reading this article on (most likely). Your phone. That could be a weapon. Especially if you are one of those people that like the giant plus or max phones. A strike to the temple with a smartphone would do some damage to someone. Ladies that wear giant purses that feel like you carry around bricks: those would definitely hurt. We also recommend carrying around pepper spray or a self-defense key chain. (I will put some links below of some we recommend and you can get off of Amazon.)
#4 Don't sit in your car
How many of you sit in your car scrolling through facebook or text/make phone calls? How may of your car door automatically unlock when you put it in park? Sitting in your car not paying attention while on your phone is extremely unsafe.
#5 Don't be alone if you can help it
It's just true that there is safety in numbers. You are less likely to be a target if you are with another person. Also, if you are shopping alone but you feel slightly unsafe or you are able to, ask an employee to walk you out to your car.
#6 Wear comfy clothes
This might sound like we are taking the safety thing too far, but comfy clothes just put you in a safer position (especially your shoes.) If you want to go all out and wear all comfy clothes then that's even better because the comfier the clothing, the easier you can move. When it comes to shoes, we recommend shoes that you could comfortably walk in. It not only makes your shopping experience comfier but when it comes to safety reason, if you get put in a situation where you need to run or defend yourself, it will be easier to move around and get away
#7 Use your voice
We mean this in a couple of different ways. 1) your voice is your biggest weapon so if you feel like you are being followed or someone approaches you, then use your voice. Loudly saying "Are you following me?" or "Can I help you?" or if someone has gone too far and made contact with you, screaming "help" or "fire". People who target others generally have low self-esteem so drawing any kind of attention to them will make them not only want to retreat from you but also leave the area so you could be saving others' lives too. 2) If you feel unsafe or suspicious about someone it is better to be safe than sorry and you should tell someone. Tell an employee, manager, owner, security guard, whoever. You will not only be making a safer environment for yourself but others too.
#8 Put money away immediately
This one is pretty simple. After you check out, put your cards and money away immediately. You don't want to be distracted and shoving money down your pocket or purse while walking and you also don't want to have it out where you could potentially become a target because of it.
#9 Your life is more important than anything you buy at a store
We are ending on this one which is less of a tip and more just a fact. Your life and safety are more important than what you buy, your wallet, or anything. If it comes down to it, possessions can be replaced, you can not.
If you have any questions or would like to take a class to learn some self-defense, please feel free to give us a call at 706-629-7367 or stop by any of our locations!
Have a safe and Merry Christmas and happy shopping!