Be prepared: self-defense tips.

2 Oct

DPD officers led an engaging class on women’s self-defense for us this week.  The class was just a snippet of their longer sessions offered on-demand on select weekends in Denver.

Some of their tips for women to keep in mind:

  1. Walk with confidence.  Many criminals reported they chose their victims because they looked like they’d be easy to grab.
  2. Make eye contact with people on the street.  Don’t be submissive or meek.
  3. Look around, scan your surroundings, and be aware when you park the car, walk to/from a store or building.  It’s easy to be distracted by your kids or your phone, but take a second to glance around before walking from the store to your car.  You never know if someone is waiting for their next victim.
  4. Don’t park next to a van with sliding doors and no back windows.
  5. Trust your instincts.  Don’t be afraid of insulting someone by not getting into an elevator with them or crossing the street if you get an uneasy feeling.
  6. If you feel unsure of walking back to your car, ask the building’s or store’s security to escort you to the car.
  7. When in doubt just call 9-1-1.  Don’t worry about the non-emergency number; the dispatcher will determine if it’s an emergency or not!  In times of stress you probably won’t be able to dial the non-emergency number anyway.
  8. When talking about self-defense with your kids, the officers’ #1 message was tell your children, “Adults NEVER need your help.  You’re the child, their the adult… if they ask you for help, run!”.  The old tactic of a predator approaching a child and asking for help finding their lost dog is still in use and still effective, unfortunately.
  9. If you’re in a situation where the assailant wants your purse, money, phone, whatever – give it to them and get away as fast as you can.  Don’t engage with the assailant or provoke them by saying no.
  10. If you’re being held and knife-point or gun-point, comply, but always look for opportunities to get away if possible.  The purpose of this self-defense class is to show us how techniques that might buy you enough time to run away – the goal is not to win the fight.

Officer Richard Stensgaard recommended reading The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker for a more in-depth look at trusting your instincts in dangerous situations.

We then moved on to the active part of our meeting: punching and kicking!  Many of the techniques used by DPD are based on krav maga, an Israeli form of martial arts.  The officers instructed us in punching and kicking their sparring bags – it was great to work out our stress!

For more photos from our class (MomTimers unleashing fury!) visit our Facebook page.  Be aware, be prepared, and stay safe everyone!

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