Effective methods for countering physical attacks
Every person faces the risk of being attacked at some stage in their lives. This can be when you least expect it so it is wise to be prepared and take some precautions to minimise the risks. What makes you be more of a victim?
Long hair - As strange as it sounds, longer hair is easier to grab. Men who attack women are more likely to attack a woman with a ponytail or other hairstyle that can be easily grabbed.
Clothing - Men who attack women, look for clothing which is easy to remove. Some men even carry scissors to cut clothing!
Activities - You are more likely to be attacked if you are doing an activity, such as talking on your mobile, looking for something in a bag or getting your keys; when off-guard, you make an easier target. Beware of your surroundings.
Time of day - Men are more violent and more likely to attack (especially women) between 5:00-8:30 a.m. This could be related to male hormone levels, though not proven.
Location - Don't go to unlit, dimly lit, deserted areas. Use your head. Men who attack women often look for areas where they can grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location.
Weapons - You may or may not come across weapons. The best defence is to try and get away. Only 2% of rapists carry weapons. Rape carries a 3-5 year sentence. Rape with a weapon carries a 15-20 year sentence.
Fight back - Fighting back (especially for women) usually discourages the attacker as they realise that going after you may not be worth it. Aim for the groin and attack as many times as possible.
Objects - You are less likely to be attacked if you are carrying an object like an umbrella or something similar. The idea is to convince your would be attacker that it's just not worth attacking you!
Be wise - If someone is following you somewhere, turn around, look them in the face and ask them a question like "what time is it?" or make general small talk like "I can't believe it's so hot out there, we're in for a hot summer." Now that you have seen their face, you can identify them in a line up and you lose the appeal.
React - If someone is coming towards you, hold your hands in front of you and shout loud "stop" or "stay back". In surveys, rapists said that they would leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Attackers usually look for EASY targets.
Tony Lloyd is a master trainer in Kung Fu, 7th degree black belt and one of the UK's leading experts on self defence, especially against violent street attacks or knife attacks. If you would like to find out more about defending yourself in any situation or you would like to join a seriously effective self-defence course, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8715 0463 or check out the Fighting Fit web site: www.fighting-fit.com