Basic self-defense tips for personal protection


By Paula Dispa

Kicking high, Regina Dispa, shows her kickboxing skills as a way to defend herself. Photo courtesy of Paula Dispa
Kicking high, Regina Dispa, shows her kickboxing skills as a way to defend herself. Photo by Paula Dispa

Self-protection is more than learning a few simple moves or carrying a pepper spray to ward off attackers. It is a habit of mind. When it comes to safety, it’s important to stay sharp and vigilant.

Precaution is the best self-defense. Here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with being apprehensive; in fact, it increases alertness for danger.  If a driver stops to ask for directions, avoid getting too close to the car- you could be pulled inside. In addition, if you’re being followed by a stranger, cross the street, act suspicious and keep looking behind you- this may discourage the potential threat.

“Be mindful of strangers, and always follow your instincts when you feel something is not right,” Cole Nisson, junior, said.

If attacked, fight back.The most effective body parts to hit are the eyes, nose, neck and knees. Use your elbows, knees and head to fight back and protect yourself. Also, use everyday objects as a means to hit the predator. At all times scream your lungs out; this will alert anyone nearby.

“When being attacked, keep your hands close to your body so you’re able to easily defend yourself,” Iryna Nezhurbida, junior, said.

Defend yourself by not being an easy target. Attackers, whatever their objectives, are looking for unsuspecting, vulnerable people. Avoid dark, deserted areas, shortcuts through parks, vacant lots, and other deserted places. Likewise, don’t walk around unaware of your surroundings; instead put your phone down for a little bit, and look around as a safety precaution.  Remember, be aware of your setting at all times and the people around you.

“It’s important to be careful of where you are at all times and even be a little suspicious of  strangers,” Harrison Skinner, senior, said.

There’s a free app for both iPhones and Androids called bSafe. This personal safety app contains a wide set of features: it can be used to privately alert friends that you’ve arrived at your destination and can send information about your location and even setup fake phone calls to slyly escape an uncomfortable situation.

“I recently downloaded the bSafe app, and since then I feel safer now that I’m going out a lot,” Grace Johnson, junior, said.