I hate to even mention it, but a friend and I were the victims of an attempted robbery. I dedicate this blog to self defense since this is what saved us from a bad outcome. Sometimes off-Broadway theaters are in strange, dangerous locations. There is safety in numbers, or so we thought, until a mugger appeared in our path. It was a cold, dark night—just the kind you imagine when you think about assailants. Being bundled up in a lined parka doesn’t nothing for your sense of safety. Long ago, I learned that city dwellers have to take precautions. There are many aspects to self defense that you can read about here: https://www.selfdefenseguide.org/quick-guide-self-defense-complete-beginner/. While I love them in principle and as a great form of exercise and social recreation, I don’t expect to ever be that good such that I can fend off aggression. You never know if your attacker also knows how to kick and jab.
Given that it is rare for the average individual to master a martial art, it is wise to be vigilant and on the alert. Your self confident walk can in itself deter a thief. Beginners to the subject of safety and self-protection have many products to choose from that can be operated quickly and with ease. Most of these come in small sizes and are portable in a pocket or on a keychain. Shining a light in the face of a mugger is one tactic you can try that won’t provoke him to use a gun, and you can even use your cellphone to do that if you’re on Facebook when you get approached. Most theater goers carry them to read the program in the dark. If he is high on drugs or particularly cocky, you may want to resort immediately to a stun gun, Taser, pepper spray, or baton. I took a self defense class so that I could become familiar with all of them and decide which one I prefer. It might be a bit much to possess them all as you walk home from a bar, restaurant, concert, or theater venue. I know that most men on a date feel protective.
The first step is to become familiar with your options and make your choice. The second is to buy a product and role play using it with a relative or friend. Practice various situations in which the mugger is more or less aggressive. How fast can you pull out your “weapon” of choice? Do you expect to panic and freeze? Which device do you feel most comfortable using? They all are deterrents and have been known to work well as an alternative to fighting back. I feel that you have maybe one chance when you are accosted and it had better work least it anger the assailant and provoke him to do harm. Thieves may be quick to become angry and feel as vulnerable as you. Most people are beginners at self defense because it rarely happens. You don’t want to be an expert unless you teach a class. Read up on the subject and get in the know. Better yet, don’t walk in the dark in creepy places.