By now everyone is in their “Back – to – School” routine. Activities have begun and homework is in full swing. Students away at College and University are getting to know a new town, meeting new people and enjoying many new experiences. All of this is a very exciting time in a young person’s life. Unfortunately, we often hear news of violence and assaults at Campus’s across the Country. All too often vulnerable young women are attacked. How can this be prevented? While there is no strategy that is guaranteed, there are several steps one can do to prevent becoming a victim.
Take A Self Defense Course
• Many Colleges and Universities offer self-defense workshops on campus.
• Most are inexpensive and accessible to students.
• Can’t find a course….. Ask at Student Services! Universities need to make student safety a priority.
• Look on-line to find a Martial Arts School close to your campus to take lessons. Perhaps they would come to you if you get enough participants.
Carry A Whistle
• This is a safety tool to draw attention to yourself if you need help.
• Some self-defence courses include this with lessons.
• Look on-line for a Fox 40 or another Rape Whistle.
• Any whistle will help if you keep it accessible while you are out alone.
• This has become a bigger issue. Students, especially young women are vulnerable to attack late at night on Campus.
• Ask what safety measures are in place that can help you.
• There are often programs in place where student volunteers walk other students home or to their dorms after late classes.
• When it is dark and you are alone, this makes you an easy target so stay aware.
• Leave your phone alone. Keep your head up and look around you.
• Take the ear buds out of your ears!!!! It will be so easy to be caught unaware if you do not hear your attacker approach you.
• Pull your hoodie down so you do not obscure your vision or muffle any sounds around you.
• Walking with a friend or in a group is much safer than being alone.
• If you do need to travel alone, contact a friend before you leave class, so they will know to look for you if you do not get home on time.
Use Common Sense
• Going to a party? How are you getting home safely?
• Drinking? Plan ahead. How are you getting home safely?
This month, I am demonstrating a self-defence technique against a grab from behind. This is quite common to be grabbed from behind. It can be very scary.
• You are approached from behind and the attacker grabs your shoulder.
• The majority of the population in right-handed, so the attack is reflecting this.
• The attacker is pulling you backwards, pulling you off-balance and perhaps twisting your body towards them.
• When you are being pulled, your instinct is to pull back. However, if your attacker is stronger than you, you will lose the tug-of -war.
• Instead, go with the pulling motion and spin in towards the attacker.
• Be sure to have both of your hands up ready to protect your head.
• Regain control and your balance by knocking your attacker off-balance.
• My left hand is now grabbing or holding the attackers arm that grabbed me.
• My right hand does a palm-heel strike to the attackers chin or face area forcing their head backwards.
• After striking, knee your attacker in the groin.
• At the same time, pull the attacker into your knee kick with both of your arms.
• You can knee them several times if necessary.
• Keep holding the attacker with one arm. (the left arm in my case)
• Strike the head of your attacker with your right elbow.
• This strike can also be performed several times if needed.
• This step is very important! Do not keep the attacker close to you after you have escaped their hold.
• Push them away as hard as you can to put distance between you.
• You do not want to be grabbed again.
• When you have pushed the attacker away, be sure to stand up and be in control.
• If needed you are in a strong position to kick the attacker if they try to attack you again.
• Now that you are free and the attacker is down, RUN!!!!!
• Go get help. Do not stay where there is danger.
If you do experience an attack, Please Be Sure To Report It. Police and campuses need to know about attacks so that they can help. Bringing awareness to the issure of personal safety will help others in the future.
On a personal note, I hope everyone has noticed my husband and I wearing Pink Belts. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Canada. We are wearing our Pink Belts to bring awareness to this cause and to fundraise for this charity. Many of our students have also chosen to support this campaign. I love that I can use my Martial Arts skill to help this worthy cause.