Holiday Safety

It’s that time of year. Beautiful Holiday displays are around us, Christmas music everywhere you go & shopping – lots of shopping. Personally, this is my favorite time of year. I love the feeling in the air of love and joy. The Christmas Season is a big one for holiday parties, outings with family and gift exchanges. Unfortunately, even through these fun-filled weeks, one must be mindful of their own safety.

With all the to do lists in our minds, personal security must still be a priority. It can be very easy to become distracted or unaware of your surroundings. Lone shoppers, especially those loaded down with bags could be an easy mark. Keep in mind all the previous safety tips you have been given here or in Martial Arts & Self-Defence Classes.

Here are some safety tips regarding Christmas Parties and Holiday Shopping. Many of these have been discussed before, but please review these and think of more ideas to keep yourself safe. There can never be “too much” when it comes to your own personal safety.


  • Be mindful of your time. Do you want to be leaving after dark?
  • Where did you park? Have your keys ready!
  • Is your car in a well lit area? Check the back seat before you get in.
  • Walking or taking the bus, what safety precautions can you take? Perhaps meeting or travelling with a friend.
  • If you have lots of shopping bags, make a few trips to your car.
  • Is there any security personnel to walk you to your car? Ask!
  • If you must take shopping bags on the bus, or walk them home, plan before you leave. Have larger or heavier items delivered so you can keep your hands as free as possible.


  • How are you getting to and from the party safely? This is one of the most important factors to consider.
  • Are you arriving/departing alone or with friends? Remember there is safety in numbers.
  • Will you be drinking? Alcohol impairs judgement. Is there a friend to help you make safe choices?
  • Be a good friend too! Support your friends by helping them make safe judgements.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to remain vigilant. Being safe is your number one priority. This month I am demonstrating a two-handed grab from behind. The technique itself is quite simple, but there are several key points in each picture.
Renshi Laura Sywyk Grab


  • The attacker grabs both of your shoulders from behind and pulls.
  • Here he is in the position of power and you are very vulnerable.
  • You are being pulled off balance, perhaps with the intent of pulling you to the ground.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Twist And Strike

Twist and Strike

  • Immediately twist and strike your attacker low to distract them from pulling.
  • At the same time, I have stepped back to help regain my footing.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Twist The Other Way

Twist The Other Way

  • Quickly after you strike, begin twisting the other way.
  • This serves a few purposes. You are harder to hang on when you are in motion, you confuse the attacker and you are straightening one of the attackers arms.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Face Your Attacker

Face Your Attacker

  • Continue your motion until you are facing your attacker.
  • This action helps to weaken your attackers grip because it will become increasingly harder and more uncomfortable for them to hang on.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Continue Through

Continue Through

  • Facing your attacker, continue your motion through their arms.
  • You do this by bending your knees and shifting your body sideways.
  • Keep your head and hands up!!!


Renshi Laura Sywyk Stand Up

Stand Up

  • When you are through their arms, stand up.
  • Notice you twisted your attackers arms and that one of their arms is much higher than the other.
  • Keep control as well by holding one or both of their wrists.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Raise Your Arm

Raise Your Arm

  • Keep hold of your attackers arm.
  • With the other hand, raise it up as high as you can.
  • See how my body is straight & on balance. It is important to have your feet planted firmly.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Strike Down

Strike Down

  • Using your elbow/forearm, strike down on the arms of your attacker.
  • You must use all the force you have to break free from their grip.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Break Free

Break Free

  • Continue your motion until you are completely free from the attackers grab.
  • If necessary, strike more than once.
  • In this picture, you see the contrast now of the body languages. The attacker is pulled forward and I am upright in a strong balanced position.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Strike


  • Immediately after breaking free, strike the attacker.
  • I am using a hammer fist to the neck/jaw/face area.
  • Be strong and fast with this strike.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Reach And Grab

Reach and Grab

  • Reach forward with both of your hands and grab the attacker.
  • Keep your feet planted firmly.
  • I am also pushing the body of my attacker away as I do this.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Knee Kick

Knee Kick

  • A very strong weapon in your arsenal are your knees.
  • Knee your attacker in their leg/knee to knock them off their feet.
  • I am pulling now with my arms for more power.
  • Repeat as necessary.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Elbow


  • After you have knocked your attacker to their knees, strike again.
  • I am using an elbow to the back of their head.
  • Keep your feet strong as you strike.


Renshi Laura Sywyk Finish


  • After you knock the attacker to the ground, step away and take your distance, so they can not grab you again.
  • Now you will need to run away as far and as fast as you can to get to safety.


This technique has been broken down to give the best possible views and explanations. However, when actually doing this technique, it will only take you a few seconds. Execute everything with your maximum speed, strength and power to break free and be safe. Also as soon as possible, report your attack to keep others safe.


One last reminder to stay safe, stay aware this holiday season and Merry Christmas!


Don’t Be A Victim   Be Confident   Be Prepared!

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