Self Defense: Talamantez Karate Tips for staying aware and safe

We all know that self defense really begins every time you step outside of our homes. It begins by being aware of our surroundings and detecting threats before there is trouble.

Small things we do daily can actually harm us if we are not careful, because they can make us targets. Walking with headphones, being glued to our cellphones, not locking doors behind us right away, or going somewhere new alone can be stepping stones towards disaster. People are unpredictable and perpetrators like victims who aren't paying attention. The old adage "Stay Alert, Stay Alive" isn't just a catchy slogan. Most would be attackers don't go after victims who appear to be alert and actively engaged in their surroundings. So you did everything by the book and what now? The following situations offer some helpful guidance for the "what now" scenarios:

Am I being followed?

Is it paranoia or has that person been trailing you? First off, whatever you do, don't go home. You'd be shocked to find how many perpetrators followed their victims home before committing heinous acts. If walking, immediately go into a highly populated place such as a restaurant or store. Tell their security what is going on and call the police. In the car?  Stay off of back roads and whatever you do don't pull your car over or stop. Call the police and drive in a high traffic area. Let aggressive people pass.

I'm out with my kids and I'm approached...

A lot can come from teaching our kids how to react in scenarios that we hope never happen. Just as a school practices a fire plan, we should inform our kids how to react when a threatening stranger approaches. Talk to your kids and ask them to show you what you discussed. Teach them how to call 911 in an emergency. Always get in between the threat and your children; this goes for strollers as well. Give your children code words or commands to follow if they are older. Teach them to take cover directly behind you and grab hold of your back pockets or belt. This keeps them in contact with you, but gives you room to strike and run if needed.

I've been engaged, what now?

Above all else, stay on your feet. Most victims are chosen because the attacker thinks they can overpower them. Don't aid them in this endeavor by going to the ground. Make sure to sink your weight slightly down and keep your stance slightly wide to allow for balance. Keep your hands at chest level with palms facing outwards to appear non-threatening, not to show weakness, but to strike with the heel of your palm to their nose or throat as soon as the occasion presents itself. It doesn't take much to break a nose and with a solid hit your attacker should be stunned long enough to allow your escape. Another vital area is a knee to the groin, but this takes more time and requires you to get closer to the individual, so if they close the gap then offer a swift knee. Another great forgotten trick is slapping both palms closed over their ears as hard as you can, which can disrupt equilibrium and hurts like the dickens. If you have a purse throw it off to the side to get their attention directed elsewhere offering another chance at escape. Also, if you have keys do not try and punch your attacker as you will most likely injure your hand in the process and you might not do damage at all, except to yourself. Instead buy a self-defense key-chain such as a cat with two sharp ears (, about $7) which you simply slip your first two fingers the way you would with brass knuckles, but it is legal. We carry our keys on us all the time, so this could be a great tool. The rule on pepper spray is, if it isn't already in your hand and ready to go then it is pretty much useless.

Scream out, be loud and draw attention!

Scream out key words to get anyone's attention, simply screaming loud does not mean those around will take it serious. Instead scream words like "No! Help! Rape! 911! Get off! Stay Away!". You want to make it clear to those around that what is happening to you is NOT Okay.

Finally, Fight, Fight, Fight!

Do not let the assailant take you somewhere. Fight until the end. Things do not normally end up well for most kidnapped people and your chance of survival goes down more than half if you become abducted. Fight dirty and fight raw. Biting with the teeth, gouging eyes, bending back fingers, elbows to the face, do whatever you were taught was illegal in all the sparring matches you've ever had. A lot of attackers have let their intended victims go if they thought they underestimated them.


At Talamantez Karate we sincererly hope you may never find yourself being attacked, but we are here to help provide a solid foundation and the tools needed to aid your family in protecting themselves. If you're not already enrolled then join us today to protect yourself and your loved ones.

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