Here in Raleigh as well as the rest of the country, we're seeing rising rates of crime. During the past year, violent crime has risen over 4% and robberies have increased nearly 12%.
For personal safety, it is important to stay aware of your surroundings, and of other people around you. Being lost in thought, or too focused on a phone, can lead us into dangerous situations.
Fortunately, awareness can be practiced throughout the day, whether simply walking down the street, meditating, or being present for our loved ones.
Some tips for personal safety and self defense:
Trust your instincts: if something doesn't feel right, or someone is paying attention to you in a way that feels uncomfortable, raise your caution level and act accordingly.
Pay attention to your environment: poor lighting, unexpected movements, people walking behind you on the street, and isolation can all present risks.
Use your voice: yelling "no" or "get away from me" will alert people nearby and will give pause to an attacker. Your voice is one of your most potent tools when facing a person who means you harm.
Whenever possible, de-escalate without having to fight. Your objective is to get away from the dangerous situation. Practice calm self-awareness, and avoid escalating a confrontation whenever possible.
Learn martial arts for self defense.
In martial arts, we want to use a balanced focus with attention to an opponent's movements as a whole. This involves using peripheral vision, attention, concentration, and skills gained through hours of practice.
By learning basic self defense techniques, you can significantly improve your own personal safety and that of your family and friends.