Women’s Self Defense: Why Awareness is Critical to Keeping Yourself Safe

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The word “awareness” in the realm of women’s self-defense and crime prevention encompasses everything we have learned about this topic throughout our life experiences, to include the awareness of ourselves.

After responding to and investigating hundreds of robberies, assaults and sexual assaults, I commonly hear the phrase, “If I had only known.” Statements like, “If I only had known how to defend myself or what to look for” are ironic since few people will actually take the time to actually “know” by understanding how criminals operate and target their victims.

Another aspect of women’s self-defense is a woman’s self-perception. The stronger a woman feels in her ability to protect herself and others will drastically affect how she will respond to an attack.  Women with these qualities will fight harder and faster to protect themselves and their families, as opposed to a timid woman that would prefer to surrender and hope for the best.

A woman’s self-perception and self-esteem, at any given moment, can greatly influence a response to a threat. The ultimate goal is to stabilize the mindset in order to increase the sense of self-preservation that can trigger fighting effectiveness, no matter what the emotional state is at the time of an assault.

When properly trained, you will notice situations and specific details all around you that you didn’t notice before. Something as simple as who is watching you when you’re going about your daily activities, the information you provide to strangers and hand placement of individual’s you meet will be dealt with in an entirely different manner. Embracing this new way of thinking, and being, are the basics of starting a mindset that could definitely save your life.

I’m not saying that you have to become paranoid, but you must establish a foundation that will make you a “hard target” by being situationally aware.

Just because you’ve are taken a women’s self-defense course, or read a book, should not give you a false sense of security and believe that you are invincible. Even if you’ve had high level training, it’s still no guarantee that you’ll be successful in every encounter with an assailant or prevent a criminal act against you or your family.

You must have a realistic understanding of your personality traits, behavioral tendencies, physical limitations and capabilities, level of physical conditioning, and the value you place on your self-worth. These personal capabilities and/or limitations, and lifestyle can influence the options you choose to employ in order to protect yourself. Just knowing, being situationally aware, and changing your outlook on yourself as a skilled and strong woman will significantly decrease your chances of being a victim.

So, what does it all mean!? Get out and train and stay skilled in what you’ve learned. Above all else, get in the right mindset of not being a victim.

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Jonathan Alvarez is an Army Veteran and has over 12 years conducting law enforcement, military, and security operations throughout the United States and Europe. He is the CEO & Co-founder of Protective Force International and Vice President of CRI Counter Terrorism Training School.