It is easy to spot a person in a crowd who trains in the martial arts. They project a certain confidence in how they carry themselves, as well as an obvious awareness of their physical surroundings. They might be wearing tactical clothing, surveying their environment, and identifying potential threats and nearest exits. This doesn’t sound very fun, and may sound a little paranoid, but the more you consciously practice the following tips, the more engrained they will become, and before you know it, these new habits will become second nature, and may very well prevent you from being a victim of crime.
If you study a martial art such as Krav Maga, Muay Thai, Boxing, Karate, Kung fu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Capoeira or Silat, it gives you an automatic confidence boost. You are making a conscious decision to learn how to defend yourself… should the situation arise. Our new students at Plus One Defense Systems in West Hartford, Connecticut report that even after a couple of weeks of training, they already feel more confident in their ability to defend themselves. This mental feeling of empowerment shows through in the physical body; in how you walk, interact with strangers, and how you present yourself.
Here are a few HEAD to TOE tips on how to present yourself if you are alone in a crowd or in a more desolate area:
1. Keep your chin up. I am sure you have heard the term, “Keep your head on a swivel”… Do this, but not in a frantic, paranoid fashion. Causally survey your surroundings and stay off your mobile device. Keep your head up and shoulders back. Don’t hold your breath! Believe it or not, criminals can tell if you are doing that… try a yawn instead, which indicates you are comfortable and confident.
2. If you are walking past or near a potential predator, you can give them a quick glance and tiny head nod and then look away. This gesture acknowledges them and indicates that you are aware of their presence. Avoiding any eye contact sends a message that you are timid, afraid, and/or unaware.
3. Avoid wearing scarves that can be used against you, and do not flaunt valuables or expensive jewelry. Don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket and if you carry a purse, try to wear it crossbody style.
4. When you are walking, make sure that your strides are of medium and equal length, and that your arms are swinging in a bent, natural fashion to counterbalance your legs. Walk at the same speed as the rest of the crowd, if not slightly faster. This shows others that you know where you are and where you are going. Make sure your spine is straight and that you are not hunched over.
Using these nonverbal tips, coupled with cross training in the martial arts, can significantly decrease the probability of becoming a victim of crime.
Please share these tips with your family and friends and encourage them to try Krav Maga, Muay Thai, Karate, Kung Fu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Aikido, Capoeira and Silat.
– The above submission was prepared by Professora Marlene.