As you probably know by now, searching the term “self-defense” brings up a wide variety of material. From products, to instruction, to publications, to organizations. That’s good. It’s an important subject and there are a lot of aspects to it. The Wikipedia definition of self-defense is:
a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm.
That’s a good definition, but it’s even better to know what countermeasures to take should the need ever arise. There are two important things everyone should know, they are: Being Prepared and Situational Awareness. In fact, these two things go hand in hand, but let’s start with situational awareness. What does that mean?
When it comes to our safety, no one wants to constantly dwell on all of the bad possibilities that could happen to us. That’s just not healthy. But then again, neither is going about completely unaware of our surroundings. Situational awareness means just that: being aware of your surroundings and what’s going on around you. We are referencing it now as it relates to self-defense however, situational awareness has important applications in every aspect of our lives. A large percentage of accidents and mishaps, at the workplace, driving, and even in commercial transportation, happen because someone wasn’t paying attention. And that’s what situational awareness really is – simply paying attention.
As it relates to your personal safety, you should always be aware in some way of what’s going on around you. Know your surroundings, be aware of safe places to go from where you are, and how you would defend yourself if you had to. Situational awareness is a subject that law enforcement is well versed in, and trained for. With even a minimal amount of practice, situational awareness can become a natural part of your everyday consciousness.
Now for the twist: Developing and maintaining a level of situational awareness doesn’t mean that you can rely on that solely to keep you safe. Street-variety criminals are basically predators. If they see that you are aware, they may still look for an opening. However, your awareness, or even appearance of awareness can often be a determining factor in deterring such events, because criminals usually want to go after what they perceive as the easiest target.
If you are driving and appear lost, it is best to make efforts to retrace how you got lost, or call someone immediately for help if you cannot use a mapping application on your phone. The same goes if you are walking and feel uncomfortable, look for the closest place to ask for help. If you feel vulnerable at any time, do not hesitate to call or look for help, danger only increases with delay.
If an unthinkable thing should happen, hopefully your awareness of surroundings makes it possible for you to have some distance from it. In the case of potentially violent assaults or attacks, the best thing you can have is distance between yourself and the threat. The more the better. While this isn’t always possible, and you should have a plan or training for how to handle a close threat, you should try to eliminate the threat quickly and get as far away as possible.
Once you have situational awareness, the next important thing is preparedness. Every time there is another story about some terrible crime or tragic incident, it’s fair to say that most of us have at least a passing thought about
what would I have done?
There are many facets of preparedness, but the best way to avoid situations of threat is to be prepared beforehand.
The Byrna HD was developed with this in mind. It maximizes your ability to stop a threat that is a good distance from you. It is one of the best legal self-defense products available, it is easy to obtain, no license or background checks are necessary, and very easy to learn how to use, women feel empowered having a Byrna HD on their possession. Remember, hesitation can be one of the most disastrous things to happen when a threat is real, with the Byrna HD there is no reason to hesitate as it is non lethal, but will definitely stop an attacker and give you time to remove yourself from the situation.
It is still a great non-lethal weapon in close quarters, but it gives you the option to stop a threat early on if possible.
So, be aware of your surroundings and be prepared. It’s good, sound, common sense advice. And it can go a long way in keeping you safe.