I used to take self-defense classes and I remember my instructor telling me that getting away from danger is still the best way to defend oneself from an attacker. Don’t try to copy the stuff that happen in the movies. The aim of real life self-defense is not to win a street fight, but to survive. Try to avoid the scenario wherein you’ll have to fight. If it’s a hold-up, just give them your stuff. Your life is more valuable. Run away to a populated and well-lit area as soon as you can. In the event that you can’t run away, use whatever it is that you can use to prevent your attacker from hurting you, and then as soon as you can, run away!
I thought that that was really sound advice. Fortunately, I have never found myself in a situation wherein I seriously had to find out whether I could use any moves I learned from him.
However, there was one time, when I found myself in a situation wherein I was able to apply his “get away!” principle.
There was this creepy guy at work who used to make me feel uncomfortable. I already told him I wasn’t interested but he would still try to get close to me.
One evening, I got off from work and found him also there at the parking lot. His motorcycle was parked near to mine.
Creepy Guy: Hey! Since we’re both done with work, let me bring you home so that I can also find out where you live.
Me (as politely as I could): Thank you, but as you can see, I’m already on my motorcycle, and I’m about to ride away from here on my own, so I don’t really need help going home.
Creepy Guy: I insist.
Me: (Not out loud) Oh shit. (Out loud) No thanks, bye!
I have never valued the fact that my bike had an electric start instead of just a kick start as much as I did at that moment.
I rode out of the compound as quickly as I could. But, he was after me! On the high way, vehicles were packed all around us. Cars were moving slowly. Traffic! I took advantage of every space in front of me as quickly as I could so that I could get away, but Creepy Guy was still close behind me.
My instant impulse was to ride faster. I knew that my motorcycle could go faster than his on a clear road. However, my better judgment kicked in and told me not to go for it. Creepy Guy could be a better skilled rider. I might also endanger myself if I go beyond my comfortable speed. There must be another way to get away. I had to think fast!
And then, a flash of insight! I deliberately slowed down. Apparently, Creepy Guy didn’t expect this so he suddenly found himself ahead of me on the road. All I needed to do then was find a turn. It was easy. He lost me.
Of course, I had to take quite a long detour but I didn’t mind it. I felt safer.
I must admit that my thought process when I slowed down wasn’t very clear to me. It all happened so fast. Survival instinct? Intuition? What I found crucial is that I stopped myself from just thinking about outrunning Creepy Guy. A realistic assessment of my capacities and limitations, as well as the environment, somehow enabled me to find a safer option.
After all, I wasn’t in a race; I was in an act of self-defense. The point was not to compete in order to prove anything or win anything. The important thing was to survive.
How about you, do you have your own experience of being followed? How did you deal with it? Or have you had to defend yourself whether on the road or off the road? Self-defense tips are also welcome.
Photo Credit: http://pixabay.com/en/sign-icon-symbol-drawing-40000/