Self Defense in Redondo Beach

Self Defense in Redondo Beach

Don’t get complacent, and don’t ignore your gut instincts.  These are two of the most important things when it comes to self defense.  The attack against the American woman and her French boyfriend in Rio last week illustrates this very important issue when you’re traveling abroad, but it’s applicable here at home as well.  For those who are unaware, the couple boarded a public transit van in the popular Copacabana district shortly after midnight, and three men forced the other passengers off the van and drove around for six hours, beating the couple and repeatedly raping the woman.  The couple are incredibly lucky that they were eventually freed, as most victims in these kinds of attacks are killed to prevent identification of their attackers (which is what happened in this case, as all three suspects are in custody).

More and more people are traveling outside of this country, which can lead to some amazing life changing experiences.  It also exposes them to dangers and situations that they may have never considered while living in the USA which is why some self defense training or experience in Krav Maga is important.  Travel safety is an enormous topic that I’m not going to tackle here except to say that it’s crucial that you understand where you are going.  Know the dangers, be prepared, and use common sense.  And if you’re somewhere for awhile, don’t get too comfortable and relax your guard.  Many college students are taking a semester or year abroad and instead of the old staples such as London or Paris, they are traveling to less frequented places.  In the Rio case, the couple were Portuguese language students who had been there for a month.  It’s possible they got too comfortable, relaxed their guard, and took some risks.  When combined with ill luck, they paid dearly for those mistakes.

As important as it is to stay smart and vigilant while traveling, it’s equally important to stay alert and use common sense here at home.  Familiarity breeds complacency.  We like to have an “it can’t happen to me” mentality because it feels safe; we don’t have to think about all of the bad things that can happen.  As we fall into a routine it’s easy to forget the basics of self defense…we forget to take that extra look around on the way to our car when leaving the mall.  Or we dismiss that car that seems to have been following us for awhile.  We leave doors and windows unlocked and sit in our parked cars.  And since the South Bay tends to be a pretty safe place, we are generally lucky.  But people get robbed.  People get mugged.  Home invasions happen…even here.  If you stay vigilant and smart you will greatly decrease your chances of becoming a victim.

Finally, don’t ignore your instincts.  Instincts are crucial to self defense!  Now, in order to have instincts you have to be paying attention, allowing all five senses to work for you.  This means no walking and texting!  Be careful about wearing those earbuds.  Your alert system is finely tuned but you have to listen to it.  So much of being safe is being aware and not being afraid of altering your path or plans if something seems amiss.  Don’t get on the elevator with the creepy looking guy in a quiet parking structure.  If he makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, it’s okay to offend him and wait for the next ride.  I wonder if that couple in Rio had a bad feeling as they were getting on that van.  I wonder if they felt safer since there were several people present.  It’s always better to err on the side of inconvenience and offense than to ignore your instincts and end up in a truly bad situation.

In our Krav Maga (self defense) classes we talk about being aware.  Our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) program has an extensive section on self defense.  Instructors in our Muay Thai kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) classes make frequent references to real world applications of sport techniques.  We have seminars that address everyday vigilance and the importance of having a plan.  We have instructors who have extensive travel experience to all parts of the world, so if you have plans to travel (especially off the beaten path) feel free to ask for any advice or tips.  Training in martial arts will help increase your chances of survival in almost any situation, but don’t forget the easy things; don’t get complacent and listen to your instincts both abroad and here at home.

~Katie Toney

Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 543-1600

Self Defense in Redondo Beach

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Self Defense in Redondo Beach



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