Using Your Environment
Wherever you go, you have to watch out for life’s blind spots, dark areas and corners. This is not an easy thing to do as life becomes more complicated. These areas, contrary to what many people write about, cannot always be avoided either.
If you exit your home, your vehicle, your place of business/employment, you take a look around. It seems so simple, yet so many people just start chunk’in across the parking lot, sometimes weaving in and out of parked cars with careless abandon. They might be "looking" but are they thinking about what they are looking at? Their environment...
Look for people, obviously, but more than that, look for telltale signs of people. Shadows, look for the shadows of people, look for feet sticking out from around corners, a hand that has been carelessly not concealed by someone who wants to be concealed. Their mistake might mean seconds for you to be able to react. Cigarette smoke can clue you in as to the presence of people you cannot see.
Stripmalls and some other buildings, especially in cities offer you a great tactical tool. The use of the windows as mirrors. Depending on position, you can sometimes use them to look around corners on your side of the street by looking ahead on the other side of the street. Sometimes you can see what is going on quite a few feet behind you without having to turn around. The same thing holds true for shadows cast by streetlights or the headlights of vehicles passing.
Like a careful Driver who scans their mirrors every few seconds looking for an "out," you should be doing the same. Using not only your eyes, but your ears and other senses as well. It took more time to type this out than it would take to make a complete and steady scan of the area every few seconds. Being aware, even if it is only three seconds before an attack happens, will allow you to react better than the "Bad Guy" being right in your face instantly.
When it comes to real Self-defense, meaning, instantaneous response with natural weapons [unarmed combat] or other weapons, you have to practice drawing from whatever mode of carry you are utilizing. You have to be proficient. This makes no difference if your weapon is a handgun, fixed blade knife, folding knife, can of pepper spray or a telescoping baton. If you cannot get the weapon out from under concealment and produce it for use, it may as well be left at home in the nightstand.
A properly executed attack from the rear will leave you dead. Fortunately, most attackers do not wish to kill you outright from the beginning of the "engagement." If you’re a woman, they may want to rob you, or rob you and take you somewhere more secluded so they can rape you.
Predators will grab a woman and drag her to a waiting vehicle [vans are infamous for this sort of activity, avoid them like the plague in parking lots, etc. but do not become so fixed on them that you ignore every other vehicle-cross reference to weapon-fixation], empty office building, stairwell, hedges, a stand of trees, anywhere they can to work their evil with a greater degree of safety for them.
These are the things that you have to learn to shut down as fast as possible.
For men, the object is usually robbery and/or murder, the reason it happens is not important. The fact that it does and the mechanics of it are what we are interested in. This can be a single attacker face to face, coming up from behind, or multiple attackers who either present themselves for a "show of force," or hang back in case they are needed. These can also be the lookouts.
When you go around the corner of a building, swing wide, do not hug the contour of the building. Swinging wide from the corner will give you a few more feet to react, some distance to fade back or to do whatever is in your individual "battle plan."
When you are walking to your car, the same thing applies, do not walk so close to the car that someone can pop up right in your face. Walking to your own car, give it a wide swing so you can see what is between the cars before you get caught in the fatal funnel. When you are in the funnel, use the mirrors and glass on your car and surrounding cars to check things out.
I won’t re-tell stories that may or may not be "Urban Legends," but it seems to me that if an attacker does find an unlocked car, they might very well jump in it with the cover of darkness and wait to see who comes out to the car. Likewise, the possibility of an attacker being under a car for concealment seems to be crafty enough for these predators to utilize.
Make sure you look in the car! Be prepared to stomp any hand that might grab you. The "Urban Legends" that have been going around might actually be a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Because if the predators believe it is the "thing to do because others are doing it," they might very well adopt the legend that has been created.
Keep you head mobile and don’t look at the ground or the sky constantly, nor straight ahead, take it all in. Right, left, ground, straight ahead...repeat. Train yourself to do these things now when it does not count. That way, when it does count, it will be a habit.