Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Self Defense for Klutzes

Today my guest is author Sue Star. Sue writes mysteries about families in chaos. In real life, she teaches young adults, and in her leisure time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, martial arts, and hanging out with her family. Her novel, Murder in the Dojo, the first of the black belt mystery series, is newly released from D.M. Kreg Publishing.

And while Sue is here at Terry's Place, I'm a guest at Sarah Grimm's blog. And, on top of that, it's my day over at The Blood-Red Pencil where I'm talking about the apostrophe. Hope you'll pop over for a peek and say hello.

A word of warning! If you don’t have the proper training, then we recommend that you not try playing ninja at home. Some of the martial arts techniques we have to use are pretty darned complicated, and my fictional characters and I have been practicing them for years.

Aside from fancy techniques, here are four basic safety rules that everyone should follow. Yes, staying alert to basic safety is the real secret behind self defense.

First: Avoid trouble. This is the number one rule! Another way to put this, as my sensei would say: don’t be stupid. Stay away from dark alleys. If you have to walk in unlighted areas (as we’ve all been known to do from time to time), then walk in the middle of the sidewalk, not next to dark bushes or parked cars where thugs can hide.

Second: Don’t look like a victim. Always show confidence (whether or not you feel it). Walk with head held high, chin up, back straight. Thugs look for victims; they don’t want to tangle with confident types.

Third: If the first and second rules don’t work, then use your lungs. Scream! Thugs don’t like witnesses, and screams bring witnesses to the scene.

Fourth: Remember to always carry your car keys in your hands (not lost at the bottom of your purse or pocket) as you walk toward your car. Better yet, splay the keys between your fingers to make a fist your thug will not want to meet.

Okay, so those are just basic safety rules. But what about actual self defense? Here’s a simple trick that even non-ninjas can use if they have to (heaven forbid):

If all else fails, you might be able to make a thug release a grip on you by jabbing the soft spot in the thug’s neck. This is the soft windpipe spot where the neck meets the breastbone, as seen in the illustration.

These are only a few of the many tips for self defense that a non-practicing martial artist can use. Safety and being aware of your surroundings is an easy way to begin. Good luck, have fun, and remember to stay out of trouble!

Murder in the Dojo, by Sue Star, can be purchased at any bookstore. ISBN: 9780615570723. To find out more, see her publisher’s website at www.dmkregpublishing.com


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great tips, Sue! Hope I never have to use them.

Judith said...

Thanks for the tips. I often forget about the car keys and I KNOW that one. Darn. I will get better: thanks for all and the timely reminders. And thanks for Murder in the Dojo -- Read it. LOVED it. Write more, please

Michelle Black said...

Very good, sensible advice (and, like Elizabeth, I hope I never have to use it!)
Thanks for the post!

Sue Star said...

Thanks, Elizabeth, Judith, and Michelle! The best defense is never having to use self defense. SO glad you liked my book! The second one is in process.

Julie Robinson said...

Wonderful tips! Thanks for sharing.

Sue Star said...

My pleasure, Julie! And thanks to Terry for hosting me today!

Karen C said...

Thanks for the reminders!