The Lottery that is Your Life and Crime – 2017 – Do You Need to Learn Self Defence?
The Office for National Statistics provides its annual crime numbers for England and Wales each spring and Spartans Academy of Krav Maga reviews the data to analyse where we need to focus our training and education for our students in the upcoming year.
The latest data covering crime in 2016 published today (27/04/17) continues the trend started in 2014 where crime is again on the increase after a period of decline in the preceding ten years. A total of 4.8 million offences were recorded, up 9% on 2015.
The particular concern for us is that violent, sexual and property crime is increasing. Homicides went up by 21% (although the majority of this increase is due to the coroner’s recording of the Hillsborough victims from 1989 as manslaughter last April), knife crime increased by 14% and firearms offences were up 13% (due to more handgun incidents).
Sexual assaults is another concern showing a 13% annual raise in reported incidents and robberies and car theft are both up by 10%.
The average person has a 2 in 100 chance of being a victim of violent crime with the crime rate recorded for last year. This ratio of course increases if your lifestyle or work commitments predisposes you to factors conducive to crime. This could be how you socially interact in environments with excessive alcohol consumption or working with people in public facing roles in high stress services.
We always say that life and violence is a lottery where you can get more favourable odds. You can do something to stay safer from criminals and crime.
Some violent crime is opportunistic. Some violent crime is premeditated. All violent crime is because the human predator committing it is considering you to be easy prey. You must be a victim in their eyes, someone who can be dominated, to reduce their personal risk from the criminal act.
Krav Maga is a concept of behaviour and a system of skills to combat and protect against crime and criminals. Originated in Israel for its defence forces, it is now used worldwide by military special forces and secret service and law enforcement agencies . It is also a very effective self defence method for civilians.
It’s not a sport. It’s not competitive. It has no rules. It’s about the real world.
Our Krav Maga is focused on situational awareness, threat avoidance and de-escalation as your primary defences. If you can avoid the risk of violence or threats by being intelligent and focused, this is your best option. We teach you how to observe, think and act to make physical confrontation the absolute last resort.
The violence or threat may still seek you out, uninvited and unavoidable. Our Krav Maga is about learning and practicing the mental fortitude and confidence to deal with the initial stress and shock that makes many victims just freeze and shut down in the face of trauma.
Your new strength of mind is coupled with training on techniques and tactics to handle attackers should the situation demand it; one or many, armed or unarmed, in the street, at home, in your car, on public transport, at work, in the pub, wherever you may be.
The new skills and confidence you have is framed by coaching in the legal parameters of domestic self defence law. What you should do and say before any violent encounter, how far you can go in the actual altercation itself and what you do after the incident has happened.
Our Krav Maga is all about you and those who mean the world to you. It’s about keeping yourself and your family safe with a confident and strong mind and your body as a trained, skilled self-defence weapon
The best card you’ve got to play in the lottery that is your life and crime?
Simple. It’s you.
Here are some easy tips to help you get started to protect yourself:
- Tell people where you are going, who you are with and when you should be home. – Use a tracker app on your phone with your family or a trusted friend.
- Avoid short cuts and dark isolated areas.
- Be discreet handling cash, phones and wearing jewellery in public.
- Keep your distance to strangers. Be aware of accomplices. Move away if needed and don’t worry about appearing rude.
- Walk confidently. Look assertive. Check the area around you.
- If you need to use your phone, stay away from people and against a structure protecting your back. Never use headphones in public, even when jogging. – Entering a public venue, check the people, the environment and the exits. Plan an escape route and anything you can use to protect yourself with. – At a cash point pay close attention to who is around you or approaching.
- Keep bags close to you, on the front of the body and secured with zips closed.
- Spread notes in different pockets around the body so, in case of a robbery, you can hand out a lesser amount and not lose other content such as ID or credit cards. – If you think someone is following you, cross to the other side of the road. Repeat again if followed. If still followed, move quickly to a safe public area. If residential, go to a lit house and ring the door bell, knock loudly and call out a fictitious male name. Call the Police. – If you need help, call out ‘Fire’ rather than cry for help. People are more likely to help.- If a stranger buys you a drink, go to the bar with them. Watch the drink at all times. If you feel strange after drinking, tell someone else you trust to help you home.
- Don’t let alcohol impair your decision making and physical abilities in public.
Instructor at Spartans Academy of Krav Maga