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Anatomy of a Mugging – Part 2

Lake St. Downtown Oak Park IL By davidwilson1949

In Anatomy of a Mugging Part – 1 you were introduced to the circumstances leading up to the mugging of Lisa Dodge. She was just one of five women recently attacked while returning home from work late at night, in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.

“This person jumped out from one of the porticos and said, ‘all I want is your money.’ And I said, ‘I don’t have any money,’ and I just kept walking,” said Dodge.

She says the man then jumped on her, bringing her to the ground and choking her from behind. As his grip on her neck tightened, Dodge fought back.

You travel to work or walk near your home everyday without taking the time to look for places a predator might hide.

1) Where are the blind spots? 

2) Do they vary depending on whether it is day or night?

3) Are there ways to avoid the blind spots as you go to and from your work, home or apartment?

Lisa was surprised by her assailant, denied his request for money, and kept on moving.  This is a good idea, you want space between you and your assailant, but never turn your back to them without turning your head to keep them in your sight.

If you are going to fight for your possessions you should have your potential weapons, feet, knees, arms, head, and hands pointed towards your assailant not away from them.

“So I start yelling ‘Fire, fire!’ And some of the neighbors came out of the building. But the moron throws me on top of my purse and I’m trying to mule-kick him, and one of the neighbors told him to get off me,” Dodge said.  “That’s when I got up and he bends down, takes my purse, and runs away.”

Dodge managed to yell ‘fire,’ something she learned recently in a self-defense class, and soon, neighbors were outside.

Using your voice to draw attention to your situation is one of the main things you should learn in any self-defense class.  If the class doesn’t focus on prevention, consider finding a different class.
Lisa Dodge did what came naturally to her based on her training and experience.  In a situation such as the one she encountered there is usually no time to think about what action you might take.

If you had time to think, what other actions might you take in her situation? 

1) If you had cash still in your hand after paying the cabbie, you could throw it in one direction and run in the other, and escaped without risk of injury. 

2) As soon as he showed himself and asked for money you could start yelling the word ‘fire’ immediately.  He still may have tried to take your bag by force, but he also might have turned and runaway.

3) Decide whether you are willing to risk serious injury in defending your possessions. 

4) If you would rather fight than hand over your valuables check the cost of a visit to the emergency room, or the cost of an ambulance to the hospital.  It is doubtful your healthcare provider will cover all your costs, most people have to pay a large deductible before their insurance kicks in.

5) Should you be physically assaulted as Lisa Dodge was, you need to fight all out.  Do not hold back.  Attack your assailant’s eyes, groin and throat with every part of your being.  This may include sinking your teeth into your assailant.

It is much better to be aware of potentially dangerous people and places and avoid them.

Awareness is the key to your safety!

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Ed Kress
For over 35 years Ed Kress has been an instructor and student at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts, named "Best Overall Martial Arts School” worldwide by Black Belt Magazine. Master Fred Degerberg awarded Ed his 7th degree Black Belt in 2015. Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, Ed learned early in life to pay attention to his surroundings in order to avoid potentially dangerous people and situations. Along with local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security, Ed has developed a program which focuses on teaching personal safety on the streets, and as it relates to the high school and college experience. Ed has trained thousands of adult men and women as well as high school and college students to improve their personal and situational awareness and, when necessary, how to physically defend themselves using their brains as well as their bodies. Ed began his martial arts career when he started wrestling in 8th grade, taking 1st place in the Chicago Park District City Championships. He later wrestled varsity at Mendel Catholic High School where he was a Chicago Catholic League Conference Champion. During his college career at North Park University he was a Conference Champion and 2-time NCAA Div 3 national qualifier. He was on his way to qualifying for the 3rd time when a neck injury ended his college career. His record that year was 17 - 0. He continues to wrestle as Head Freshman Wrestling Coach at Loyola Academy. A position he has held since 2004.

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