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Personal Safety Tips


Pay attention to your environment.  Don’t daydream.

Be aware of your surroundings.  Avoid ipods or similar devices that can prevent you from hearing someone approaching.

Familiarity may breed carelessness.  Just because it is familiar doesn’t mean it is safe.

Walk in the middle of the sidewalk look for people hiding in doorways or parked cars.  If there is little traffic, walk in the middle of the street.  Try to use routes that are well lit.  You may want to vary your route, especially at night.

Know where safety is.  Stay aware no matter where you are or what you are doing.

Be self-aware

Men:  Know Your Triggers.  Men have a tendency to fight over words, property, or territory.   Avoid confrontation at any cost until the final line has been crossed.  This final line can be different for different people.  How will you know?  When you are willing to risk death!!!  Treat fighting as a last resort.

Deal with Reality

Ignoring the situation won’t make it go away.  Saying, “this isn’t really happening to me,” won’t make it go away either.  It is happening to you.  Deal with it!

Body Language

Walk with purpose.  Keep your head up, and have your eyes and ears open.

An aware and confident person is much less likely to be selected as a victim.

Let people know that you are aware of them, without acting afraid or challenging them.

Victims are selected.  Do you look vulnerable?  Do not sound vulnerable.

Walk with determination and assertiveness with your head up.

Don’t look down at the ground.

Take control of your space

Know where your discomfort zone is, and do not let a potential attacker enter your space.

If confronted, set a boundary.  Assume a ready stance and tell the person politely, but firmly what you want them to do, ”Stop right there…Turn around and leave.”   Use a calm firm voice and strong, but neutral body language.

Defend yourself

Assume your ready stance.  According to FBI statistics most attacks are stopped by just one strong move.  It could be yelling at bystanders for help, or just yelling the word STOP.   It could be hitting or kicking as hard as you can.  Whatever you do, Look, Sound and Act like you mean it.

Trust your intuition

When you feel that there is something wrong with a Person, Place, or Situation, there is!

Take appropriate action.  It is better to leave a situation in error than to stay and be proven right.

Ed Kress
For over 40 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. With the help of local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security, Ed developed a program focused on 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 and a wide variety of martial arts techniques.

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