Approaching your car

          Recap from last time; be observant of your surroundings. Pay attention to people, their body language and distance from you. Also look out for security and people who would be able to help if you need. Finally, look for objects that can be used as weapons in your surroundings for your self-defense.

         It is common knowledge that approaching your vehicle can be a time of vulnerability, you must always be cautious as you can never tell if someone is targeting you. You should always be mindful that you can be targeted by either someone you know (someone who may have a personal vendetta) or a stranger (someone who may view you as an easy target to rob). Whatever the reason going to your vehicle provides a good opportunity, therefore precautions must be taken.

          Proximity is the most obvious rule here, it is always better to park close to the building you entering. This allows the advantage for having a shorter distance to walk and also a cry for help is more likely to be heard.

There are times a close park seems impossible though so practicing our observational skills from our previous lesson will come in handy. Ensure that you know where the security guard is, notice if anyone is lingering around your vehicle, and take a quick scan of your surroundings for weapons to defend yourself.

You may feel confident to approach your vehicle if there isn’t anyone around, however this is WRONG. Instead of going directly to your vehicle it is good practice to walk pass it so you can view all around ensuring no one is behind your Vehicle.

           If all is clear at this point, and you feel you can carry about yourself carefree you would be WRONG AGAIN.  Now as you approach your door look through the windows to make sure there isn’t anyone inside waiting for you and while opening your door pan your view for anyone approaching you. When you are in the car ensure that you lock your doors immediately.

          Scenario one; as you approach your car you notice one or a few, people lingering nearby. In a case like this you can call upon your observational skills to decipher if the people may be a threat. Focus on their body language and if they are close to your vehicle especially on the driver’s side. You can also activate your car alarm to reveal if the individuals are threatening or not. If they clear the path to your vehicle when the alarm sounds you can proceed cautiously however if you still feel anxious you can get security to escort you.

          Scenario two; it is dark, lonely and there are no security guards or help available. In this instance if you notice anyone lingering around your car, do not go further, call the police, it is better to be safe than sorry.

In a worst case scenario where you may have to defend yourself and you have not observed any weapons you can use your keys. Take your keys in your hand and form a fist allowing the key to extend through your index and middle finger. The face, neck and groin should be your main targets of these ‘key fist’ punches. When you are safe then you can call the police.

          While these are basic tips for you to keep safe, it is highly advisable to get self-defense training to learn techniques to supplement these as it can save your life.

A member of the NKCTT and NMCTT. Connected to WAKO and IFMA