Stay safe with some super self-defense!

By Victoria Brancazio and Jeremy Fox

Self-defense tips

During winter break, many East students travel to places that may not be as safe as Chapel Hill. Large cities such as New York City, along with with rural areas, have higher crime rates than the local community. The chance of being mugged is still extremely low, but just in case you find yourself in a life-threatening situation, here are some self-defense tips, straight from local martial arts expert Master Erik Neill, a self-defense guru who has studied Taekwondo for over 20 years.

These natural and instinctive reactions are what most people instinctively fight with in a self-defense situation.

These defenses are Master Neill’s adaptations of the instinctive reactions. Here, Master Neill teaches you how to turn your reaction into an effective defense.

1) The most common defense is a knee to the groin of your attacker.

Junior ECHO staffer Victoria Brancazio aims a knee to the groin of fellow ECHO staffer Jeremy Fox.

According to Master Neill, this perfect defense will quickly render your attacker helpless. Remember to prioritize the use of knees and elbows over hands and feet as these harder surface areas minimize the chance of injuring yourself.

2) Second on the list is scratching the eyes and the face.

Another perfect defense, scratching the face of your attacker effectively distracts them, and scratching their eyes blinds them. Remember that scratching is only effective when used on a functional target, i.e. scratching the ribs will not be very effective.

3) Kicking the shins is the third most common defense.

A moderately effective defense, a kick to the shins can cause your attacker severe pain, however, higher kicks to the knees and groin are more effective, providing you with an increased chance of escape.

4) Over-wound and overpowered, the fourth most commonly used defense is an overhand punch.

You should never make the mistake of using this terrible move in a self-defense situation. With an uncontrolled punch such as this, you risk breaking your hand. Instead, try using your elbows. An effective attack at close range, an elbow hitting anywhere on the body will produce significant damage.

Brancazio wards off another attack from Fox with her mastery of self-defense.

5) Finally, the fifth most often used attack is hair pulling.

Only moderately effective, pulling your attacker’s hair does cause them pain, but willl not create the results necessary to enable your escape. Instead, try using your attacker’s hair to pull their head back and expose their throat. Then, attack the throat with your hands. A karate chop to the throat, even if performed by someone with no martial arts experience, will still be sufficient to disable your attacker.

How to avoid larceny

The most regularly committed crime that occurs in Chapel Hill is larceny. For those who may not know, larceny is the unlawful possession of another person’s personal property. Due to the upcoming holidays, gifts, generally expensive, are given and the chances that those gifts may be stolen increase. If you ever encounter a situation where something you own may potentially be stolen there are a couple of things you can do.

If you are out and about with important items you don’t want stolen:

1) Leave them in your car and leave them out of sight. People are much more likely to break into a car if they can clearly see an item of value. By placing your valuables either under your seat, in the glove compartment, or under another type of camouflage (such as a blanket, or old papers lying in the back of your car) you are decreasing the chance of having them stolen.

2) If you are carrying important items around, use an over-the-shoulder bag. This lets you keep an eye on your belongings and prevents pickpockets from successfully stealing you items. A fanny pack can also be used.

3) Don’t bring anything bigger then a cell phone or iPod with you while at school or around town. If you don’t have any huge objects with you, then they can’t get stolen.

If you want to prevent robberies at home:

1) Always lock your doors. If there is a choice between robbing a house with locked doors or a home with unlocked doors, people will always choose the latter. This idea may sound simple, but you would be surprised by how many people leave their houses unlocked during the day. Be sure to use both the bolt and the door lock.

2) Get an alarm system. A way to prevent a home robbery is to get an alarm system and place the warning sign included in your front yard. You do not even necessarily need to set the alarm  – or for that matter, get a full functioning system in the first place. Placing the sign in a visible location is the priority here. By placing this sign, you are warning others that you have a secure home – even if you don’t.

3) Get a dog. Some people may not be able to do this, but if you can, get a dog. Size and breed do not matter, but a terrifying bark could scare away any future robbers.


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