College towns and campuses are often targets for rapists, muggers, and other dangerous criminals. A few weeks ago, a man tried to kidnap a female student at a local university as she walked to her dorm. Luckily, a campus security officer was nearby and heard her screams, but some situations don’t have such a fortunate ending. Would you know how to protect yourself in a similar situation? NOT-ME!, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded by Erik Kondo. It offers self-defense strategies for people at a disadvantage to their attacker. Anyone from college students to older adults can benefit from the self-defense techniques Eric teaches. Below, I’ve listed some of the strategies Erik writes about in his booklets. For more self-defense strategies, including Erik’s complete booklets, visit Not-Me.org .
The 5 D’s of Self Defense
Erik organizes the various self-defense tips and strategies into five categories. This framework helps students be more prepared.
DECIDE — Planning, education, training, and acceptance of risk are important, yet often overlooked. Examples of actions taken during the decide phase include deciding to take a self-defense class, deciding to always lock your doors and deciding never to be taken to a second location.
DETER – This phase involves deterring a potential aggressor by adopting appropriate body language, and setting boundaries. Yelling “back off!” can be enough to deter a someone from following through with plans to attack.
DISRUPT – Disrupt is the phase you probably think about when you hear self-defense advice. However, as Erik points out, it is only part of the framework of self-defense. This phase is intended to create an opportunity to escape. Hitting, biting, kicking and stomping are examples of disrupting actions.
DISENGAGE – After you disrupt an attack by any means necessary, use the opportunity to escape.
DEBRIEF – The final stage involves minimizing the long-term consequences of an attack by seeking help as soon as possible. This may involve calling the police, going to a hospital, consulting a lawyer, and/or seeing a counselor.
The goal of physical assertiveness is to prevent and stop an attack. It is intended to minimize the need for more dangerous or aggressive actions such as hitting or using a weapon.
1. Physical Positioning
- Maintain a five foot distance between you and a potential aggressor.
- Raising open hands in front of the body, palms forward and arms bent at a 90 degree angle is an effective defense posture.
- “Stop” “back off” and “no” are all effective commands to be used in addition to physical positioning
3. Physical follow-through
- If physical positioning and communication aren’t enough to stop an attacker, physical actions may be necessary to reinforce verbal commands.
- Physical follow-through is intended to stun an aggressor and create space to allow for escape.
- Striking an aggressor’s forearm with the heel of your free hand, creating space by shoving/pushing the aggressor’s inner shoulder joint are examples of physical follow-through.
Physical Assertiveness: Proactive strategies for deterring the onset of violence. by Erik Kondo.
The NOT-ME! Strategy of Self-Defense by Erik Kondo.
Making Sense of Self-Defense by Erik Kondo