When I left school I joined the South African Police and was quickly drafted into a special high risk unit. I was a very practical operator and was very successful in the unit. So I decided to write the:

12 RULES FOR SELF DEFENSE AND SECURITY IN SOUTH AFRICA

1. Be aware of everything and everyone around you at all times. Take note of suspicious behavior and rather be over cautious about people that act strangely around you.

2. If you carry a weapon of any kind then make sure that you know how to use it and it is easily accessible at all times. There is no time for fumbling if someone attacks you.

3. Research any new area that you visit. Some places are safe and others not, so don’t get caught in the wrong part of town.

4. In case you get attacked, know what to do. Know what part of the body you can go for. I recommend the knees and the throat. The groin is too difficult to get a clean shot in and may just anger the attacker more. Kick hard on the knee cap to break the knee backwards or hit the middle of the throat with force. Don’t be gentle.

5. Only fight back if there is a threat of death or serious injury. There is no value in provoking a mild attacker.

6. Do not keep all your keys on one key ring. If you can then hold your keys in different places around the house. If you do get robbed at least you will have minimal inconvenience.

7. Don’t flash your money in public. When paying for an item in a shop with cash, or even card, be sure you are aware of anyone inside or outside the establishment that could be watching you.

8. If you live with others in a house, make sure to have a person tasked with the security of the home. Don’t assume that someone else has locked the doors or windows when the others are assuming the same thing. Have a system that the person follows every night or when ever needed.

9. Always make sure you have ample early warning systems in place. Beams, sensors, dogs etc. Even something simple like fishing line which is strung between cans across walls or floors. Put stones or marbles in the cans. This is cheap and practical.

10. Go to a self defense class. Get educated and trained on self defense and personal security. No need to become a black belt, just have a few moves so that you are not easily overpowered when your life depends on it.

11. If you are alone and you suspect that someone is going to attack you, whether it be in your home or outside in the street, look around as if you are waiting for someone to catch up and even call out a random name. This will fool the possible attacker into thinking that you have others on their way and you are not alone.

12. If you don’t possess a firearm or know how to use one, keep another weapon next to your bed at night. A sharp kitchen knife or a club. Make sure it is within arms length.

This is not meant to scare you, it is merely 12 practical ways to keep yourself safe or defend yourself.

I believe that if you are prepared for something it will never happen, so “be prepared” as the boy scouts say.