Defining Self Defense for Seniors

Understanding and accepting that as a people age their bodies becomes slower, less flexible, and less agile than when they were younger. Seniors also become weaker and tire more easily than their younger assailants. By being prepared to protect oneself against an aggressor is the goal you want to achieve. Being aware of your surroundings, space and distance between yourself, potential hazards, and safety are essential in maintaining your personal safety.

How Maintaining a Fit and Healthy Lifestyle Can Aid in Your Self Defense

Building strength, maintaining agility, and flexibility will make you more confident in your ability to protect yourself should you need to do so in a physical manner. You will increase your social interactions and build a network of support that will influence your choice to be committed to your protection.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

By maintaining an awareness of your surroundings you will be able to prevent yourself from becoming a potential victim of an opportunistic assailant. Know your routes of travel before you walk out into an open parking lot, driveway, or other open space. Stay alert to people around you or approaching you, watch their body movement and know where you can safely get to should you need to remove yourself from any situation. Keep your keys firmly in your hands (or attached to a wristband/keychain) when leaving any building and going toward your vehicle. Always try to park in a well-lit area and keep your doors locked, and valuables out of the vehicle or locked in the trunk. At home, keep hedges trimmed low and away from windows and doors so that your view is not impeded from the inside out or when you are returning to your home. This will also prevent would be intruders from being able to hide from neighbors or passers-by.

Be Prepared and Committed

In the event that you need to take action to prevent yourself or a loved one from being injured, you must be 100% committed to taking any action. Mentally and physically prepare yourself for such a task. You should practice, if possible, with a group or another individual what you would do. Know what you would do, and if you have taken a self-defense class, know and practice your self defense movements. Implement your skills in all of your preparation and practice so that if and when a situation arises, you are ready and capable of taking action.

Final Thoughts

Getting and staying fit, mentally and physically, preparing yourself for the “worst case scenario” and committing to taking action are all critical in your safety and well-being. You cannot control the actions of others, but you do have ownership over your own response and certain abilities.

Sherri Rees
Massage Therapist

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