Teens Health: Self Defense Basics - (Many crimes occur at school, on the street, or at a park or playground)

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According to the National Crime Prevention Council, young people ages 12 to 24 are the group most likely to be victims of crimes such as rape, assault, and robbery. Many of these crimes occur at school, on the street, or at a park or playground.

You may know someone who's been bullied, physically assaulted, or even raped. Or maybe you've been in an unsafe situation where you felt threatened.

The good news is that you can learn to protect yourself and you don't even need a black belt. Keep reading for tips on defending yourself, so the next time you feel threatened you'll know what you can do about it.

What Is Self-Defense?

For starters, let's shatter the myth that self-defense only means fighting, such as hitting, kicking, and punching. "I use the term personal safety [instead of self-defense], which is a concept where an individual has a full range of skills and tools to deal with a full range of uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situations," says Donna Chaiet, co-author of The Safe Zone.

According to Chaiet, personal safety requires four things: Awareness, Body language, Self-esteem, and Boundaries. Setting boundaries is probably the most important concept for you to understand. Knowing your boundaries allows you to make better safety choices.

Boundaries come in two forms: Physical boundaries represent the space between you and another person and Emotional boundaries are lines you draw in terms of how you let other people treat you. For example, suppose you have a friend who constantly shares your secrets with other people. Unless you let him know how you feel, he will never know that he is invading a boundary. However, if you do make your feelings known and he continues with the behavior that bothers you, he isn't respecting your feelings - and is overstepping that boundary.

So what does this have to do with self-defense? According to Chaiet, knowing your own boundaries puts you in a better position to recognize when you're in a potentially dangerous situation. If you're confident and you have a healthy self-esteem, you will more readily sense when trouble is near.

Why Learn Self-Defense?

You study in order to ace your exams at school. You practice your jump shot in preparation for basketball tryouts. So why wouldn't you bone up on ways to protect yourself in the event of an attack or sudden danger? It's much easier to follow a plan if you've already had a few dry runs. The last thing you should be thinking about during an attack is "Can I really pull this self-defense tactic off?"

For the full un-edited "TeensHealth" article visit: http://www.threatconyellow.com/th-article.htm or http://www.kidshealth.org/teen/safety/safebasics/self_defense_p3.html

"Violent crime is out of control because too many people don't want to think about it, don't prepare for it, and gamble that they won't be one of the 14,000 victims hurt or killed in America every day."

Scott Flint- Author "Waking the Tiger Within"

ThreatconYellow.com is one of the Internet's leading resources for self defense weapons, and equipment; and home safety products.

Join the War on Crime! View our constantly updated "Amber Alert" ticker. Visit us at

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Robert Keyes
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