The Yellow Belt and the False Sense of Security

In two weeks, I will be testing for my yellow belt.  I should have tested a while ago, but with the change of instructors, the new one didn’t know I already had a white belt.  I don’t wear the uniform to class because it’s uncomfortable.  At first I was too fat to wear it and now that I can fit, I don’t like the elastic in the pants or the stiff feel of the shirt.

Anyway, for the yellow belt I will have to complete a form:  Kichiyon.  I don’t know if that’s the right spelling, but whatever.  I’ll have to show I know the kicks, box him a little bit and break a board.  The forms are like a series of movements, kicks, punches, blocks.  Kind of like a little dance.  Hard to explain.

Anyway, my new instructor is really big on physical fitness.  We do a lot of boxing.  I had to buy gloves because my knuckles are starting to get fucked up and I don’t want to have man hands.  Today we started practising with weapons.  I think I am going to like that.  We had fake swords.  That was cool.

But the point of this is to talk about what tae kwon do is really doing for me.  Tae kwon do is getting me into shape.  It is not teaching me how to kick ass.  The serious truth of the matter is just because I know a few kicks and punches, doesn’t mean I am about to beat anybody up.  I lack speed and physical strength to really use this in a real-word scenario.  Which brings me to the false sense of security.  A lot of women take self defense and martial arts classes and then they think they really know something.  They feel like they no longer need to be aware of their surroundings because they think they can kick anybody’s ass.

Don’t fool yourself.  I know I am not.  I am one of the scariest people I know.  I’m paranoid that something is going to happen at every second.  I know this drives my friends crazy, but I will be the one that survives because the rest of you are sleeping.

Take a look at the news on any given day and you will hear about women and girls getting kidnapped, rape and murdered by psychos.  These girls fell aseep on the number one job:  taking care of yourself.  You do not have to be tough or take martial arts to survive.  All you need is a little common sense.  Let me school you.

Pay attention to your surroundings.  When you are out on the streets, make sure no one is following you.  Make sure no one is lurking in dark corners waiting to jump on you.  If someone approaches you, walk away from them.  Attackers try to fool you with a nice smile and a friendly voice, ’Excuse me, I’m lost.  I need directions.’  Bullshit.  You can either shout at them from across the street or don’t say shit and keep it moving.

When getting into your car check the back seat to make sure no one is hiding in it.  As you approach your car take a look underneath to make sure no one is hiding underneath the car.  When I lived in Yuma, two girls from my rival high school were killed.  The attackers disabled something in their engine.  When the girls tried to take a look, the killer was hiding underneath the car.  He slashed their achiless tendon so they couldn’t run.  Then he tortured them, chopped them up and buried them in shallow graves for the animals to eat.  Do you want this to happen to you?

Don’t park next to vans.  If you get out the store and you see a van next to your car, either go back inside and get the security guard or get in on the opposite side of the van.  While you have your back to the van, unlocking your doors or putting bags in the car, the kidnapper opens the back van door and snatches your ass up.  You don’t even see his face.

When you approach your car, make sure your keys are already out and ready to go.  Same thing with coming home.  Have your keys out and ready.  Leave the light on if you are coming home after dark, and check behind you as you open your door.  There have been cases where women will be walking into their own aparments and someone will run up on them and push them inside.

Don’t let your guard down because you are with a friend.  I was mugged at my university in Arizona.  I was walking with a friend on a well-lit path.  Some guy came up to me trying to get directions.  I figured since I was with someone, he couldn’t be trying to rob me.  I did get a little bit scared because he was walking up real fast on me, but by then it was too late.  He pulled out a knife and demanded my purse.  Lucky, all he wanted was money.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask someone to walk you to your car.  A lot of women don’t ask because they don’t want to inconvenience somebody.  Get that shit out your head immediately.  If you get off work and it’s dark outside and you’re scared, admit it!  Go back inside and ask a security guard to walk you to car.  He might look at you like, oh my god.  He is going to give you a hard time.  No, give his ass a hard time.  Don’t feel like you are putting someone out by asking them to do their job.  If you ask a co-worker to walk with you and they act like they don’t want to, make them feel guilty.  Say, “Fine, when something happens to me, I will tell everybody that you were too much of a bitch to help me out.”

If there is no one to help you and you are scared, don’t go out there!  Wait until someone comes along or call someone.  Stop being in a such a rush to get where you are going.  Everybody is always in a hurry and when you rush, you fall asleep.  You’re not paying attention and this is the perfect time for some psycho to sneak up on you because you are preoccupied.

Don’t talk on your cell phone and walk.  On military bases, this is not allowed for safety reasons.  A number of soldiers were getting hit by cars while they were walking and talking.  A guy at University of Maryland was shot dead.  Someone was trying to rob him but he had his ipod on and couldn’t hear the guy telling him to give him wallet.  You are yapping away on your phone and this fool is right behind you and you don’t even know it.

Pay attention to your surroundings.

Survival Skills
If a nigga does wind up in your car and he puts a gun or a knife to you and tells you to drive.  Put your seat belt on, speed up and ram that bitch.  Seriously.  He is not kidnapping you to take you out to dinner.  He is kidnapping you so that he can kill you.  It’s you or him.  You may be hurt if you wreck your car, but weigh the options.  Attacked and left for dead or a slight neck injury?  If he is in the back seat, he will more than likely go flying out the car.  If he is in the passenger seat, his ass is going through the windshield.  You can wreck the car from the side instead of a head on.  Or rear end somebody.  The other driver is going to be pissed and he will want you to stop.  If you can’t stop, you can be sure that driver is getting your license plate.  Someone will find you.

If a mother fucker runs up on you in your house.  Fight.  That’s your domain.  You know where you keep your shit.  Get a steak knife, keep a bat under your bed.  Throw some bleach in his face.  My friend Garcia asked me what bleach was going to do.  Have you ever got any cleaning liquid on your skin?  That shit burns.  In your eyes, it feels like shit.  With contacts on, it’s over.  Bash him in the head with something, a lamp, a big ass book, a weight, scalind hot ass water, anything.  If you swing it hard enough, it’ll hurt and give you a chance to get away.  If you’re a smoker, get your lighter and burn his ass up.

If you can get to your phone dial 911.  Even if you cannot talk, it is the law that all 911 calls are investigated.  Even dialling from your cell phone, they can trace the call by the use of cell phone towers.  Scream your location as loud as you can and say someone is in your house.  Even if your phone is cut off, you can still dial 911.

If you are walking down the street alone at night, carry a weapon.  Remember to follow the law where you live.  The sad part of life is that there are many laws designed to protect the criminal but ignore the victim.  In the state of Maryland butterfly knives, switch blades and pepper spray is illegal.  There is no law against carrying a screw driver.  If someone tries to attack you, put that shit in his eye or his neck.  Or better yet, his ear.  He will be down for the count.

Things you can carry:  steak knife, screw driver, scissors (especially the real sharp hair-cutting scissors), a leatherman (or gerber), a pen. Seems a little lame, but if you stick someone in the ear with a pen, it doesn’t feel good.

Things that might get you in trouble:  large knives, mace/pepper spray, spray bottles of bleach, acid, unlicensed firearms, switch blades and butterfly knives.

Word to the wise though:  if you CANNOT use your weapon, don’t bust out with it.  If you’re too scared to know what to do, just leave it alone.  The jackass will use it against you.  A girl from Ascension was mugged outside the club.  She was with a friend, so she was probably sleep on the job and when the guy came up on them, she tried to mace the guy, but instead he maced her.  No, first of all, junkies don’t feel shit except a mortal wound.  Mace is not stopping a junkie.  A screwdriver up his nose will.

If he grabs you and you can’t get away, bite his ass.  Sink your teeth into his hand, arm, or whatever you can get a hold of.  Don’t let go either, bite down until you feel like you are about to take some skin off.  Eventually, he is going to let go.  And this is good evidence.  He will have a perfect mold of your dental work on his person.  Or scratch his face up.  Ask your nail stylist to sharpen your acrylics.  If a nigga tries to get cute, just start slashing at his face.  Scratch his neck, around the eyes.  These are the most sensitive parts of the body.  The neck, the eyes, ears.

Don’t keep the screw driver at the bottom of your purse.  If you’re leaving work or the club, carry it in your hand and be vigilant.  You have to be ready to defend yourself.  You can’t be digging around in your bag full of crap while some psycho is trying to snatch you up.

Scream as loud as you can.  Don’t scream rape or help.  Nobody cares.  Scream fire and they will come running.  The attacker will be confused.  If you are in your apartment and you have thin ass walls, starting banging on the walls and scream there’s a fire.  Someone may call 911.  If you are in your apartment getting beat down, nobody wants to get involved.  But nobody wants their shit to get burned up in the fire.  People are motivated by financial loss, not by the desire to help someone else.

If you do get kidnapped, your ability to remain level-headed is vital to your survival.  You cannot get hysterical.  You have to be smart.  Leave clues if you can.  Drop an earring, break off an acrylic, pull out your own hair so a crime scene unit can find it.  Before you go out on a date, leave a note in your house the name of the person you were with and how to find this person.  Especially if this is a new guy.  Some girls don’t like to talk to their parents about love interests.  They don’t want to tell anybody about the new guy they are seeing.  That’s fine.  Keep your secrets, but write it down and leave it in your house.

If you are forced to drive, remember street signs, major landmarks.  Anything!  Remember smells and sounds.  These can be clues.  Don’t shut down.  If you can get to a phone, you have to be able to tell where you are so they can find you quickly.  It takes a minute to trace cell towers.

When something happens to you the first place the police look is in your apartment.  There have been DOZENS of women kidnapped and murdered by people their parents and friends didn’t even know they were associated with.

In this day and age, life is a battlefield.  Single women, women who work late at night, women who have high risk behaviours (prostitution, drug use, etc) we are all at risk.  We have to protect ourselves because no one is protecting us.  Black women especially.

When a LaNika Jones gets kidnapped, you can bet the 11 o’clock news has something else more important to report.  But let blonde hair, blue eyed Amy Porter from Catholic University get kidnapped and you will hear about it until the end of time.  That bitch will be more recognisable than the Pope.

Don’t be a victim.  Be a survivor.  It is very easy to read these tips, but unless you start thinking about them on a daily basis, you won’t remember them if something ever happens.  You have to mentally prepare yourself for all situations.

I am a single woman living in a city where I have no family members.  I don’t have that many friends here, so I have to look out for myself.  If something happens to me, its’ going to be a minute before someone realises I am missing.  I spend a great deal of time thinking about what I might do if someone ran up on me.  I would be scared at first.  I know I would, but God didn’t give me all these brains for nothing.  What I lack in physical strength I more than make up for it in intelligence and motivation.

I am not going to let some raggy ass mother fucker run up on me.  And if he does, I’m going to get as much of him as I can.  I won’t let myself be a silent victim and neither should you.  All it takes is a little preparation and awareness.

This is my public service announcement for the day.  I hope you learned something.


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