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Staying Safe

We at Time & Leisure called in the professionals at Fighting Fit to teach us some of the basics with a self-defence class, and came away with renewed self-confidence in our abilities to stay vigilant. Here’s some of their top tips...

An air of confidence goes a long way in keeping safe on the streets at night-time. Self-assured strides with your head up and maintained eye contact, even if you are fearful, shows you are far from vulnerable, and eye contact may not only deter any potential attacker, but will also help you keep your calm. If you feel like someone is getting too close, assertively and calmly shout at them to back off. Same goes for a tube or bus groper – call them out if you’re in a public place.

It may sound obvious, but stay aware and look around you. Put your phone away and keep an eye out for any movement in the shadows or in shrubbery at the side of a road. Scan the surrounds and don’t just bury your head down and charge on.

If you are walking down a residential road at night, stay away from the sides and any bushes. Instead, (with an ear out for traffic) walk confidently in the road – your vision of where you are headed will be improved, and reduce the chance of you being taken by surprise.

If you are walking along a dark road and feel concerned, your keys can be used as a sharp weapon when placed so that they poke out between your fingers. And any scratch you make may leave a trace of an attacker’s DNA on your keys, potentially helping to identify and convict a perpetrator.

If an attacker is targeting you in the hope of taking your possessions, doing the unexpected will interfere with their plans. Throw your belongings, be it a purse, wallet or phone, in the air and this will confuse the perpetrator. But remember that you are more important than your belongings in the case of an attack. Just hand it over.

If it does come down to physically defending yourself, your first instinct may be to wildly flail with your hands and arms, but what an attacker won’t expect is a blow coming from below. If your arms are pinned by your sides, use your feet to stamp on toes and deliver kicks to the shin. This is a surprising move that can force an attacker to loosen their grip.

You can use your arms in a circular motion to create a space around your body that won’t be invaded if you act quick enough. Any blow, grab or hit coming your way can be stopped by the force of your arms which can easily act as a block. Practice at home and work on improving your reactions.

If you have children, it is worth teaching them the basics of self-defence too so that they can confidently assert themselves if they need to. Teaching them to shout fire instead of help can also be powerful – they are more likely to attract help. Learning self-defence is worthwhile at any age. 

Adobe Essentials Starter Kit
The introductory kit for those keen to look after their home but unsure where to begin. The system covers all the basics with motion sensors that alert you of any unusual activity by sending messages to your phone. Did the children leave for school on time? Has the plumber closed the front door? With this handy kit you’ll be completely aware with useful notifications. There is also an automation engine feature whereby doors can be automatically locked when you leave the house. There is also the option for live camera footage so you can see where exactly motion was captured in your home.

Somfy Home Alarm
Adapting to the needs of your home, Somfy’s wireless home alarm pack protects every inch of your house. The alarm pack includes a motion detector and three door and window sensors that immediately alert your smartphone if there is a burglary. There is also an IntelliTAG™ which tells you if there has been an attempt before intruders actually break in. As it’s a smart system, it knows the difference between a break-in and the movement of your pet.

Yale Smart Home Alarm and View Kit
An affordable home alarm system which is easy to install. Home-owners need to download the app on their phone, mount the alarm and connect it using a smartphone. The app has an easy to navigate home page, a simple arm and disarm screen, and the mounted alarm can capture photos from the PIR camera which can be quickly sent to your smartphone.

Netgear Arlo Pro
Fully wireless, sleek in style and inconspicuous, Netgear’s Arlo Pro cameras come with options for several mounts so you can choose how to set up the camera almost anywhere. What’s more, they are totally durable, meaning it lasts even when exposed to the elements. Home-owners know immediately when motion or audio is detected and watch live with sharp video.

Ring doorbell 2
A nifty security system that replaces your normal doorbell with a viewing security system. On the inside, you can check who is at your door on your phone which connects via wifi. Not only can you see who has come to pay you a visit, but you can set alerts and even have a conversation – handy if you need to tell a courier where to leave a parcel when you’re not in. Video is clear even at night when the infrared night vision comes into use.

Fighting Fit runs classes throughout south west London for all ages and abilities. Call 07774 887 885 or visit