AN ASSAULT OCCURS AT LEAST ONCE EVERY TWO MINUTES! (RunSafer.com)
Do I have your attention? GOOD, watch this video and keep reading!
On National Running Day, June 3, 2015, I had the opportunity to take a free workshop at the Runner’s Den store in Phoenix, led by Todd Williams of RunSafer. Todd Williams is a 2-time Olympic Distance Runner and he has earned a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He came to Phoenix for his 228th workshop on safety tips and how to protect yourself in a dangerous situation. He has at least 100 more workshops lined up so please check the website to find your city on his tour! Todd made a point of thanking Asics for believing in him and patterning with him to keep this a successful and FREE program!
Todd was so energetic during the workshop!!! His passion for safety was radiating from him every minute! Even though this is an extremely serious topic, he was able to connect with the audience and keep it light and entertaining too. During the talk, he coined the term #BePreparedNotScared and I believe it really sums up the importance of the workshop.
The workshop had a great turnout of about 70 people! I’m glad so many runners out there are taking their safety seriously!
After an introduction about himself and why he started RunSafer, he demoed moves with a local woman that practices Jiu Jitsu regularly. He discussed many different scenarios including grip breaking and what to do if you are on the ground. Some of my biggest takeaways were to protect the neck (it could take as little as 7 to 8 seconds for you to become unconscious) and to use the strength of your legs to kick and/or get away from an attacker’s grip.
He also discussed what happens if an attacker tries to grab you from behind and pick you up. Hooking your legs around the back of theirs was a great tip to help get you out of that situation!
Again he brought up protecting the neck. Use your fingernails, teeth, and elbows in this situation!
Another important tip that I hadn’t thought of, was to practice what he calls a non-aggressive stance if you feel threatened. Sometimes showing your fists in a fighting stance can provoke or invite trouble. This non-aggressive stance helps to warn someone that you are protecting your personal space.
Todd made sure to bring his postcards for every attendee that provide quick tips to remember!
I’ve listed the 5 Techniques and their accompanying YouTube videos.
1. Grip Breaking
3. Ground Escape & Offensive Tactics
4. Counters to attacks from the back
5. Demonstration of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
12 Safety Tips (& a brief explanation/example of each one):
- Safety Name – Invisible Man (Shout out someone’s name so the attacker thinks you have a loved one nearby to come to your aid!)
- Walk With Confidence – Eyes Up/Speak Up (Get off your cell phone and pay attention to your surroundings!!)
- Don’t Be Predictable (Change up your routine of where/when you run daily!)
- Car Parking & Driving (Pay attention / Keep doors locked!)
- Social Media Pros/Cons (Be careful about what you are sharing on Social Media!)
- Power in Numbers (Reach out to running friends, your local running store, and your community – i.e. RunEatTweetAZ)
- Be Smart Listening To Music (Keep the volume low and/or clip off one ear bud!)
- Go With Your Gut (Listen to those butterflies in your tummy! Walk across the street if you have to / Ask someone to walk you to your car)
- Use Anything To Save Your Life (Water bottle, keys, mace, rocks, sticks, fingernails, teeth, etc)
- Dress Rehearsals – Home, Car, Work, etc (Have plans for what you would do in an emergency)
- Targets, Mindset, Practice (Think about the soft targets of an attacker like the eyes, ears, nose, groin, & neck)
- Safety Clock – Build Time (Creating a few seconds between you and your attacker can save your life!)
Overall this was a fantastic workshop and worth every minute! It was truly inspirational. It wasn’t meant to make you an expert, but it did force you to think about the “What If” of a dangerous situation. I for one, will be more aware of my surroundings and I am now motivated to practice some of the moves. I may even check out the local Megaton Jiu Jitsu studio Todd referred for a class or two!
Also, this class is not just for the ladies!! I attended the workshop with my friend Corine (aka Zucchini Runner) and we both realized that our husbands really would have benefited from the class too! The good thing is that we’ll relay the info, have them watch the videos on the RunSafer website, and practice!
So tell me, are you going to practice running safer now?!