The term self-defense means different things to different people. For some, it is a practical course in assertiveness training and goal setting. For others, it serves as a catalyst in helping promote self-confidence, assertiveness, coordination, and concentration in adults as well as in children. One of the more obvious reasons is to protect your personal safety from those who want to cause physical harm.
“When considering a personal safety class, it’s important to remember there are no guarantees”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “Self-defense training from a skilled and qualified instructor, however, can increase your options as well as your preparedness.”
The latest statistics from Crime Clock indicate that a violent crime is committed every 25.3 seconds in the United States.
“An attacker has the advantage when a potential victim is caught by surprise and becomes paralyzed by fear”, said Brandon Jones, owner and Head Instructor of Tyler Kung Fu and Fitness. “The objective of martial arts and self-defense programs is not necessarily to fight back, but rather to get the body past the fear, and increase awareness so that you are more prepared should you become a target.”
BBB received 45,927 inquiries about martial arts and self defense instructors or schools in 2012 and advises consumers to do their homework when selecting an instructor:
If you’re seeking a martial arts instructor, find out who their teachers were. A legitimate instructor will be able to describe their “lineage” in detail rather than keep it secret or simply say they were taught overseas. Bogus instructors will be elusive about their lineage and will have an obscure style.
Inquire how long the instructor and his staff have been teaching classes, and check out the company’s track record on bbb.org.
Read the contract. Contracts are legal documents that are designed to protect both the consumer and the business involved. Once a contract is signed, it generally cannot be changed or broken unless both parties agree. To protect yourself, BBB suggests you read and thoroughly understand the contract before you sign.
With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, BBB provides the following tips to help prevent the occurrence of a potential attack. Remember, perceiving a threat before it occurs is an important part of a good self-defense mindset.
Pay attention to your surroundings, and trust your instincts. Actively scan your environment for possible hazards. Objects such as dumpsters, delivery vehicles and vans are ideal cover to conceal a predator.
When leaving a building, always observe any activity which may be going on near your vehicle as you approach. Ask for a security guard or store employee to escort you if you feel uneasy about going to your car alone.
If you think you are being followed, go back inside. Never leave a public area to go someplace secluded, and draw as much attention to yourself as possible. Attackers do not want to be seen.
For more tips on how to be a safe and savvy consumer, go to www.bbb.org. To report a fraud or scam, call the BBB hotline: (903) 581-8373.