One of the joys of trail hikers and joggers is reconnecting with nature in peaceful, remote, and quiet surroundings. However, being in a secluded or wooded area also make them targets for sexual or physical assault, because chances of help arriving or someone interfering with the attack are slim.
Sexual predators often stalk out their victims in remote or scarcely visited places, which puts lonely joggers and hikers in greater danger. One of the most illustrated and tragic sexual assault cases in San Diego history is Chelsea King, a high-school athlete, who was murdered on the trail by her assailant in February 2010. Subsequently, more cases of sexual assaults on hikers and joggers are reported to the sheriff department each year. In some cases, rapists work in a group of capturing and overpowering a victim.
Personal safety is a primary concern of people who venture outdoors alone or in small groups. There are a plethora of taser, pepper and bear spray gadgets marketed to trail lovers. However, the effectiveness of these devices diminishes because of the lack of readiness to use. Such devices are often in backpacks giving hikers a false sense of safety when in reality they will not be able to draw them fast enough to confront an attacker.
In contrast, there are many techniques in Krav Maga that offer solutions to trail safety concerns. Krav Maga is a self-defense combat system which originated in a military but later adopted for civilian uses. It teaches people to be attuned to their surroundings and aware of potential dangers. It advocates caution and listening to your intuition. For example: if a stranger is encountered ahead on a trail, keep a safe distance and visual contact with that person or better yet turn around and continue a hike in a more reliable direction. If your hiking friend was not able to join you on a remote trail hike, choose a less secluded path where other people are present.
Also, Krav Maga teaches a wide variety of typical abduction, assault, and kidnapping preventive techniques. In the majority of cases, an attacker hides behind trees or greenery to ambush the victim and surprise, thus limiting possibilities of escape. An attacker prefers to approach from the side or the back of the victim with the intent of abducting to a more secluded location. Krav Maga teaches various defenses from these positions: bear hugs, chokes, headlocks, arm-bars from behind, hand covering mouth, hair pulls. Each technique in Krav Maga is designed to tackle a specific problem, trained to react to the danger by building muscle memory and second nature to defend.
Krav Maga also offers a variety of ground defenses, should the attacker surprise and overpower the victim to the ground. The mentality of Krav Maga is to never give up and keep fighting for your life or lives of your loved once until your last breath.
Fighting tactics are Krav Maga concept that emphasizes specific behavior patterns based on each particular situation. For example, a defender may act and strike differently in the event of multiple attackers: using the first attacker as a shield between the victim and the second attacker. It also might change a choice and amount of strikes if there is another attacker in a vicinity.
Krav Maga emphasizes voice is another powerful tool at your disposal. Many people are too shy or overcome with fear to scream for help. When in reality a simple thing such as making a lot of noise and attracting attention might scare that attacker and save a life.
Freezing is a natural instinct when people are faced with danger. Constant training and fighting drills help Krav Maga practitioners overcome the freezing instinct and replace it with only two responses: flight or fight. Krav Maga advocates escaping to safety as soon as possible or fighting the attacker and often with a preemptive defensive strike as a surprise attack.