Last updated on December 20th, 2016
You are walking alone at night. The streets are eerily dark and quiet. And there are no alternative routes to take. How would you avoid being attacked or mugged in this situation?
How would you stay safe when walking alone at night, on a seemingly abandoned street?
Fortunately, Bruce Lee has specific advice for walking on quiet streets, late at night, in this book.
Here is my take on his advice..
How to avoid being attacked at night, when alone?
Needless to say, you should always avoid dimly-lit streets with little foot traffic at night. Criminals prefer not to be caught in the act.
However, avoiding quiet streets isn’t always possible.
So, the key to reducing your chances of becoming a victim is to be alert and aware.
Assailants, muggers and other would-be criminals rely on the element of surprise. Many remain hidden until you are within range.
So, NEVER get caught off-guard when entering a potentially risky area. Being alert to your surroundings is crucial because it gives you time to react.
5 Tips to Enhance your Self-Defense Awareness (Bruce Lee)
Bruce Lee’s advice deals with these two common-sense factors:
- Avoid your blind spots. It reduces the chances of you being caught off-guard.
- Perk your senses to detect people following or approaching you
So, how to be safe when walking alone at night? Here are five things he mentioned.
1Keep to the outside of the path
Keep to the outside of the pavement when walking. This prevents an assailant from jumping out from hidden-view (i.e. bushes, house, pillar, garden) and catching you off-guard.
2Keep to the middle of a lane
In dimly-lit areas without street lamps or where no designated path exist, keep to the middle of the lane. This also prevents anyone from jumping out at you from either side.
3Avoid patches of deep shadows
Avoid deep patches of shadow. Especially at night, when your vision is not at its advantage, you don’t know who or what could be hiding within.
4Listen for approaching footsteps
Perk your ears and listen for anyone approaching.
5Watch for shadows
Watch for shadows of people behind you that is cast in front of you. Light sources from street lamps, houses and passing vehicles will reveal shadows that aren’t supposed to be there. This is an indirect way of detecting people walking behind you.
What should you do if you detect someone close by?
Immediately glance at the person to see who it is. The reasons are twofold:
- To find out if the person is indeed following you and if he/she is a threat
- To indirectly let the person know you’ve seen his/her face (and can identify them to the police)
If you feel uncomfortable with that person in your vicinity, cross the street. There is no room to fear offending the person. And if he or she does indeed follow you when you suddenly cross the street, there is no mistaking their intentions.
Bruce Lee emphasized that the purpose of being aware is to see the attack coming and then deal with it accordingly, while making a lot of noise (i.e. scream, shout).
This is my understanding of a small extract within ‘Bruce Lee The Tao of Gung Fu‘. For more on Chinese kungfu and Bruce Lee’s perspectives on self-defense please read the book.
And for more on self-defense tactics from an ex-CIA officer, check out the following course.