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Releasing my Inner Jack Bauer

I have never felt threatened while walking the street of London, but now I am a bit apprehensive. A coworker and friend had her purse snatched, just like you see on TV cop shows. It happened so fast that she couldn’t even scream. It was one of those grab and run encounters every woman fears. Now I am thinking of learning a few self defense moves. I won’t carry a concealed weapon although it is perfectly legal if you have a permit. I prefer some recommendations for the average woman confronting an assailant. Most of them do not carry guns either, but it can happen. I have heard horror stories about victims being sued by robbers because they were injured in some way. This is indeed a reversal of fortune. While it is rare, I wanted to know more about defending myself legally in a manner that will not entail repercussions.

I don’t have time to attend a martial arts class, although it is certainly a great idea. I might resort to it later. For now, I am going to watch one of my favorite shows, 24, to get some basic ideas. My husband Gus is leery and appreciates my efforts, but he has reminded me that there is a big difference between what is done by Jack Bauer and what I can do on the streets of London. Of course, I know this but I am looking for inspiration as a start to a new self defense program.

Jack may be fictional but he has the moves when needed. He is a highly-trained agent in Los Angeles (also working with the FBI in Washington, D.C. He would be a good role model—better than Jackie Chan, who is super human. So, Jack, teach me some tricks! He employs a combination of martial arts techniques taking the best that each has to offer. He is an expert at hand-to-hand combat and can do it at the drop of a hat. Will I ever be that proficient?

While I enjoyed watching episode after episode as I skimmed through many seasons, I knew in my heart that most of these moves would be illegal. Isn’t it like the law against professional boxers using their fists as weapons outside of the ring? They are as deadly as knives and guns. I would never be able to master any of Jack’s methods but it was fun to witness him in action. Now that I have come to this realization, what can I do? I can carry a can of mace to immobilize an assailant or go so far as to buy a stun gun. Would I have the moxie to use it? In a crisis situation, you have to think very fast. I know there are other products such as collapsible police-style batons and body alarms. Any of them will do.

I love living in London with Gus and don’t want to fear walking the streets alone. Most often we go as a pair when we want to stroll at night and we avoid dark places. So far so good.

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