As mentioned previously, there are many dos and don’ts, but to those who do not train every day having a few that are easy to remember could change a situation and are priceless.
Just ask Miss SA/Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Pieters.
Demi went through my INpowered programme with all the other Miss SA finalists. On the 17th June 2017, shortly after being crowned Miss SA, she was involved in an attempted hijacking that could have ended very differently.
She was on her way to a function and stopped at a set of robots at seven in the evening. She looked up and noticed men on both sides of the road looking at her.
They made their way to her car and Demi said she just “knew they were coming to hijack me”.
She managed to get out of the car and escape because she knew a very important rule:
1. DON’T GO TO THE SECOND PLACE
She said she heard my voice in her head saying, “Don’t go to the second place. Things do not get better there.”
You see, your chances of survival are much higher at the first place (above 90%). When you go to the second place they are less than half that.
In every INpowered class I ask someone: “If I put a gun against your head and want to take you somewhere else, are you coming?”
And almost always they say: “Yes, because if I don’t you are going to shoot me.”
The reality is that if I am prepared to rape or shoot you in the first place and you go with me to the second place, then I am almost certainly going to do it at the second place.
Things really do not get better at the second place, so don’t go there.
2. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE OR TRUST ANYBODY
In years gone by it was socially accepted that you trusted everyone until they broke your trust. Today the opposite has to apply: you cannot trust anybody until they earn your trust.
This does not mean that you should be rude. It means that you do not put yourself in a situation where someone can use your trust against you.
Just because someone knows your name, where you work, or the details of a sibling does not mean that you can trust them.
People who commit crimes are not all opportunistic idiots. Many of them have a plan. Do not give your trust away.
3. DO NOT IGNORE YOUR SIXTH SENSE
When something feels wrong, it is wrong. LEAVE. We have discussed this before.
Trust your GUT. You do not need to know what it is that is making you feel this way.
Imagine a dazzle of zebras at a watering hole, and there is a loud noise behind them! The leader looks over his shoulder and says to them all: “Forget it guys, it’s nothing.”
Is that what happens?
Of course not!
If there is a noise, they leave. They don’t have to know what made the noise, like humans do, to prove ourselves right.
So often I have heard, when speaking to victims: “I knew something was wrong.”
My question then is: “Then why were you still there?”
4. DON’T DOUBT
5. DON’T HESITATE
You will probably only have one chance in a life-or-death situation. If you hesitate and doubt, that window of opportunity will close and maybe never open again.
We have gone full circle and are back to where we started. It is the key to everything: “Belief.”
Mark Grobbelaar is the Founder of INpowered, incorporating WIP (woman INpowered) and GRIP (Guy Responsibly INpowered).
He holds a 6th dan in karate and has over 45 years’ experience in the personal protection field.
He does talks and hosts INpowered programmes to corporates, schools and small groups.
Reach him with your question about personal protection at firstname.lastname@example.org or to book a course with him.
This was his last column in a series for The Citizen. He may return for another series in future.