The trouble with trouble


I will spend most of the next three months traveling alone in Asia and Australia, so I thought it would be a good idea to take a self defense class.

We did not practice any physical defense moves. Instead we sat down in the middle of the ring and talked. My Muay Thai coach, Neil Jansson from OC Muay Thai, schooled me on how to avoid trouble. 

Neil is a badass. He has trained the Filipino Army and is in peak physical condition with only half a lung on one side! His focused and controlled mind and body is an inspiration. Here he is doing a handstand.

He believes that any self defense move has to be practiced a thousand times before it becomes a natural instinct. He correctly pointed out that one day of lesson would serve no use.

Here is what he advised:

10 | Dress Accordingly 

Don’t draw attention by wearing tiny shorts while everyone else is wearing pants. Be conservative and blend in with the people around you. Duh! I know not to dress like I am going to the club, but I never realized my workout shorts were a problem! Time to re-think my packing list...

9 | Keep it Short

Keep interactions friendly, but brief. Make others feel like you don’t quite have time, so you are free to disengage quickly.

8 | SCREAM! 

If you are in immediate danger, scream and run towards a crowd.

7 | Peak hours

Avoid early morning, even if the sun is up, and late nights. Be out when everyone else is out. I added a photo of me in Singapore at 4am. Yeah, not so smart…

6 | Hotel location

Do not stay in a remote area. Pick a hotel in a busy part of town.

Neil has lived and worked in the Philippines with Camp Jansson training the army. 

Neil has lived and worked in the Philippines with Camp Jansson training the army. 

5 | Put your phone down

Be alert and scan the room. Once you feel safe, then check Instagram. 

4 | Let ‘em Have it

Help them steal your purse! Drop it and run. Better they have your junk and you still have your health. Neil told me a story about his stay in the Phillipines. Thieves would come from behind and cut the strap of unknowing tourists' fanny packs. The signs warned to let it happen and not turn around, in fear that the thief would stab you to prevent their face from being seen! Yikes. 

3 | Friends

Make a trusted friend and stick together.

2 | Drink Alone

Lay off the hard stuff when out and about. Save the booze for a safe situation with friends and family, not strangers you just met. 

1 | Avoid the Club

There are places where trouble loves to find company. Steer clear of the night clubs and Lady Boy Drag Shows (go with friends!) and you’ll save yourself a ton of trouble.

These are all so obvious, but ring true now that I am about to jaunt off to Asia solo. All I want to do is make jewelry, not get into trouble! Thanks for the lesson Coach!