One of my favorite self-defense books is called, The Gift Of Fear by Gavin de Becker.  I used this book as part of my syllabus when teaching self-defense classes at the University of South Carolina.  I highly recommend anyone that trains in self-defense read this book!

I must warn you!

You won’t learn any fancy self-defense moves, you will learn something far more important.

The book focuses on listening to your own instincts when there is the potential for trouble.

Below, I highlight the 7 tactics a predator will commonly use to gain your trust or attempt to take advantage of you:

Forced Teaming: The predator uses the word “we” to establish a relationship or show you have something in common. It’s abnormal for a stranger to use the word “we” with you.

Charm: Charm isn’t a natural human trait, it requires an effort. If a stranger is charming, there’s a reason. He wants something from you.

Too Many Details: The predator knows he’s lying, even if you don’t. He’ll often give you far too many details than a normal person would, in an attempt to make his story more believable.

Typecasting: A predator will often attempt to put you in a group you don’t want to be in, so you’ll bend over backwards trying to prove you’re not what he says you are – racist, rude, inconsiderate, etc. He’ll do this to get you to do what he wants.

Loan Sharking: The predator does something for you, so you feel the need to reciprocate. He may “help” you put your groceries in your car, open a door for you, etc.

Unsolicited Promise: This is a big one, and is nearly always a sign of real trouble. A predator says, “I won’t hurt you, I promise.”, “I’m not one of those crazy people, I promise.” If he’s saying it, he’s thinking about doing it.

Discounting the Word “No”: Predators will discount when you tell them “no”. When you tell them you don’t need their help, they’ll help you anyway. When you tell them no, they’ll disregard it.

Most people will notice these tactics on some level.

They’ll feel uncomfortable, but they won’t trust their instincts. It’s important to not only to be aware, but also to trust your feelings. The Gift of Fear is an excellent title, as fear really is a gift. It was given to us by nature to let us know when trouble is present.

When you feel fear, there is likely a very good reason.

Pay attention to it, and do something about it.


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About SKS

Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.

Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense. Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for 5 consecutive years in a row.



Sensei Feldt is a certified instructor for C.O.B.R.A., a worldwide self-defense, and personal protection program. SKS offers Active Shooter Training, Real Estate Safety, 10 Week Self Defense Academies, Bully Workshops, and Child Safety Camps.

We also provide corporate safety training.


Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars

Samurai Karate Studio is also a proud member of MAAB, Martial Artists Against Bullying, a nationwide program made up of martial arts schools throughout the country that are committed to helping children who are victims of bullying. If you or someone you know is being bullied, we are here to help. But, you have to take the first step and either call us at 803-462-9425 or email us at: [email protected]

Bullying is one of the most serious issues we face today and with the right coaching, students can learn how to defeat the bully using non-violent strategies.


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