Be aware of your surroundings, trust your gut, carry your car keys in your hands and have them ready to use as a weapon if you are walking to or from your vehicle. Stay off your cell phone and keep ear buds out of your ears to stay focused on your surroundings.
Most attacks last less than 15 seconds. Attackers are not sympathetic people and do not have a moral compass like we do. Thus do not try to negotiate or reason with them. More importantly, do not worry about hurting them!
The most important thing we learned was to make the first move, fight with everything you have in you and fight to injure your attacker so that you can safely get away.
If you are right handed, you want to keep your left foot forward and your right foot slightly raised off the heel, tuck your chin and keep your hands by your face at all times to protect your head and face.
Use your hips rather than just your arms to get a more effective and stronger hit. When you hit with your left arm your hips should rotate to the right with your body. When you hit with your right arm, your hips should rotate to the left with your swing. Do not wind up your swing! Keep your hands by your ears and rely on your hips to strengthen your swing.
When someone is choking you, raise your right arm high in the air and lock their wrist with your right bicep against your face. At the same time you are raising your arm, step back with your left leg. Then rotate your body counter-clockwise and pull the attackers hands down to your chest. Then use your right elbow to hit them hard in the face and run! Another option for when you are being choked is to put your hands together like you are praying, raise up quickly between the attackers arms and push outward to break the grip.
When someone is pulling your hair, resist pulling away from them. Instead, advance toward them very quickly hitting as hard as you can. This will take them off guard and hopefully cause them to release and allow you to escape.
Protect yourself like your life depends on it!