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Safety Advice

Updated on August 23, 2013

How to Stay Safe in a Pub

There are many views and ideas on how to stay safe in a pub. These can range from arming yourself with a weapon to learning a martial art.

Now I took the route of martial arts. I trained with probably the best ITF style club in England, the TAGB. My instructor was Master Paul Donnelly, one of its founding members. By the time I had achieved my black belt, issues of my own personal safety were a thing of the past for me.



In England carrying a weapon will get you into a whole heap of trouble. The law is so tight you virtually are not allowed to defend yourself with excessive force. Therefore I suggest you should know and understand the laws of your own country when you are thinking about self defence.

The warnings aside.

Most people do not want to spend years training in the martial arts, or simply they are not inclined to violence. But the fact still remains; you have to know how to defend yourself.

Here is my simple advice on how to stay safe in a pub

  • Always tell someone you trust where you are going. This could be your parents, brother sister or good a friend.
  • Tell someone who you trust, how long you expect to be out. Use the same list as above.
  • Always make a mental note of the door staff. Do they look like thugs, are they very large or are they normal size? If they are large and thug looking, bare that in mind if you get into unwanted bother. They will more than likely just grab all involved and eject them off the premises using force. The best thing to do is walk as far away from any trouble, as it starts. As soon as you spot it walk away so that you are not caught up and included in the mob around it.
  • If they look like normal people they are more likely to be well trained and understand situation control. They will be able to defuse a situation before it gets violent.
  • Do not look directly into the eyes of people at the bar or on the next table. This can evoke the,

"What are you looking at? Response, that can then lead onto trouble.

  • If you have to look their way, try looking at the bridge of their nose. I find this is not read by an aggressive person as a personal affront.
  • Do not laugh at other people’s jokes or quips unless you are invited to by a nod or wink. To do so may evoke the,

"What are you laughing at?" Response, this also can then lead onto trouble.

  • When you walk into a pub or bar, scan the room for emergency exits. Plan a couple of routes of escape, jusy incase there is any trouble.
  • You don't need to make a big thing out of this. If you practice it you will find it becomes second nature.
  • Once you have scanned your route of escape, forget about it and enjoy the night. Trouble doesn't happen every time you go out for a drink, but if it does you will already have a plan of action.
  • Always wait your turn to get served at the bar, but if you are passed over, a little reminder to the barman/barmaid would be in order, if delivered politely.
  • If people are arguing do not look over at them in an obvious way, don't stare. You must have a look though so that you can assess the situation. Just look by moving your eyes to scan what is going on, do not turn your head to look at them.
  • If an argument close by is evolving into a potential fight, move away to the other side of the room out of harm’s way. At least you won't be in the middle of the fight if it does kick off.

Simple Guide to Stay Safe in a Pub

Using my self defence advice

My small list of advice may not seem like much but if you follow it you will be much safer when you are in a pub.

Just read it through a few times, and then practice it a few times when you go out. It's like learning to drive a car, the test seems impossible when you look at the Highway Code. How can you remember all that? Once you have read it all and started to absorb the information, it becomes second nature. By the time you have passed your test you are running on automatic. Very soon you are doing everything without even thinking about it. You can look in the mirror, look left and right at junctions and change gears all on automatic.

It's the same with my advice, when you have run through my list a few times, it soon becomes second nature. You won't give it a second thought after a while; you will carry out your checks and observations, and then enjoy your night.

Let me know if this article has been useful to you.


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    • Tony the writer profile image

      Tony the writer 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks for your comment, Arioch. :-)

    • Tony the writer profile image

      Tony the writer 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks for your comment Lady_E

      I'm going to Google the chain saw incident, it's not on our main stream news. :-)

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 5 years ago from London, UK

      Good ideas - Did you hear of the man who had a chain saw in a Pub recently? He must have scared the living daylights of the people there. (somewhere in UK - it was in the News)

      Great Hub. Keep Safe.

    • Arioch profile image

      Gordon D Easingwood 5 years ago from Wakefield, United Kingdom

      So good tips there

    • ambertale profile image

      Aina Taurina 6 years ago from England (UK)

      Dear Tony, I read your article and understood that I chose the best way to protect me. I never go into pub. :)))

    • Tony the writer profile image

      Tony the writer 6 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Thanks for your comment Wizzer. I'm sure my hub could help many people be more switched on when they are out and about.

    • whizzer profile image

      whizzer 6 years ago from Ireland

      Some sound advice there and so true.