Many people look to go to some form of martial arts class to improve their self-defense skills. This could be very formal and stylized in a Traditional setting, more casual and physical in a combat sport environment, or something 'street', wearing regular clothing and featuring brutal 'dirty' fighting (more on dirty fighting in another blog!).
To a certain extent this is a valid path and I'm sure the readership of Black Belt Magazine will all veer towards one form or another of the above examples. However, there are some things that can be done which are ultimately far more effective at self-protection than any physical class can give you. The trouble is they don't 'fit' into what most people think of as self-defense and so they are often ignored or overlooked. The good news is that these are fairly simple concepts to learn and can be done at any time. But they aren't necessarily easy. As with most things worthwhile, they take practice.