Shake, Rattle, and Roll - Aging in Place

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Shake, Rattle, and Roll is the title of the Bill Haley hit from the fifties, but it could be so much more. It could also be a tactic to fend off an attack or even, to save your life.


Recently, I assisted in teaching a class of twenty-eight women on self-defense. We taught the women some tactics to use if and when that dreaded moment arises. They learned some helpful tips if something goes awry in a parking lot or if they’re just strolling down the street.

The women came for two reasons; a simple interest or they had a personal story of being harassed. Many of them had been targeted by someone who thought they were easy prey.

I have been involved in martial arts for many years, and have been fascinated by the philosophy of defense. There is a calmness that takes over before the mind and body work towards the flight or fight response.

The women we were teaching came to the class with a great spirit and an eagerness to learn. At the end of the class, I sat down to take some notes and it dawned on me that self-defense should stick to the K.I.S.S. method. No, not the rock band, but “keep it simple, stupid”.

While thinking about keeping things simple, I heard Bill Haley’s song, and it hit me. The essence of defending yourself is shake, rattle, and roll:

Shake – Yell and scream and move around as much as possible to distract your attacker. If you carry a noise maker of any kind, let it blare. Don’t yell help, yell rape, as this will get someone’s attention.

Rattle – A woman always has something to rattle. Whether it’s your keys, the stuff in your purse, or even a cane can be a pretty handy weapon. Swing it, strike the perp, or even throw something. The point is to catch them off guard.

Roll – Get out of there. Run, walk, do whatever you can to get away, as quickly as possible. Make your way toward a crowd or populated area.

The method may not be as attractive as Wonder Woman punching someone’s lights out, but it works. The song may be an oldie but a goodie, but the message is still clear.

Take my opinion for what it is… it’s just, AS I SEE IT!

Personal note: I would like to hear your stories. I want to be better able to teach my students and prepare them for a world that is in chaos. Please email them to me at [email protected]


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Leonard Baer About Leonard Baer

Leonard Baer is an elder law and estate attorney with offices in the Highlands, NC and Wellington, FL. His specialty is the prevention of elder abuse, particularly those who are victim to fraud. Visit his website

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