I took "Personal Defense" in college as one of my fitness classes. However, I can't say that I remember too much. I think it's about time for a refresher course.
No matter what area of town you live in, I think knowing a few things about how to defend yourself is important. More important than knowing how to fend off an attacker, is knowing how to prevent an attack in the first place. Going places in numbers, avoiding ill-lit parking ramps, not taking walks after dark, NEVER getting into a stranger's car...all things that may seem like common sense, but how many of us avoid common sense on a daily basis?
Also, now that I have a child, I have attracted all new predators. I think education is power. The more education I have on how criminals think, the better I can arm myself with ways to protect my family. I am not talking about karate chopping a guy's arm for making googly eyes at my baby. More along the lines of making sure that I am paying 100% attention to where my child is at all times. One thing that I try to do is keep one hand on the shopping cart, stroller, carseat at all times. Matthew is too young to even make a peep if someone were to snatch him. Scary.