If you are hiking or exercising early to avoid the heat -- experts warn that you need to take extra safety precautions, and not just to stay cool. The city of Phoenix is offering free self-defense workshops to give people the skills they need to protect themselves.
Instructor Jui Chiu says people need to be aware of their surroundings -- even if there are some people around.
"A lot of times people think because there's people around -- they would help you but a lot of times you have to learn to combat a situation in case something happens to you," said Chiu.
Chiu's second tip: carry something in your hand (like a Sharpie or a flashlight) so you can defend yourself. If someone tries to grab you, Chiu says to use the end of the Sharpie to apply pressure on the attacker's bone.
If you think someone is following you, Chiu says first you want to start backing away -- distance will be your friend. If the person continues to get closer -- use your hand to signal for him other to stop and ask, "Can I help you?" If the person advances towards you, use your self-defense tool to apply pressure in the proper places.
A calendar of the free workshops can be found here .