PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)-- With temperatures heating up, many people are exercising and spending more time outside when it's dark like early in the morning or late at night.

[RELATED: Phoenix woman gives self-defense tips to protect yourself this summer]

Self-defense expert Tiffany Armstrong said that's also the time of day where you need to be more aware of your surroundings to ward off an attack.

Armstrong said 90% of self-defense is preventing an attack in the first place, but she seeks to educate people through self-defense techniques and mindset training through what she calls ‘Street Smart Self-Defense’.

“It’s just a conglomerate of a whole different types of martial arts. It is just down and dirty how to get away from somebody," Armstrong said. 

"It’s not big spin kicks up to the head. If someone puts a knife to you or someone has you in a sexual assault situation, just how to get them off of you and away from you so you can get away to safety."

Armstrong said attackers will look for people who are distracted, lacking self-confidence or people who avoid eye contact. She said this could likely be in a place you frequent like a gas station.

“So often when you pull up with your car and put it in park so many vehicles all of the car doors unlock," she said. "So, while you’re distracted at the gas pump someone could be sneaking into your car and stealing your things or sneaking into your vehicle."

Armstrong added the best rule of thumb when pulling up to the pump is to lock all your car doors and manually open the driver’s door. She also suggests that people carry some form of a self defense tool like a stun gun or pepper spray.

“Two things I love to carry are either pepper spray or a stun gun. But pepper spray I like even more because you can handle your attacker from a distance," she said.

"If you’re outside you have to get a stream pepper spray so it cuts through the wind. It’s not a mist one that blows back in your face."

While many people may think you’re safer in numbers, Armstrong said sometimes that’s not always the case.

“So often someone has earbuds in or is walking even in deep conversation with someone else, they (attacker) will still target to people if they are distracted," she added.

"So, just being aware of your surroundings at all time." 

For more information on Armstrong's self-defense tips and sessions, visit

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