Many people are out shopping for gifts, and others are out shopping for things to steal.

Larry Fields knows all about self-defense.

He owns Abilene Mixed Martial Arts, and has won dozens of awards for his skills.

He shared a few of things he teaches his students that shoppers should practice this holiday season.

“I was actually in the Walmart parking lot Saturday night and I’m watching people walk in with their phones, not even paying attention to cars,” Fields said.

Fields said simply being more aware of your surroundings can improve your safety.

“We tell our students to be aware of everybody that’s around you, and use your gut instinct. If you see somebody that makes you feel kind of funny, keep an eye on ‘em,” Fields said.

He said to remember that the purchases you leave the store with may be valuable, but not more valuable than your life.

“You’re things can be replaced, you cannot. You know it’s better just to give it to them and try to make a picture in your mind of what they look like so the police have an accurate description to go with,” Fields said.

If you’re wondering where to park in a busy parking lot, make sure you’re seen.

“Single females should park as close as they can. You know, you don’t want to be in the dark, back part of the parking lot. Try to be up front if you can,” Fields said.