Self-Defense: A Tutorial

We’ve all heard informative safety tips and know of common-sense strategies to avoid becoming an easy target for an attacker. But what happens if we find ourselves in a dangerous situation? Whether it be by using the command of our voice or force of our body (no matter what our body type or strength), we must not be afraid to apply self-protection skills to fight back!

Fortunately, we can leave the stiletto-heel kick sequences to Charlie’s Angels. In its place, let’s simply begin by learning and practicing a few basic techniques – ones which can be enacted repeatedly with a family member or friend. Review your plan of action in slow motion to begin with, until you are proficient and familiar with how to execute each one.

Remember that when working on defense skills, use extreme caution at all times! These techniques can cause serious injury to another person and must be used responsibly. Make us of self-defense techniques using force and power, only if your life or safety is genuinely threatened.

Here are 4 easy techniques for women…

1. Someone is attempting to attack you or grab you from the front:
Poke them in the eyes; punch or knee them – aim for the groin. An alternative tactic to fight back is to use a palm heel strike. Your palm heel is the hard bone between your palm and your wrist. Execute the palm heel strike by keeping your fingers back and driving your palm heel forward.

2. Someone is holding or restraining you:
This technique is effective especially if your hands are not free. To get loose, stomp on the foot, or kick the shin of the attacker. You can also try the “get small” approach. When you are in a ball, it is difficult for someone to hold onto you, or drag you away.

3. Someone is trying to hit or punch you:
Keep your hands up high in front of your head. Plus drop your chin and head downwards; this will protect your face. Don’t be shy to get aggressive—your own elbows and knees will deliver a powerful blow and may permit a gap to run away!

4. Someone is trying to attack you from behind:
Head butt: drop your chin down low and then raise it fast to knock the head of the attacker with the back of their own head.

One thing is for sure: self-defense is not supposed to be pretty! This means doing whatever is realistic and effective – no matter what the situation you find yourself. Attackers generally do not want to deal with a feisty target, so be sure to scream and make as much noise as possible! Yell “I need help!” Then run away as soon as you are free.

It was rehearsing techniques like these which provided me with fair confidence when confronted by some men—threatening two of us with weapons—while rock climbing in a desolate neighborhood overseas. If needed, my climbing partner and I were both prepared to fight back—and I mean fight! Providentially for both of us, yelling and praying at the top of our lungs was the only line of attack that we took before the attackers both ran away. The lesson I learned: never hesitate to draw attention to yourself or shout for help with authority—it may save you!

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