Self-Defense Basics 101
Everyday we breathe, we are in grave danger. Females are the recipient of over 90% of violent crimes in the United States. Crime statistics outline the severity for self-protection with each aching fact.
Did you know:
1 in 3 Involved Women are MURDERED by an Intimate Partner
1 in 4 Teen Girls Dating are in an ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
1 in 4 Women in College are victims of Attempted or Completed Rape
1 in 6 of all Women will be a Victim of a VIOLENT CRIME
Department of Justice predicts in the next hour, the following WILL HAPPEN in the United States:
• 900 Thefts
• 189 Violent Crimes
• 124 Assaults
• 66 Robberies
• 24 Sexual Assaults
• 12 Rapes
• 2 Murders
Unfortunately, someone who has been victimized tends to be attacked again. They tend to be more appealing targets because of their timid nature.
Your Brain is your best Weapon
Your best defense against the world’s negativity is your brain, be prepared and stay calm. There are simple steps you can take to make you less attractive to a potential attacker:
1. ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS! Having situational awareness can save your life. Try your best to stay in public and well lit areas. If your intuition tells you to be cautious, follow your instincts. Avoid if possible, if not, get where you are going without hesitation.
2. Stay off the phone and do not text while walking. The simplest distractions can mean life or death. Revert back to number one, BE AWARE!
3. Large purses mean gold to an assailant. If you must walk with your purse, take your identification, credit cards and cash out of your bag and put them in your bra. If a robber approaches you, toss your purse in one direction and run the other way.
4. If you are a runner, biker or walker; do place headphones in both ears. If you can’t hear, how can you be aware of danger approaching? Unless you were born with eyes in the back of your head, you need your hearing to warn you of approachable danger.
5. Your body language can make you attractive or unapproachable to your common assailants. Walk upright with your head on a swivel instead of appearing meek as possible and avoiding eye contact.
6. BE PREPARED! When walking to your car or into your home, have your key in hand. Dawdling in your purse looking for keys is distracting. If possible, use a buddy system. Ask someone to walk with you. If you are ever accosted at your car, you can NEVER GO WITH THE ATTACKER(S)!
7. There are no physical characteristics to an attacker. There is no nationality, clothing or mischievous look they possess. Many are your loved ones, co-workers, neighbors, etc..
8. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE! If a stranger approaches and asks you for the time or directions, only respond if you are in a safe area or distant.
9. Anything can be a weapon! Everyday objects such as canned vegetables, an ink pen or a stick can be used to cause a distraction or be used for striking.
Our voices are a natural weapon we exercise daily. If in a situation, yells of “Fire!” “Stop!” or “Leave me alone!” grasp the attention of those unable to see you. Assailants do not like attention drawn to themselves, so running and screaming is a fantastic option to prevent a would be attacker.
Men vs. Women
Although both women and men have strengths and weaknesses in a fighting contest, men are superior in fighting capabilities. Boys are naturally competitive and aggressive; whereas girls are made of “sugar and spice” programmed to be pretty little divas. Men have more testosterone which makes it nearly impossible to overpower a man.
It’s All in the Technique
Don’t be fooled, a man’s body type is naturally stronger than a woman. Yet, there are simple techniques which strength does not matter. If a man grabs a woman by the wrist, she can simply turn her arm against his thumb side of his hand to break free; it is the weakest side of the grip.
If attacked from behind, she can also stomp on the instep of the foot, which is an employable defense against an attack since it could crush the arch and fracture bones. It is imperative to attack vital points when defending oneself. Some of the best attack points are to the weakest parts of the anatomical reference: the eyes, ears, nose, throat and groin. A simple poke in the eye can leave a potential attacker temporarily disoriented and in pain allowing time to retreat.
It only takes 12 pounds of pressure to injure a trachea. Can a strike to the center of the throat cause long-term injury or even death? Yes! Oh well. There is only one rule in defending yourself… THERE ARE NO RULES! If you ever find your self in the position to be you or your attacker, you MUST make it home safely. Defending yourself takes priority over the assailant’s well being. It is these lack of rules which make biting, clawing and spitting acceptable ways to escape and attack.
Many women think the old adage of “kicking him in the groin” is a suitable strategy for self-defense. Unfortunately, that information is public. Nearly every man protects his genitals like true “family jewels,” so kicks to the groin are not advisable. Therefore, prior to a groin attack, a simple gesture can leave his genitals ripe for the kicking. She should try slapping him, yelling at his face loudly or even spitting in his face. If she is in close range a knee to the groin may suffice if he is non-attentive to his groin area.
Ever heard the saying, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”? It is indeed true, if you can kick an assailant in the knees on either the lateral of medial side, it can bring the giant tumbling down.
Release the Beast
Most ladies have had little, if any, prior fighting experience (well, at least since elementary school). With that being said, a woman should NEVER USE her fists to attack an attacker. Strikes such as the palm heel, hammer fist, knife hand or spear hand are extremely effective without closing your hand. In addition, elbows and knees are great for close range defense; elbows work excellently in rear attacks.
Can training make you an effective self-defender? Yes! Is it possible for you to have that one strike knockout? Yes! But, let’s be honest; you will never be ready for the next martial arts feature film. A round kick to the side of the head shouldn’t be your goal. The most common reaction to an attacker is freezing. If you breathe, which most stop doing when placed in danger; you can easily land a strike effective enough to escape. Once a strike is landed powerful enough to let you struggle free, you should run and yell instead of continuing to pound on your assailant. We call it, “Call T.A.R.A! Turn Around and Run Away.” After escaping, CALL THE POLICE!
Weapons Provide Protection
It is not advisable for a woman to pull out a knife or gun for self-defense. Other means of defense are non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray, stun guns, batons, etc.. When using these items, make sure they are legal in your state, know how to use them and how to get to them quickly. If you have these at your disposal and the need to use them arises, strike or spray then run away.