Almost every day, we read or hear a story about a woman getting attacked and assaulted. According to research, assault on women is a common crime, because many assailants assume women are more passive and won’t fight back. However, there is one way to change the facts and statistics. One of the most important things a woman should know is self-defense and how to protect themselves in case they are in a horrible situation. Don’t know where to start? Read below for five important tips.
- Have a plan: A woman will always hope that she will never get into a situation where she needs to protect herself from violence. But, if it does occur, be prepared and have a plan on what moves and actions you should take. Create and practice your steps at self-defense classes or even with videos online. There are many martial arts studios, gyms, and personal trainers who offer self-defense classes. In fact, some communities hold events for women, at no charge, to learn the various moves. You don’t have to take a full class to know what to do. Finding self-defense moves on Google and YouTube will give you the basics. Also, part of your plan should be mentally preparing yourself if an attack should happen.
- Be alert: If you are alone in a public place, especially at night or on vacation, be smart and pay attention to your surroundings. Put down your cell phone and anything else that takes away your attention. If you think someone is following you, cross the street or step into a crowded place, such as a store or restaurant. Attackers usually will give off clear signals that they want to harm you. Most don’t begin with brutal force. Instead, they try coaxing into secluded areas, using excessive charm to manipulate you, refusing to accept rejection, and giving unsolicited help while expecting something in return, whatever makes the victim give up control.
- Follow your sixth sense: Also known as intuition, human beings are born with survival instincts, such as fight or flight. You are built with the ability to use your judgment and not to brush off your gut feelings. Trust your intuition and learn the differences between real fear and worry. If you ever feel as if something isn’t right, don’t second guess yourself. It is better to be safe than sorry. Get help immediately.
- Know your strengths and where to hit: You know when you accidently push someone with your elbow or get hit with theirs, how bad it hurts? Well, that is because your elbow is the strongest point on your body and your best weapon. If you are close enough to your attacker, use your elbow to push them away and go for the four weakest points: eyes, throat, groin, and knees. If you are pulled to the ground, kick your attacker with your legs in one of the four spots. Grabbed at the waist from behind, pinch the person hard under their arm, in the triceps, or in the upper inner thigh. In these spots, muscle can be easily pulled away from the bone, creating more pain, giving the victim time to get away. Similar to your elbow, the knee is a powerful tool and can be utilized wherever the attacker is in relation to you. Kick the inside of your attacker’s knee and they’ll immediately fall to the ground.
- Being choked? Use this move: The choke defense is good to use if you are smaller than the attacker. If you are being choked, don’t try to grasp their hands and pull them from your neck. Instead, form your hands into a “C” shape, with your thumbs beside your pointer fingers, and try to pull your attacker’s thumbs away. Try to kick them at the same time, as well. Once you managed to disengage the attacker’s thumbs, you’ll have time to fight back. Remember you only have 3 to 8 seconds before you start to lose oxygen and pass out.
Don’t be afraid to fight. Be confident in what you have learned from self-defense. Third-degree black belt and self-defense instructor Kelly Campbell encourages women to memorize and use the Cobra Kai code, if attacked: “Strike first, strike hard, strike fast, no mercy!”