If someone was to attack me, could I fend them off? What if someone was trying to attack one of my loved ones? Am I strong enough to hurt someone? What can I do? There are tons of questions that can run through your head when precarious situations arise. If you haven’t trained some level of self defense then fear easily takes over and you can find yourself freezing when unforeseen circumstances occur. Thankfully there are very effective self defense techniques that do not require lots of strength, size or previous training.
Let me start by saying most altercations can be avoided by being mindful of your surroundings. Attackers are only looking for vulnerable and unsuspecting targets. Make space when you walk around corners, changing up your running or walking route, keeping personal space, don’t walk and get lost in your phone. These are just a handful of things you can do to be more alert. Also be willing to part with your possessions if it means to defuse the situation. No material object is worth your safety. Now when violence is unavoidable and you have to defend yourself, here are 5 self defense techniques every women should know.
SELF DEFENSE TECHNIQUE # 1: EYE GOUGE
The eyes are one of the most vulnerable parts of the human body. They are very sensitive and very easy to damage. It only takes 12 pounds per square inch (PSI) to rupture and permanently damage the human eye. For comparison, the average can of soda in your fridge is holding in 25 PSI. No one is resilient enough to withstand that amount of pain to continue an assault. No matter the size or strength difference between an assailant and their victim, very few people would have trouble mustering up the strength during a potential life or death struggle to attack the eye with that amount of force. Simply bring fingers together, curve/bend your fingers into a small scoop, rake inward and forcefully. Alternatively, you simply use your thumbs to press inward and forcefully on the assailant’s eyes. The idea of this can seem gruesome but necessary in a life
SELF DEFENSE TECHNIQUE #2: GROIN STRIKES
For men, even more sensitive than the eyes are the testicles. It’s difficult to emphasize just exactly how painful a strike to the groin area can be nonetheless note that the groin area shares
nerve endings with the abdominal region so stomach begins to hurt or cramp, which is why most people instantly drop to the fetal position. It is instantly debilitating to the point that it’s not uncommon for someone to pass out after being struck hard enough in the testes. Whether it’s a shin kick or a grab, any attack in a man’s most sensitive part of their body will quickly bring to an end whatever malevolence the assailant had planned. To execute a Shin kick – stiffen your leg and punt upwards towards the groin. No focus on “technique” is needed just aim anywhere between the legs. Legs naturally funnel up to the groin so the emphasis is on how hard, fast and aggressive you can kick. If we are going to use our hands, we grab testes, squeeze, twist and pull away from the body for optimal results. Nothing more is needed to be said.
SELF DEFENSE TECHNIQUE #3: FRONT CHOKE DEFENSE
It can take as little as 5 seconds for a full forced choke to cause someone to slip into unconsciousness. It can be difficult to strike the eyes or the groin while struggling to breathe. Being held against a wall or on the ground by your throat can be very scary. Maintaining your calm in that situation could be crucial to your survival. You want to be able to instinctively put your hands to the crown of your head, squeeze your elbows together and turn aggressively (right or left). This technique will overcome any differences in strength by turning assailant’s wrist backwards. The angle makes it nearly impossible for the assailant to maintain any grip around your throat. On top of being a good defensive movement, it’s easy to quickly transition into your own attack such as elbows or some other strike.
SELF DEFENSE TECHNIQUE #4 CHOKED FROM BEHIND DEFENSE
Most assailants will avoid attacking someone head on and assault those who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. Attackers look to get the drop on someone from behind usually with an arm around the throat and dragging their victims away. Like with the front choke defense, maintaining your calm and consciousness is crucial. Immediately place both arms on the assailant’s arm that is around your neck. One hand grabs their wrist while the other hand grabs their forearm and you pull down like doing a pullup. This will stall the choke. Now establish your footing with the ground, squat down and turn your hips out. From here a swift elbow or grab to the groin will force an attacker to release, transition straight into eye gouges and groin strikes to push attacker back. Once you create space, run and get to safety.
SELF DEFENSE TECHNIQUE #5: RAPE DEFENSE
This is the worse case scenario in an already frightening situation. The assailant has the victim on their back and has made it in between the victim’s legs. The first step might seem counterproductive, but it is necessary. Wrap you legs around the assailant, pull your knees towards your chest while simultaneously bringing your hands together in front of your sternum underneath the assailant’s arms and do a big wax off motion. This will bring you chest to chest with the attacker. Now with both arms wrap around the assailant’s head. The arm reaching around the back of the assailant’s head will eye gouge the nearest eye. Next move your available hand to the side of the assailant’s jaw pushing their jaw parallel to their shoulder. Lastly, we bring our feet to the ground, lift our hips (bridge) and push all the pressure through the jaw. We are looking to reverse roles and end up on top with pressure being constant on the assailant’s eye and jaw. Like always, once you create space run to safety.
It’s all seems so simple but the best way to train both physically and mentally would be through active involvement. There are so many ways we can protect ourselves but you have to be willing to try. I say it all the time. Self defense training is optional but should be seen as a personal responsibility. If you haven’t taken classes before, I highly recommend looking around your local area. If you are into video tutorials or want to see these techniques done in motion check out: Ernest Chavez for self defense tips and techniques.
Throughout my life, I have always been heavily involved in sports. During my 20's and early 30's, I pursued a professional mixed martial arts career. After retiring, I found a passion in teaching self defense. I furthered my kid's and women's defense education with Jimmy Terrell and National Training Force Academy. After decades of training, I have vast experience working with women and children from varied fitness levels and backgrounds
National Force Training Academy (NFTA) Women's Self-Defense Instructor
NFTA Kid's Bully Defense & Abduction Prevention Instructor
Brazilian Top Team Brown Belt
NESTA Certified Personal Trainer
MMA Condition Association Certified