How to Protect Yourself: 8 Self-Defense Techniques
Being attacked is a situation no one wants to get into, but unfortunately, nobody is 100% safe from this experience. Though it’s always better to undergo special training beforehand, knowing the basics of self-defense will also help you to feel more comfortable and empowered in an emergency situation.
5-Minute Crafts has come up with the easiest moves you can do to protect yourself. Remember that it’s always better to avoid a direct confrontation and run away if you have a chance. Use physical force only as a last resort.
I. Basic rules
- Do your best to keep distance between you and the attacker.
- No matter what you do, do it decisively, confidently, and fully use your strength.
- If you stunned the attacker with your actions, escape as soon as you can because you may not get a second chance to hit them or your attempt might not be that successful.
- When you hit your attacker, aim for the most vulnerable areas on the body — eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus, groin, knees, and shins.
- Be aggressive and use your voice. Try to get the attention of other people and intimidate the attacker, showing that you won’t give up easily. Be loud, scream, and yell, “No!”, “Fire!”, or “Help!”.
- When you hit the attacker, try to maintain a stable body position. Stabilize your core and legs to make sure your move is strong and powerful enough.
Note: Make sure you make a fist correctly
- Extend your fingers and keep them tightly together.
- Curl your fingers to their base. Make sure you clench your fingers tightly.
- Put your thumb across the middle of your index finger and your middle finger. Curl it a bit.
- When you hit with a fist, make sure you keep your wrist straight to avoid injuries. You should hit with the knuckles of your index finger and middle finger.
II. Types of strikes
- Put one leg in front of the other and raise your dominant arm up as if you are holding a hammer. Form a fist or hold keys in your hand with the sharp part out.
- Thrust your hand downward to hit your target.
- Bend the wrist of your dominant hand. Keep your fingers straight, tight, and pressed together. You should also slightly bend your thumb and keep it close to the rest of your fingers to tighten up your hand and make it stronger.
- Hit the aggressor with the lower part of your palm in the nose or underneath the chin. Keep hitting the attacker until you get a chance to escape from their grasp.
3. Elbow strike
- You can use an elbow strike if an attacker is too close to you and the space accessible to you is limited.
- Bend your arm and strike the attacker with your elbow aiming at their vulnerable spots like the neck, chin, and jawline. You can use elbow strikes to hit the attacker from different angles.
III. How to use pressure points
- Grab the attacker’s little finger and ring finger with one hand and middle and index fingers with the other, and move them to the sides. At the same time, bend the wrist backward with the lower part of your palms.
- Hit the attacker with your finger or a fist between the collarbones or in the Adam’s apple.
- If you strike or press both eyes with your fingers, the attacker may temporarily lose their sight giving you a chance to escape.
- Punch the attacker in the jaw with the palm of your hand. Make sure you don’t punch with your fingers to avoid injuries. This strike may make the attacker lose consciousness.
IV. How to hit in the groin
- The most obvious and vulnerable area is the groin area. Hitting there is a pretty effective way to paralyze the attacker and win some time to escape.
You can hit the groin area with your hand, knee, or foot. If you use your hand, make sure you hit with your palm and not with your fingers to avoid hurting yourself.
- When you hit with your hand or knee, mind the direction where the attacker is likely to crunch after your hit and make sure you are ready to run the opposite way.
- Hit the attacker with your foot if there’s enough space between you and the attacker, but only you’re sure that you’ll be able to hit their groin and not their leg.
V. How to escape from a wrist grab
1. If someone grabbed your hand
- Turn your wrist so your thumb is facing up and the thin part of your wrist is between the attacker’s thumb and fingers. Your goal is to lever your wrist through this grab using your whole body weight.
- Act right away, as soon as your opponent grabbed you. This way, you won’t let them secure their grip.
- Don’t lift your elbows. Keep them low and close to your body but don’t let them touch your torso. This is so the attacker can’t push your elbows into your stomach.
- Move into your opponent and not away from them when you’re trying to escape from the grab. This way, you can use your body weight more efficiently.
2. If someone grabbed your wrist with 2 hands
- Turn your wrist so your thumb is facing up and the thin part of your wrist is lined up with the attacker’s fingers.
- Grab your hand with your free hand and abruptly pull your hand over your shoulder releasing the grip. Make sure you move your hands across your body and not just straight up. Otherwise, you may accidentally hit yourself in the head.
- When you are pulling your arms, make sure you use your whole body and not just your arms. The position of your legs should be stable. Make sure you don’t turn your back to the attacker.
3. If someone grabbed both of your hands
- If an attacker grabbed both of your hands, clasp your hands together.
- Step into the attacker and hit them in the stomach to make them lose their balance.
- Then step back and abruptly pull your hands back over your shoulder to release them.
VI. How to escape if you were pushed against a wall
- If the attacker keeps their arms up, straighten your arm and hit the attacker in the armpit.
- If one of the attacker’s arms is down, you can try to hit them in one of the vulnerable points like their chest, neck, or jaw.
- Hitting them in the jaw with your head is also an effective technique. Squat a little, to be lower than the attacker. Then quickly jump up and hit them in the jaw with your forehead.
VII. How to escape from the “bear hug”
- Shift your weight forward by bending forward. This way, it’ll be easier for you to hit the attacker with your elbows.
- Turn to the attacker with one of your elbows and hit them. Keep doing this until you feel that their grip isn’t as tight and until you get the additional space.
- Then turn fully and hit the attacker in the face or in the groin.
- When you’re free, run away. Make sure the attacker isn’t following you.