7 effective self-defense tips every woman should know
You don't need a black belt to defend yourself from unsavoury characters.
Walking home alone at night is one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world. How would you defend yourself if someone were to attack you? The good news is, you don’t need a black belt in martial arts to defend yourself. We hope you’ll never have to use them, but here are some of the best women’s self defense tips.
7 Best Women’s Self Defense Tips
1. Be aware of your surroundings
Do you sometimes get a weird feeling like you’re being followed? Listening to your gut and staying aware of your surroundings is a vital part of self defense.
Attackers often target those who look vulnerable — in other words, people who seem confused or distracted. Keep your head high and pay attention to your surroundings, looking people in the eye. Don’t wear headphones or look at your phone until you’re somewhere safe.
Remember the first rule in the 2009 movie Zombieland? The power of cardio isn’t limited to escaping from the undead.
Even though you’re an experienced martial artist, the best thing to do in the event of an attack is to run away if you’re able to. And the better shape you’re in, the better your chances.
3. Remember that things are just things
If you get mugged, your attacker might want your wallet, cash, your phone, etc. No matter how precious you might think these things are, at the end of the day, they’re just objects. Your safety — not your purse’s — is what’s most important.
When they demand for you to hand over an item, don’t just give it to them. Throw it far away from you so that when your attacker goes after the item, you can run away in the opposite direction. To be extra vigilant, you can keep a decoy wallet in your bag, keeping cash and credit cards in your actual wallet. Throw the decoy wallet away and make your escape.
4. Scream for help
If there are people nearby, yell as much as you can to get attention. Experts recommend yelling “Fire!” instead of “Help!” or “Rape!” because sadly, people are more concerned with protecting their own lives, and so are more likely to respond to “Fire”.
5. Keep things simple
Now isn’t the time to show off your elaborate martial arts skills (if you have any). Keep things fast and simple — the quicker you react, the better. Your goal isn’t to knock your attacker out, but to shock him into freezing so that you can run away.
Not quite sure what to do in a fight? Use the hardest parts of your body (head, elbows, knees) to hit your attacker’s most vulnerable body parts (eyes, throat, nose, chest, groin, and knees).
6. Don’t leave your first location
Your attacker might want to take you to a new location. Do whatever you can to avoid leaving, because this new location will probably be a place where no one can help you.
7. If you carry a weapon, make sure you know how to use it
You might feel safer with a weapon (e.g. pepper spray or a stun gun) on your person, but keep in mind that your attacker could take it away from you and use it against you. And if you don’t know how to use your weapon properly, you could just infuriate your attacker, or even worse, accidentally hurt yourself.