Brace Yo’self! A Quick Intro to Self Defense
March 5, 2013
Are you having fun with all those toys and gadgets you received over the holidays? Chances are someone else has noticed, and if you’ve no knowledge of self defense, you might end up empty-handed and teary-eyed. Self defense is absolutely essential for protection and, in some cases, livelihood. And crime– violent or nonviolent– isn’t necessarily confined to inner cities or ghettos. For example, it’s probably no secret by now that rapists are usually not those raging lunatics you see in the movies but someone the victim is already familiar with (e.g., a friend or family member). While it can be refreshing to let your guard down, refining your intuition for self-preservation can improve your reaction time and likelihood that you’ll get out of that situation with, at the very least, a story to tell. Here’s a few techniques and videos to guide you towards Chuck-Norris-dom– or at least towards better reflexes!
Technique #1: Awareness
This might not seem like a step at all, but being cognizant of your surroundings and the people in it can help you avoid an unnecessary scuffle. Protecting yourself begins with avoiding situations that could bring you harm, and only when you have no other choice but to fight should you engage in any physical contact.
Technique #2: Frontal Attacks
If someone is coming at you:
- Your best weapon is the the hard part of your palm just underneath your thumb. Your bests targets will be the attacker’s nose and eyes.
- If you’re being choked, use your palm to strike the nose, possibly breaking it. Form a downwards V with both hands and force them upwards in between the attacker’s arms, then use a closed fist to come down like a hammer on his/her nose, very likely breaking it. If necessary, follow up with an elbow strike or kick to the groin.
Check out this video for getting out of front choke assaults:
Technique #3: Rear Assaults
If someone gets you from behind:
- Act fast if the attacker has you in a choke hold: only a few seconds need to pass before you may lose consciousness. Use your hands to pull the arm away from your neck while pushing your chin into his/her elbow to give you some breathing room. Give a good strike to the ribs with your elbow, make a fist and knock him/her in the groin, bring the fist up and punch the attacker in the face, and then use your other elbow and strike the other side of the ribs. Push the attacker’s elbow up and the hand down to loosen up the hold on your neck and turn; you will have the strangling arm behind the attacker, and you can strike down on his/her elbow.
- If your attacker has your arms pinned in a rear bear hug, step forward with one foot so your attacker can’t pick you up easily. Slap the attacker’s groin several times, and then elbow him/her in the face with a swift, upward motion. Turn with the elbow to deliver a palm strike (i.e., a hit with the palm) to the face and knee him/her in the groin.
Whatever the case may be, keep the following in mind:
- There’s no rules in protecting yourself: in other words, biting and pulling hair is not out of the question.
- That being said, anything around you could be used as a weapon: ANYTHING.
- Don’t attack your attacker more than necessary: if your would-be attacker is down or out, run. Unleashing a further pummeling could land you right in court.
- The palm of your hand (especially underneath your thumb) and your elbow will be your most effective tools.
- Keep your hands up!
Remember: self-defense can mean the difference between leaving without your wallet and leaving with a stab wound. Check out your local adult school or community colleges for self defense courses or Krav Maga classes, and protect yourself!