You walk down the street from a typical day of work, and you cannot wait to get home to watch your favorite series. You always walk this road which also includes a lonely alleyway that is a shortcut to the street your apartment is located in.
The only difference is that this time, you notice a large man with a hoodie walking directly to you. You try to adjust your path so that it does not clash with him.
You walk past him, and you experience a slight relief. All of the sudden you feel a strong arm aggressively grabbing you from behind around your neck.
You don’t know what to do?
You try to scream, but you cannot get a word out.
Is there anything that you could have done to prevent this situation or even get out of his grip.
Yes, there is and let me introduce to you the term called “self-defense.” In this article, I will cover some basic principles on self-defense and how you could have avoided a situation like this.
I will also reveal to you some weapons that you can use for self-defense along with some moves to get you out of the most common choke holds. I will also show you how you can defend yourself on the floor and which areas to strike when on your feet.
Are you ready?
Self Defense 101
In this section, I will reveal to what is self-defense in legal terms and also why everyone should learn how to defend themselves. I will also show you how to avoid an attack in the first place.
What Is Self-Defense?
Self-defense is when reasonable force is used to protect yourself or your family against an attack that is either tempted or threatened. Self-defense can range from nonlethal attacks to attacks that are deadly.
Self-defense is also not limited to the use of any weapons or systems. It is also crucial for reasonable force to be executed. Why I mean by reasonable is that you cannot pull a firearm and shoot someone in a bar that confronted you with physical aggression as your life might not be in danger.
The only reason to use lethal force is when the nature of the attack has the potential to kill you.
Why You Should Learn Self-Defense
Now that you know what self-defense is let’s talk about why it is so important to learn this lifesaving skill. There are many types of self-defense classes that you can attend to build up your skillset.
You Develop Discipline
It is hard to get anywhere in life without having discipline. You need the right amount of motivation and dedication to get the job done. Just by developing the habit of going to class every day will help you to develop discipline.
In the case of self-defense, you need to develop self-discipline because your life depends on it. You can use this same discipline mindset to improve other areas in your life further.
As with many other ventures in life, you will need to start from the bottom and work your way up which will require lost of practice and the ability to move forward after failure.
Take Conditioning To The Next Level
To improve your chances of surviving a physical attack, you need to be fit and strong enough. At self-defense classes, you will go through many exercises and drills which will help you to lose weight and become stronger.
This process will also contribute to a healthier lifestyle which is hard to maintain at our current sociological state. To defend yourself effectively, you need to work both on the mind and the body.
The times in my life when I was conditioned the best was when I did mixed martial arts or MMA for short. You can be very well experienced in martial arts, but if your body cannot take you through the process, then you will not succeed.
You Become More Confident
Self-confidence can make or break you. It is also proven that attackers will often avoid potential victims because they displayed confidence in the way they presented themselves. Hesitation can also put you in a dangerous spot and will not happen if you have the confidence to pull through an attack.
Confidence will be the consequence of experience which you will develop in the classes that you attend each day. The drills will become part of your muscle memory which will require little to none brainpower to execute.
As you physique also starts to improve you will also become more confident with your self-image. Confidence is also a motivating factor in developing discipline.
You Become More Aware
Some martial art styles will not only teach you how to defend yourself but will also how to use situational awareness to spot danger before it even happens. The perfect style or system that you can use to develop this skill is called Krav Maga.
This type of awareness will teach you exactly which elements to look for which might pose a danger. You will learn how to establish a baseline in your environment and how to spot an anomaly which can represent as a threat.
You will also learn what to do once the aggression has escalated to the point where violence is spiraling out of control. You will also learn which types of people, situations, and places to avoid to prevent an attack. Remember that your attackers have the advantage to plan the attack.
It Helps In Goal Setting
I order to execute a task, you need to have a goal setting oriented mind. You might want to set goals to learn specific moves and learning techniques that require a lot of training to master.
Have you set a goal for the amount of weight that you want to lose in a given time? By learning to set goals, you will not only learn self-defense but also improve your personal life as well.
Have you ever heard a testimony of a mugger or criminal that will reveal the signs and information they look for when targeting a victim?
Let’s look at some of the most common signs an attacker will look for when choosing victims.
Sign 1. You are alone
It is not always a good idea to be a lone ranger. Sometimes you do not want to be in the presence of other people, and you avoid crowds like the plague. The problem with being alone is that there is nobody to help you when you are being attacked.
Criminals also do not attack victims in a crowd because what will they do when the entire crow of people descend upon him to help the victim? You should always try to avoid places such as lonely alleys and empty buildings.
Sign 2. You dwell in dark areas
Attackers can use darkness to conceal their whereabouts. Darkness will also give them the advantage of surprise. When it is dark, it will also be harder for you to identify the attacker.
Avoid dark places such as basements and streets where the streetlights are not working. If you have to go through areas that are dark to reach your car or home, then you should at least carry a tactical flashlight with you.
Sign 3. You look vulnerable
Most people walk without confident, and they also do not observe their surrounds. These characteristics make for an easy target. Try not to text while you walk, keep your head up high and push your shoulders back. Do not stare at the ground or your feet. At least look like you know what is going on around you.
If you walk to your car remember to carry your car keys within your dominant hand with the shaft of the key pointing out between your fingers.
The sharp point on car keys will puncture the attacker when enough force is used.
Sign 4. You show too much bling
The most common reason for attackers to assault is because they want to take something from you. In most cases, it will be your wallet or your iPhone. If you wear golden rings, bracelets or necklaces, then you will also be a target.
Try to avoid wearing your expensive jewelry in public or at least try to hide them when you walk in unsafe areas.
5. You are too predictable
Sometimes an attacker will plan the assault for days and will try to use your daily behavior in his favor. They will know precisely the time you get off from work, and they route you will take to get to your house.
They will even follow you to your house and plan a house robbery. Try changing up the route you take each day and also change your schedule to avoid being predictable.
6. You make it too easy for them on the driveway
Most of the attacks will happen once you arrive home and enter the driveway. When entering your driveway always look around for cars that might have followed you or are parked close to your gate. If you see any suspicious vehicles, drive close to them and make a note of their number plates.
The carjackers will then know that you are aware of them and will most likely leave the scene. When you open the gate and enter, you must stop close to the entrance to avoid the attackers from blocking the sensor of your gate with their car.
Self Defence Weapons
The most effective way to defend yourself is by using a weapon. If you have the choice and capability to carry a weapon with you, then you should. It is also important to know that you might need training and a license to handle some of the weapons. You should also become familiar with the law in your state on the weapon that you plan to use.
For me, pepper spray is one of the most effective ways to stop an attacker in its tracks. Pepper spray is made out of an ingredient called capsaicin which when it comes into contact with your eyes will start to burn. It will be too painful for you to keep your eyes open which will make you temporarily blind.
It is so effective that even law enforcement agents are using this method to keep criminals at bay. Pepper spray canisters come in different sizes and can be easily carried for self-defense. If you want to make your own, you can read this article on how to make your pepper spray.
Using a firearm is the most effective way to defend yourself but can also be lethal when used. It is essential to be familiar with the law when it comes to handguns and also how to effectively use them.
There are many concealed carry classes that you can attend which will take you through the process of handling and owning a gun. If you want to get your feet wet on learning how to handle a firearm properly, then you can read this article on firearm safety and shooting tips.
I have recently written an article on how to use a tactical flashlight which will teach you everything you need to know on this topic. Tactical flashlights are different than your original flashlight because they are made out of a military grade metal and is exceptionally bright.
It can be used to illuminate your area, blind your attacker and also be used as a striking weapon. These flashlights can easily exceed 1000 lumens which are more than enough to temporarily blind your attacker. Its bezel is also very sturdy and can cause a lot of damage if used correctly.
Most tactical pens will have a sharp point on the end that can be used to puncture an opponent. It can also be used to break open windows if you are locked in a house or vehicle.
I have written another article on the best tactical pens available in the market today.
Any person that knows how to use a knife effectively can be turned into a deadly walking human weapon. Most attackers will also use this weapon against you so be careful.
If you know how to handle this weapon and where to strike it at, you can deliver a fatal blow to your attacker. It can also be carried in a holster or handbag. Some people also use ab ejectable knife as a key holder.
If you do not like or are incapable of fighting off an attacker then using a whistle is for you. By using a whistle, you will cause a lot of noise which will deter the attacker to assault you.
Most will flee the scene while in some cases the whistle will not have any effect. It is a tiny device that can fit almost anywhere and is very easy to use.
Moves Against Holds And Chokes
In this section, I am going to show you what to do when an attacker grabs you from behind and also from the front position. I will cover the rear naked choke, front choke, wrist grab, and the bear hug. This section is primarily focused on grappling techniques.
Escape Rear Naked Choke
A Rear naked choke happens when an attacker comes from behind and grabs you around the neck with their dominant arm and then locks the choke with their other arm. This move is meant to stop the blood supply to your brain which will result in you passing out. The attacker will make you vulnerable so that he can do whatever he wants.
The worst thing that you can do in this position is to lean backward. You do not want to make it easier for your attacker to fortify his grip. The first thing you want to do is to identify which the arm which is choking you.
The next thing you want to do is to move your upper body forward, slightly bending your knees and bringing your elbows down. This movement might take some practice but will be the foundation on how to get out of this lock.
While doing this crouching movement, you want to strike with your opposite arm against the groin of your opponent. If he is choking you with his right arm, then hit with your left arm while crouching. This strike needs to be precise and quick.
After striking you want to use both of your hands to push his head upwards. If his head goes up, he will leave an opening in his position for you to move out off and break his choke. After this combination, his balance will be off and you can now finish him off by throwing him on the ground.
Escape Front Choke
A Front choke happens when the attacker comes from the front and grabs you by the neck with both hands. The choke is intended to stop air supply to your lungs and to damage your trachea.
The first thing that you want to do is to grab the attacker by the wrists with both of your hands. You will then lift one of your arms in the air and turn your body in the opposite direction of the arm that was raised. To turn your body, you will use your hip muscles.
The arm that you have lifted will break the grip that the opponent has on your neck. You will then have control over one of his arms which you can use to finish him off.
Escape Wrist Hold
A Wrist hold is when someone grabs you on the wrist with one of his hands. A Wrist hold is not as dangerous as the two chokes mentioned above, but the attacker will have more control over you if he has control over your arm. There are two methods which work for both arms.
The move shown above only works when the attacker is grabbing your left wrist with his right wrist or vice versa. You will then pull your arm upwards by rotating your arm inwards until the palm of your hand is in front of your face.
You then take your other hand and grab the attacker’s wrist. Once you have secured your grip, you will move your hips to the inside without moving the arm that is gripping the wrist. This action will cause the attacker to move inwards which will also make him off balance.
What do you do if your opponent grabs your wrist with the opposite arm? You rotate your wrist over his wrist which will convert the control over to you which puts him in a bad position.
Get Out Of Bear Hug
A Bear hug happens when someone grabs you from behind with both arms. It will be in a hugging position where his arms will cross over your arms. This move is not as deadly as the rear naked choke but the attacker can throw you around with this hold.
The first thing that you need to do when caught up in this hold is to sink down into the sumo position. You will bend your legs and put the weight of your upper body on your upper thighs with your arms.
The purpose of this movement is to weaken his grip and to create more space between you and him. Now that you have more space you will be able to move better.
Once in this position, you then grab both his hands with one of yours and then step behind him with your opposite leg. Your opponent will be off balance which makes it easier for you to throw him with minimal effort.
Self Defense On The Ground
Let me tell you one little secret of fights that can happen on the ground. If you are good at grappling styles such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), then I will feel sorry for your opponent. You do not need a lot of strength to have control over the situation when on the floor.
If you are a woman that knows a bit of BJJ, then you can easily break an arm or dislocate a shoulder with this style. Imagine a guy trying to rape a woman such as Cezary Matuda which has a black belt in BJJ. She will destroy him on the floor.
Defense Against Rape
The central principle of not getting raped is not to allow your attacker to have control over you on the ground. Most rapes take place on a bed or the ground. Your attacker might try to sit on you and beat you up until you are too weak to do anything. He might then move into the area between your legs. In this section, I will cover what to do in both scenarios.
Your attacker is sitting on your hip or midsection while you are lying on your back. You should never allow the attacker to flip you over on your stomach which is a terrible position for you to be in.
Keep laying on your back as long as you can. When lying on your back, you want to keep your arms in front of your face to protect it from punches. Do not allow the attacker to move his up to your chest area. Take your strong leg and throw your knee into his back.
This action will throw him off, and he will not be able to hit you anymore. Grab one of his arms with your arm and hold on for life. Do not allow him to break free. He will then need to rest his upper body on the arm that he has free.
Once you have grabbed him with one of your arms, you should rotate your hip in the same direction as the arm that you are holding on to. He will not be able to counter the move as your arm will lock his arm. You will roll over, and you will now be on top. The best thing to do now is to break free and flee from the scene.
Open Guard Position
In this position, the attacker will be between your legs. It will be easier for him to rape you, but you have more control in the open guard position than in the mounting position. The reason for this is that you can use your legs which is more powerful than his arms.
In this position, it will also be harder for your attacker to punch you because he will be further away. You can also create more space between you and him with one of your knees. Once you have a knee on his chest, you can roll him over.
Defending Yourself Against Kicks On The Floor
So you find yourself on the floor where someone either tripped or pushed you. You are lying on the ground but what do you do?
The first thing to do is to get your head out of the way of the attacker so that you can face him. You want to do this if you do not wish to receive a lot of kicks to the head.
Once you are in position, you then need to push knees up and hold your arms on each side of your head. You should also not try to sit up because you can either be kicked with the knee or be pushed back to the floor.
The best way to stand up is to turn onto your side and move up to a sitting position. You will have more stability and strength when in this position. Take your opposite arm and push against the floor to create even more stability. Take your other arm and keep your elbow connected to your knee to protect yourself against strikes.
You should also make sure that the leg you sit on is in a triangle position. This position will you to sweep your legs under your body so that you can stand up to get back on your feet. You only want to stand up when there is enough space between you and the attacker.
How To Break The Fall
Yes, you heard right. If you fall, you want to make sure that you do not hurt yourself. If an attacker pushes you until you fall and you hurt yourself in the process, then it will be easier for him to get his way with you.
First, you want to make sure that you protect your head and neck while falling. I have heard horror stories of people that broke their neck or suffered severe head injuries during a fall.
If you are in a faced confrontation, you will most likely fall backward. If you fall, you then want to bend your head forward until your chin touches your chest. You also want to cross your arms where your hands will touch the opposite shoulder.
When your back hits the floor, you then want to spread your arms out and hit the floor with your arms which will break the fall.
Most Sensitive Points To Hit
When in a physical confrontation, you want to end the fight as fast as possible. There is also the chance that your attacker might have a reinforcement ready. You even may not get a second chance to strike so make it count. Certain parts of the body are very sensitive to pressure.
If you can strike one of these parts, you might create enough time for you to escape. As seen by the image above, I will go from top to bottom explaining each point individually.
The eyes are one of the most sensitive areas to strike. You also do not need a lot of force to temporarily or permanently disable the sight of your attacker. You can use the points of your finger or scratch at this area. The attacker will go through immense pain and will not be able to see which gives you enough time to escape.
The nose is made out of soft cartilage which can break easily. There is also the chance of a bloody nose. I have had my nose broken before and trust me when I say that it is excruciating. If the nose breaks, there is a good chance that the attacker will stop and flee.
You can use your fist or the palm of your hand to break a person’s nose. If you some is executing a rear naked choke on you, then you can also give him an elbow to the nose.
The chin might take more pressure to cause damage than that used for breaking a nose. If enough pressure is applied on the chin, shockwaves will go through the person’s head causing him to blackout.
Have you ever noticed when a boxing commentator mentions that a boxer has a jaw of steel?
This comment means that you will require a large amount of force to knock out the boxer.
The throat is also a very sensitive area to strike. If you make your hand flat and hit in a chopping motion on the throat, you can easily break the trachea which is made out of cartilage.
By breaking the trachea, you will make it very hard for the person to breath. This point might sound very gruesome and cruel, but if you are in a life-threatening situation, then feelings need to go out the door and allow your warrior spirit to take over.
If your attacker is a male, then this area will be susceptible. You can kick with your knee or the bridge of your foot. You can also hit it with your fist or elbow if you are low enough. This will cause excruciating pain on the individual who will bring them to the floor.
The knee will require the most pressure than all of the other mentioned points. To effectively damage your attacker’s knee, you need to kick it. You can kick it from the front or side. There is the change that you will dislocate the knee or tear the ligaments beyond repair if you kicked at the right angle with enough force.
Over To You
Now that you are more familiar with self-defense and how it can be used to save, your life, I hope that you can see the benefit it will have on your life. You can partake in martial arts classes to teach you the necessary skills.
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Please leave a comment below and share with us your story on how you defended yourself one time.