Knowing self-defense techniques is vital for ensuring your safety, especially if you live in a big, urban area. Although many people mistakenly think of self-defense only in terms of hitting an attacker where it hurts, it’s actually about where, when and how to attack if you need to.
There are certain things you can do to prevent getting into such a situation in the first place, namely avoiding high crime areas and always being aware of your surroundings. You should also consider carrying pepper spray if that’s something you’re comfortable doing.
With the above being said, there are various simple and effective self-defense techniques that you can learn should you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation. Here’s how to fight off an attacker, regardless of how they come at you:
1. If you’re grabbed from the side – Elbow hit
Should an attacker come at you from your right or left side, you’ll want to defend yourself with an elbow hit. Use your elbow to hit your attacker in the temple, jaw or nose. The likelihood is that they will stumble backward due to the power that this kind of hit has. This will leave them vulnerable to you elbowing them in the stomach or chest.
2. If you’re grabbed from behind – Back of head hit
Attackers have a tendency to attack their victims from behind due to the element of surprise and having the ability to hold the victim’s arms down to prevent them from moving. If you find yourself in such a predicament, hit your attacker with the back of your head, which will make their legs come forward. At this point, bend down, grab one of their legs and pull it up with you. This will immediately knock them off balance.
3. If you’re already in a fight – Break fingers/Adam’s apple jab
In the event that a fight has already started, there are two highly effective moves that you can employ. The first is to grab one of your attacker’s hands with both of yours. Grab their pinky and ring finger with one hand and their middle and pointer finger with the other. Bend the wrist forward to inflict some serious pain on your attacker.
If the aforementioned isn’t possible, you can try jabbing your (male) attacker in the Adam’s apple. Alternatively, you can jab him between the collarbones. This will buy you a little time to continue fighting back as he tries to regain his composure
BONUS – How to free your hands
If an attacker happens to grab your hands, you can rotate your arm and/or wrist to the side where their thumb is. If you can get your arm under the attacker’s, pull it as hard as you can and it should slip out.