Nobody wants to imagine themselves in a dangerous situation that requires self-defense moves or techniques. But the fact is, violent crime rates increased 7% in just two years (from 2014 to 2016).
With violent crime rates on the rise, it's important to know self defense basics so you can defend yourself in a dangerous or violent situation. While nothing can replace a true self-defense class, there are certain tricks and techniques you can use to keep yourself safe.
We're going to gove over 10 self defense basics that everyone should know. These can help you both escape danger as well as avoiding danger in the first place.
One of the best self defense tips you can follow is to not get in a situation that requires self defense in the first place. This is in no way victim blaming: those who are assaulted or attacked are not at fault. It's entirely the fault of the attacker.
However, there are things you can do to not let yourself become the easy target an attacker is looking for and help keep you safe before you're attacked.
There is safety in numbers. If you're leaving a club at night or walking to your car in a parking lot, try and do so with a buddy or, better yet, a group of people. You're far less likely to be attacked when in a group as opposed to alone.
Pay attention. Pay close attention to the things happening around you. All too often you hear about people being mugged or robbed when their headphones are in, they're not paying attention, and they can't hear what's happening around them.
Stay vigilant to the people in your general area. Even looking at someone who is giving you bad vibes will let them know you've noticed them and that you're aware of their presence. This can deter an attacker from even approaching you in the first place.
Trust your instincts. If someone is making you uncomfortable or a situation seems suspicious, get yourself out of there. It's always better to follow your instincts now and apologize later if you end up being wrong.
On this same train of thought, there are self-defense apps you can put on your phone that can help keep you safe and avoid danger.
The Stay Safe app lets you program in emergency contacts. You then set a certain time of when you should check into the app. If you fail to do so, the app will automatically contact your emergency contacts.
So if you're attacked or get in trouble and can't access your phone on your own, the app will do it for you.
You can also download alarm apps that will make your phone flash bright lights and sound loud alerts that will deter attackers and alert any bystanders that you need help.
If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation, find a way to fight back. Many attackers will approach from behind and grab you in a bear hug or grab your arm.
Ever see a small child who doesn't want to be held? Copy them: wriggle around with all your might, drop your weight to the ground (basically try to sit down), twist your body, and basically move as much as possible.
This will make it hard for your attacker to get a proper grip, and will give you a chance to get yourself out of their grab.
When fighting back, don't simply strike your attacker anywhere. Aim for the pressure points and weak spots on their body to make the biggest impact and give yourself the best chance at escaping.
These are some of the best points to strike:
A hard, purposeful strike in any of these areas will almost definitely cause your attacker to pause, or at least give them significant pain.
Attackers don't always have weapons, but that doesn't mean they aren't a threat. A solid punch can knock you out, which is dangerous in any situation.
Learn how to defend yourself against this type of attack to give yourself a chance at escape, and to protect yourself during an attack. People hold their fists up near their face for a reason: protecting your face and your jaw and prevent a punch from knocking you out.
Keep your chin down, your fists up, and your body braced for the punch.
Some people carry firearms for self defense. For those who are uncomfortable with this line of self defense or in areas where it's illegal to carry this kind of weapon, there are other ways to arm yourself.
Keep pepper spray in your purse or your bag. Have your keys in your hand to use as a weapon if necessary. Carry a stun gun if the laws in your area allow it. Wear large and/or pointy rings to maximize your punch power.
Whatever you feel comfortable carrying to arm yourself will help you in a situation more than having nothing at your disposal.
When an attacker grabs you, knowing how to get yourself out of their hold is a crucial part of escaping safely.
If an attacker grabs your wrist, twist your hand so your open palm faces the ground. This will force the weakest part of their grip (where the thumb meets the fingers) to be positioned on the side of your wrist.
You can then quickly and forcefully push your hand out against this part of their grip to free your wrist.
When in a choke hold, pry their thumbs away from your throat, not their fingers. The thumbs are how the choker gets a grip. Without a good grip with the thumbs, they won't be able to hold you.
Freeing yourself from a headlock will depend on you going for their hands. Their hands will be gripped on one side of your head. Focus on tearing their hands away from your neck by hooking your hands onto theirs and using your entire body weight to pull them away.
Standing still to fight back or free yourself will make you easier to hit, subdue, and grab. Keep your body moving at all times in order to make yourself a moving, and thus harder, target.
It can also help to keep in mind you don't have to stand still to fight back. You can be moving around and still punch, kick, flail, and do whatever you can to fight back and escape. Chances are, rapid and a lot of movement will overwhelm your attacker, which can cause them to flee or at least deter their attack.
During an attack, it's hard to remember all of these techniques. Our minds go blank, it's hard to speak, and we start to panic.
That's where practice comes in. If you've practiced these techniques and mastered a self-defense plan, it will be much easier for you during an actual attack. Your self defense techniques will come to you naturally since you've practiced them multiple times before instead of having to do them for the first time during an actual attack.
This might be the most important tip on this list. Know when to let go. Sure, it's upsetting when a robber is forcing you to give them your bag, your watch, your beloved wallet.
But these material goods are just that: material. Things can be replaced, but your life cannot. Chasing after a mugger who took your bag could lead to serious injury or even your death.
No bag or watch is worth your life and safety. Instead of resisting giving a mugger your belongings, especially if they have a weapon on you, hand over your stuff. They'll likely leave you alone after that and you'll be free to run and call the police or find another person nearby to help you.
Resisting or fighting back when they have a weapon or if they outnumber you can just lead to serious injury and death. Be smart, and don't try and be a hero over 20 dollars in your wallet.
Knowing what to do in a dangerous situation can mean the difference between life and death. While this might seem dramatic, those who are desperate enough to attack an innocent person won't hesitate to harm you in order to get what they want.
These 10 self defense basics can help you avoid danger and protect yourself during a dangerous situation. Remember to practice these things and keep them in mind at all times.
If you have any questions about self defense, don't hesitate to contact us. You can also find plenty of ways to arm yourself on our website if you're looking for something that can help you feel safe and secure.
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