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By Tallulah Ray
I am short in stature, I’ve got a small frame, and I don’t have much muscle mass. All of this means that I have the potential of being an easy target for possible predators. Because of that, I’ve been talking to some of the best self-defense course coaches in my area, as well as doing some research online.
Every woman, no matter what size and shape, should be knowledgeable in a few basic self-defense moves and tips.
#1) Tips on Staying Safe
The best offense is a good defense. Let’s talk about some basic tips that will keep you out of harm’s way.
Always be aware of your surroundings. Distractions could lead to a dangerous situations. If you are walking in the dark (for example, if you are going to your car after work), make sure that you’re in a well-lit area. Try to park underneath or close to streetlights.
Making eye-contact with strangers will make you a less desirable victim because you will appear to be more aware, direct, and perhaps (depending on the stranger) more apt for confrontation. It will also help you remember their features if they do end-up trying to harass you (or worse).
#2) Easy Targets
If you find yourself being confronted by a potential predator, you can aim for a few easy target areas: eyes, nose, neck, knee, and groin.
Eyes: Aiming for your attacker’s eyes will be both painful and help blur and alter his vision so you can get away.
Nose: Taking the heel of your palm, drive it up against the bottom of his nose (where his nostrils are). If he is behind you, use your elbow instead.
Knee: Buckling his knee with a well-aimed kick will help slow him down. Depending on your shoes and just how well you can kick him, you can even cause substantial damage, so that he’ll stay down (while you get away).
Neck: His neck is a vulnerable because it contains a lot of major blood vessels.
Groin: His groin is also a vulnerable target. A swift kick or a knee in his groin will truly ruin his day. It may take a second to “kick in” but once the pain sets in, it can distract him enough so that you can get away.
#3) Double Check Your Beliefs and Though Process
Did you know that in 2000, about 246,000 women survived a rape and/or assault? That computes to about 28 women every hour. However, let’s get this straight: just because you’re a woman, doesn’t make you an easy target. It’s not necessarily our stature and muscle mass (or lack thereof) that makes us a target, part of it has to do with our though process and how we think.
You probably won’t be able to reason with your attacker. So spend your energy doing something more affective.
You don’t need to cause pain. What you need to do is cause injury in order to buy you enough time to get away.
Being fit doesn’t mean that you will be safer. You need to practice self-defense moves so that they will come to you when you are in a dangerous situation.
#4) Elbows, Head, and Knees
These are your built-in weapons. Most people will turn to their fists in order to fight back but these three body parts (your elbows, knees, and your head) will pack more of a wallop when you need it the most.
#5) Use Common Objects
When we think about self-defense weapons, the first things that come to mind are knives, stun guns, pepper spray, and mace. However, if you don’t have any of these things, you can use every day, common objects to keep yourself safe.
If you’re walking to your car, late at night (perhaps, after work or after a night out with friends), carry your keys in your hand, with a key sticking out in between your fingers. Also, keeping a pen handy, can help you if you are confronted by an attacker.
#6) Self-Defense Resources
Some women learn best when they can be in front of an instructor. Videos and text just isn’t enough. If you are one of these women, there are many resources that you can turn to in order to learn the best self-defense moves for you.
Check out your local martial arts centers, community centers, police departments, and women’s centers. You can also look up the Gracie Jui-Jitsu Academy for online courses and information, DVD’s, and self-defense training courses near you.