ABCs of Self Defense

These are very basic concepts.

A: Awareness of Your Surroundings

  • Examine your routine and evaluate how you can be more aware of what’s going on around you – at all times of the day.  Don’t walk with your head down.  Walk upright looking all around you showing confidence and power.
  • Take into account where you are parking. Make sure it is a safe spot close to an exit.
  • Avoid looking at your phone while walking.
  • Travel in groups of two or more because there is security in numbers.
  • Carry your car keys in your hand so you’re not searching for them when you arrive at your car.
  • Avoid potentially dangerous situations. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
  • Stay away from those areas of town that seem “seedy” or run down.
  • Park your car in well-lit areas near the front door wherever you are.

Avoid dangerous places. This can be anywhere where someone doesn’t know where you are. This is because if you are in danger or you really need help…well…no one is going to know where you are to help you.

B: Be calm and breathe.  This makes you think. It engages your senses.

When your adrenaline is up and your “Fight or Flight” response kicks in you usually begin to hyperventilate and this can impair your ability to think clearly and rationally. One of my teachers said that the first step in dealing with any sort of conflict is “EXHALE”. So keep your wits about you and breathe.

Break the Script. When met with a perceived threat, break the script of how the aggressor thinks the scenario will go. For example, if you learn there is an intruder in your home, throw something through the window. This action not only allows for your voice to make it past the confines of your home, but it startles the intruder – you’re breaking the script and they don’t expect your action. This also makes the stance that you are going to defend yourself.

C: Confrontation, Communicate with Confidence.
Street thugs are like any of natures predators…they look for the easy victim. By speaking in a firm, loud confident tone (even if you don’t feel confident…another one of my teacher’s favorite bits of advice was to “Fake it ‘til you make it.”) you are sending a
message that says, “DON’T MESS WITH ME!”

A good dose of Vitamin N (“NO!”) always helps.

For self-defense, the goal is to only confront the aggressor until you can safely escape. In the event of an attack, 

  • Strike the eyes (make a claw-like hand to poke the eyes with the force of all fingers).
  • Strike the nose (open palm thrust up toward the nose, making contact with the heel of your hand).
  • Strike the throat (fingers flat out together and thumb perpendicular, driving the inside of the triangle toward the throat).
  • Strike the groin (fist or open-hand swing or use your knee to strike).
  • Strike the knees (kick downward from the side toward the outside of the aggressor’s knee).
  • Bite anything you can.

Listen to your gut instinct – if something feels odd or unsafe, do your best to remove yourself from the situation.