Hopefully you’ll never find yourself in a situation where you’d have to fight someone off, but, if you do, don’t use this method. I know a lot of people talk about it – I’ve even heard people I know say they employ this when walking to their car late at night. But for real: don’t put your keys between your fingers if you have to defend yourself.

It looks cool and you hear about it a lot, but self-defense experts say you shouldn’t do this for a few reasons. The first is that you can injure your hand pretty badly this way. The jagged keys might cut into your hand, which will definitely make your punches less effective. You also might drop your keys this way, and, no matter if you’re by your car or your house, if you’re trying to fight someone off and you have no keys, you’re in trouble. Plus, if you do manage to get away, then your assailant may actually have your keys.

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If you are dead set on using your keys to defend yourself, self-defense gurus advise you to carry your keys on a lanyard or a device known as a kubotan that will allow you to swing them as a weapon if necessary.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

If you carry your keys normally, you can still use them to your advantage. Just don’t put them between your fingers like Wolverine. Hold your car key like you would hold a knife, pointing down. It’s still small, pointy, and metal, so you can use it to poke sensitive areas on your assailant’s body, like the throat, eyes, and groin.

If you have a bunch of keys, you can use the same method. Hold them pointing down and stab down on your assailant like you’re drawing an X on them. That should stun them pretty good. Like I said earlier, hopefully none of us will ever have to use any of these tips, but it’s always good to know how best to defend ourselves.

h/t: Lifehacker