5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Self-Defense


Let’s face it, we live in a dangerous world. And if you happen to be a woman, it’s even more perilous. Assaults, rapes, and robberies are unfortunately an everyday occurrence, and all of us, but especially women, should take it upon ourselves to learn at least a little bit of self-defense. You truly never know when you might need to use it: walking home at night, getting into your car in a deserted parking lot, at an ATM machine, etc. It’s always best to be prepared.

Here are 5 things that every woman should know about self-defense. Pay attention, you never know when you might need to heed this advice.

1. Don’t use your keys as a weapon

We’ve heard over and over that you should use your keys Wolverine-style in your fist to fight off an attacker. DON’T DO IT. There are a few reasons for this. The first is that you could badly injure your hand or your fingers if you punch someone while holding your keys this way. They jagged keys might dig into your hand.

The second reason relates to the one above and might make an already bad situation much worse. If you hurt your hand, you might drop your keys and then you’re in really big trouble. Now you might not have access to your car or your house, which is basically your escape route. Instead, consider carrying a kubotan that you can swing at an assailant.

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And you can use a single key or a set of keys as a weapon to stab in a downward motion.

2. A kick to the balls isn’t always your best move

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According to Mags Storey, a self-defense instructor in Commando Krav Maga, a martial art that focuses on real-life defense tactics, the age-old advice that you should kick someone in the groin isn’t always the best idea.

It’s actually very easy to defend against a groin kick. All a man has to do is move to the side or move back and you’re most likely not going to hit your intended target. If you do land a solid kick to the nuts, you’re likely in pretty good shape, but because it’s so easy to defend against, you’re better off aiming for the knees or the shins.

3. Distance is important in self-defense

Women should also prepare defenses that don’t have to rely on them being up-close and personal with their attacker. In fact, distance is quite important in this regard. In other words, it’s important to keep a person away from you. So while it’s important to have those hand-to-hand and up close techniques, women should also consider things like mace, bear spray, or the aforementioned kubotan.

Improvising is important as well. Wielding a backpack or a purse like a weapon, or smacking a guy in the head with an umbrella might be helpful as well. Anything to put more distance between you and a creep who’s hell-bent on harming you.

4. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t avoid eye contact

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We are often told to NOT make eye contact with people in potentially dangerous situations, perhaps to not provoke them. But this is not a very good idea. In fact, the opposite is true. If you feel threatened in any way by someone, you should make eye contact to let the person/scumbag know that you’re very aware of your surroundings and that you won’t be intimidated.

If you are looking at the ground sheepishly, you appear more vulnerable and unsure of yourself, which is never a good idea in situations that could get bad very quickly. By making eye contact you’re also sending the message that you could potentially identify this person to police if an incident takes place.

5. A gun isn’t always the best form of self-defense

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People, especially Americans, automatically assume that they’ll be safer with a gun. But that isn’t really the case. ABC News did an experiment that put people who had firearms training in a shooting situation. The people were given guns with simunition bullets that were filled with paint. None of the people in the experiment were able to defend themselves against the person playing the role of the shooter.

The real-world panic and chaos that actually occurs during a violent incident is quite a bit different than handling a gun while receiving training and shooting at targets. Another experiment, the Tueller Drill, shows that someone with a holstered gun can only hit an attacker with a knife when they’re 21 feet away. That’s hardly a vote of confidence for people packing heat in their purses or holsters, no matter how good of a shot they are. People who are panicking also run the risk of shooting themselves or someone else besides the intended target.

So to all the women out there, take this advice to heart and be safe out there!