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Have you heard that violent crimes in the US increased from 5 to 40% in 2022 compared to 2021? According to Fox News Digital research, rapes, sexual assaults, and robberies have skyrocketed in two years. We know how often you hear about crime statistics, but the real danger never seems likely to hit us, right?
Yet, accidents happen, so are you sure you are prepared for them? If not, here’s our quick guide on self-defense methods to help you in a confrontation. This advice is mainly for self-defense beginners, so an experienced boxing champion may be familiar with most hacks.
Many of us think that when we face danger and need to defend ourselves, we will manage to save ourselves. But why are we so sure? The reason behind such behavior is a phenomenon called "optimism bias." Our brain makes us believe we will evade any bad outcomes. This evolutionary mechanism saves our mental health as we don't have to worry about death and stuff awaiting on every street corner. Still, optimism bias doesn't help during a late-night walk in a bad neighborhood.
Most countries indeed allow us to use reasonable force for self-defense. The problem is that usually, it means defending yourself unarmed. Let's face it. You probably aren't prepared for physical assault if you've never trained to protect yourself.
Risks are exceptionally high when we talk about women's safety. The statistics inform that 1 out of 6 women in the US has been the victim of attempted rape. Jocelyn A.Hollandder proves that self-defense practices are an effective way to reduce these numbers and to ensure women's safety. They help empower women and make them feel more comfortable in public places.
If you want to be prepared for a situation when someone threatens your life, it is necessary to learn basic self-defense techniques. They will help you to act quickly in risky situations to hit an attacker and save your life.
So what if you’ve decided to become a self-defense adept, where should you start?
Don’t rush into learning self-defense from the start. There is little point in knowing several techniques if your strikes are slow and the stamina is too low to run a long distance. You have to make your body strong and healthy to be able to resist an attacker physically.
First of all, concentrate on cardio exercises. Run, jump rope, do squats and stick to the proper diet to make exercising more effective. Being good at cardio will boost your endurance and speed, which is necessary for being able to hit and run away.
We also recommend prioritizing calisthenics for both men and women to build strength. Training with your own weight makes your proportions balanced and your limbs stronger.
You can start exercising at home using Youtube videos or hire a professional trainer for guidance. Professional assistance is usually essential at the beginning to learn the basics of each exercise.
Physical preparation will make you more confident and strong, but it is also critical to understand how street assaults happen.
Your potential robber/rapist/drunk won’t be fair with their malicious intent. Street confrontations are played dirty, so the attacker will aim for the weak points, use weapons, attack without warning, or even try to kill you.
You have to understand that fighting with everything you can use is okay. Choose an appropriate stance, hide your weak zones, and be wary of your surroundings. You cannot be sure there are no accomplices around, so staying alert is essential.
Present yourself as a confident opponent with the use of body language. Trust your instincts and be ready to run if the odds are against you. Winning a street fight is coming alive and well out of it.
The verbal aspect is crucial as well. A street encounter is often about words more than action, at least at the start. An attacker will use offensive and frightening speeches to paralyze you mentally. Stay calm and show that you are not afraid of them. Being confident in your strength alone is often enough to evade the fight.
If you see no way to evade the physical confrontation, use an element of surprise. Land the first blow and aim for the weak points. Those are:
Back of neck
Protect these areas as your attacker may hit them as well. If you doubt you can win, strike and run. That’s why you trained cardio, after all.
There are lots of self-defense methods, but the one you can learn and use on your own is striking. Hence, here we primarily focus on strikes:
Try to deal as much damage as possible from the start, and that's where striking first comes in handy. As obvious as it may be, don't try one-shotting your attacker with a mawashi backflip. It is better to use simple and effective front punches. You can make your punches harder by taking a heavy object in your fist. Try using the keys or pick up a stone.
We admit that front punches may be too harsh for a beginner and the risk of breaking your wrist is high. That’s why using your palms is a good choice, especially to stop the fight immediately. Open hands allow arms to stay more relaxed, increasing speed and power.
Eyes are the easiest to hit among the weak spots we’ve listed. Blinding an attacker may even stop the fight before it has begun. If not, your opponent will probably get angry and less effective, so remember to stay calm and use their weaknesses to your advantage.
Elbows are very thick and can deal massive damage. Striking with the elbows is one of the most effective self-defense techniques for women. It combines the benefits of punches and palm strikes with the only disadvantage of short range.
Knee strikes are among the best self-defense techniques for women, as a rapid kick in the groin can finish the fight immediately. It works incredibly well when a human body is adrenalized and has more striking force. Ladies, just let your opponent in a close range and strike as hard as you can. Run afterward.
The knowledge we share may be helpful for beginners, but you need practice. We can’t teach you how to fight and behave in an actual fight. Only self-defense courses can help you with that.
Here are the best options to consider:
Boxing is a type of self-defense sport that will keep you strong, fit, and fast. It burns fat, boosts the mood, and teaches you to fight. There is a myth that boxing is primarily for men because of sparring matches, but that’s far from the truth. Sparring can be different, and it doesn’t require powerful hits. It helps you concentrate on speed and ability, which is crucial during street attacks.
Krav Maga is a fighting system developed for the Israel Defense Forces. It focuses on real-life situations and is similar to any self-defense course, except this one is super effective against both armed and unarmed attackers. Krav Maga teaches how to use each body part as a weapon and has become popular among ladies.
Muay Thai can teach you to use elbows and knees for self-protection more effectively. That will save your fists and make your strikes more powerful. Muay Thai is also suitable for cardio training, so you’ll get in better shape overall.
Human bodies have their limits, and that’s completely normal. Street assault may go wrong even for a tough fighter. There may be several attackers, some may have weapons, or you can get struck from behind. That’s why consider taking additional safety measures that will help win the fight fast or avoid it altogether.
We don’t recommend keeping guns or knives, but something more practical could come in handy. Choose a weapon allowed in your country or state, like a pepper spray or a taser gun. Use legal weapons to avoid problems with the law and keep your choice simple.
Many street fights happen because of some alcohol-based nonsense at the bar. While some people don’t control their drinking habits, we recommend staying soberer than the rest of your crew. Drinking in moderation will keep you clear-minded and combat-ready if the conflict arises.
Every town has areas that don’t welcome strangers, especially at night. Keep away from the dangerous hoods and avoid any business there unless you are acquainted with the locals who can protect you.
There is no reason to rob if there’s nothing to rob, right? Don’t advertise yourself too much or attract attention to your smartphone, looks, or tech, if you are unsure that you can save it.
Late-night walks are peaceful and romantic, but it’s still better to use a cab. For a fair price, you will admire the night views of your city in the backseat of a cab instead of approaching this city’s hostile residents. Cabs are monitored by their service providers, so they are usually safe.
Spending several years at the gym, riding a cab, and boxing on the weekends won’t fully protect you from a street assault. A full-blown fight is an unpleasant experience, so we recommend letting your close ones come for help when needed. Since you can’t call your friend after someone has already attacked you, installing a safety app with a panic button beforehand would be a good idea. Once you click it, emergency contacts will get instant notifications with your GPS location.
AllsWell Alert is a safety app that combines inactivity monitoring with panic button functionality. All you need to do is to install the app and set up the list of emergency contacts. Your phone will send an SOS alert to the specific emergency contacts as soon as you press a panic button.
Overall, personal safety requires a lot of measures. You have to keep your mind and body in good shape. Also, don’t forget that even a strong and healthy person may need help sometimes.
Keep yourself safe with the AllsWell Alert app. Try it out for free on Android and iOS to protect yourself in a risky situation.