Did you know that a violent crime occurs every 24 seconds?
No matter who you are, where you are, or what you do for a living, everyone can benefit from learning basic self-defense. Even if you’re never the victim of a crime, it’s reassuring to feel prepared in case of an emergency.
Do you want to learn how to protect yourself? Keep reading for 10 simple self-defense moves you should master.
1. Self-Defense Techniques: Know Where to Hit
The best offensive and defensive moves are ones that are calculated. If you want to learn self-defense, the first step is to practice where you hit your attacker. To keep things simple, you can’t go wrong with a hit to the head, groin, or knees.
On the head, you should aim for the eyes, nose, ears, and neck. Groin hits are most effective on men. Hits to the knees are also effective on any attacker because they’re hard to block.
2. Straight Strike
Most people’s first instinct is to punch. Although landing a powerful punch can help you escape, your attacker may be prepared to block. A more effective move is a straight strike.
A straight strike is an open-palm hit to the face or neck. In order to execute this move, flex your hand open, bend your elbow for momentum, then use all of your power to plow your palm into your attacker’s face or throat.
3. Hammer Strike
A hammer strike looks exactly how it sounds. You raise your fist up then pound it down as if you’re hammering something. To land the hardest blow, make sure to strike with the bottom of your fist.
If you ever have to defend yourself, don’t be afraid to fight dirty. A hammer strike can cause much more damage if you grip your car keys in your fist to slash your opponent. It’s always a good idea to keep your keys in your hand while you’re walking alone in case you get attacked.
4. How to Defend Yourself Against a Bear Hug
Many attacks happen from behind because it’s easier to subdue a surprised victim. If someone catches you in a bear hug, the best thing to do is to squat low so you’re harder to hold. Once you’re low enough, your hand is in a better position to strike the groin.
Another thing you can do is lean forward into your squat so your elbow is freed. Bring your elbow forward then swing it back hard into your attacker’s stomach. Once you’ve stunned them, try to run away.
5. Self-Defense for Punches
If someone is coming at you swinging, you’ll need to know how to block. Although blocking can hurt your arms, it’s much better to take a hit there than in your face or another vulnerable spot. In order to block a punch, you’ll need to have fast reflexes.
As you see an arm coming toward you, mirror your attacker by using the same arm to block. Bend your elbow, keep your hand flexed open, and raise your arm fast into their inner-elbow to steer their fist away from you. With your free arm, try to surprise your attacker by landing a blow at the same time you block.
6. Powerful Self-Defense Moves Against Mounting
If your attacker pins you to the ground, it’s difficult to escape this position. The good news is that it’s not impossible. In order to get free, you’ll have to unbalance your attacker, pull them down, and roll so you’re on top.
The first thing you should do is buck your hips up hard so the attacker falls forward onto their hands. Grab one hand and yank it so they start to get closer to you. At the same time, use your foot to hook the leg that’s on the same side of their body as the hand you’re pulling.
As you’re pulling and hooking, you can roll into that vulnerable side to get off your back. If you’re able to roll all the way to get on top, you can land a powerful hit easier then run away.
7. Front Kick
If you try to kick from the side, you may only be able to strike with your toes. For more power, you can use a front kick to utilize the strength of your entire foot. To do a front kick, raise your knee as high up as you can, then snap your leg out while keeping your foot flexed to hit with the most surface area.
Since many attackers know their victim, it’s helpful for employers to offer self-defense classes to learn these moves. If you want to know how to keep your workplace safe, you can read more here.
8. How to Escape a Headlock
When you’re in a headlock, it’s hard to breathe. Instead of panicking or blacking out, your best option is to free your airway. To do this, turn to the side so your attacker’s grip isn’t clamping down on your airway.
Once you twist, you should be able to breathe better and focus on your offense. If you’re still in a sideways headlock, use your most distant hand to strike the groin until their grip loosens. Keep using your whole body to fight until you can break free.
9. Elbow Strike
Elbows are hard and pointy, which means they can cause a lot of pain. They’re useful tools when your hands are restrained. If you can slam your elbow into your attacker’s stomach, you’ll be able to knock the wind out of them.
Sometimes attackers are too close for you to build enough momentum to punch them. If that’s the case, bend your elbow tightly and swing as hard as you can to hit their face or neck.
10. Use Your Head
When you’re fighting, you have to use your head figuratively and literally. Staying calm and planning your next attack will help you escape. If you’re in a position where you can’t use your arms or legs, you can also use your head as a weapon.
If your attacker is restraining you from behind, you can stop the attack by landing a powerful blow to their face with your head. One hard hit could be enough to cause a bloody nose or blur their vision. After they’re stunned, you’ll have an easier time breaking free and escaping.
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With these 10 self-defense moves in your arsenal, you can feel safe everywhere you go.
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