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Self-Defense Techniques: Basic Moves You Can Teach Yourself

woman holding purse in parking garage

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Sometimes, late at night, walking to your car, you get an uneasy feeling. You wonder if you are being followed and, if so, you may be concerned if you have the skills to protect yourself. 

Unfortunately, unprovoked attacks happen more often than you think. In 2019, there were over 800,000 aggravated assaults in the U.S., an increase of 1.3 percent from the previous year. So, it is crucial everyone learns basic self-defense techniques effective at keeping each of us safe in a violent situation. 

Learn Prevention First

The best self-defense techniques start with prevention. You want to always be aware of your surroundings. Walk in well-lit areas and scan for areas where an attacker might hide. 

Attackers are looking for easy targets. If walking alone at night, keep your keys, whistle, or pepper spray readily accessible. You want to have confident body language to indicate you are a threat. Walk and talk with your head up to dissuade any potential attackers. For additional protection and prevention, you can carry a self-defense baton to further discourage attackers. 

If you are confronted, consider complying with the attacker’s demands for your wallet or purse. Don’t risk your health for something that can be easily replaced. You may also be able to prevent violence in the situation by making a scene. Get loud, push back, and let the attacker know you won’t be an easy target. Yell and scream to alert others around you to the situation.

A Baton Is a Great Self-Defense Weapon

Target the Weakest Body Parts

When learning self-defense, start by learning the weak points of the human body. You can then exploit these to defend yourself against attackers bigger and stronger than you. Your goal is to inflict damage quickly so you can escape. 

If you are close to your attacker’s face, target their eyes, nose, throat, or ears, as these are sensitive points. The knees and groin are the weakest points on the lower half of the body. Never step closer to your attacker to inflict a blow. Instead, choose the target you can reach from your current position. Your goal is simply to inflict enough damage so you can temporarily incapacitate them, giving you a crucial head start to get away.

woman elbowing attacker

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Practice the 3 Key Beginner Self-Defense Moves

As a beginner just starting to learn self-defense, you want to keep things simple. Tools like self-defense knives can be helpful. However, you can be incredibly effective at defending yourself with your bodyweight and only three moves in your repertoire. When learning self-defense, practice builds confidence. Build a routine to practice these basic self-defense moves at home so you’ll be confident should you ever need to use them. 

  • Hammerfist Punch

This move lands a damaging blow on your attacker’s face, hopefully taking out their nose, jaw, or temple. To perform this move, raise your dominant arm over your head with your hand closed in a fist. As you bring your arm down, swing your hips forward to provide additional momentum. Aim at your attacker’s face and land the blow with the heel of your fist. Then run away from your attacker. 

  • Front Groin Kick

This move can be incredibly effective for those with small stature since it may be challenging to reach your attacker’s face. Hold your hands up to protect your face while bending your dominant leg. Drive your knee straight up to your waist, then extend that hip and kick your shin into the attacker’s groin. Keep your toes pointed downward to make sure they stay out of the way. After landing the kick, quickly return your foot to the ground to regain balance. 

woman kickboxing with partner

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  • Palm-Heel Strike

Similar to the hammerfist punch, this move aims at your attacker’s face. Start the move by rotating your dominant hip and shoulder away from your attacker. Then extend your arm out with as much force as possible as you swing your body’s dominant side toward the attacker. Keep your fingers straight up, landing the blow with the heel of your palm on your attacker's nose. 

You can practice these three moves by yourself in the comfort of your own home. You’ll gain a lot of confidence and skill by striking against air. However, once you gain confidence with them, you might want to practice against a punching bag to gain strength. 

Utilize Self-Defense Knives When Necessary

Moving Beyond Basic Self-Defense

You may be interested in learning more techniques once you have mastered the basics of self-defense. Maybe you want to learn how to enhance your protection with tools or how to prevent a home invasion. For advanced learning, seek out training either in person or online to improve your self-defense skills. 

For self-defense weapons, explore the range of pepper sprays, tasers, and batons available at The Home Security Superstore.

FAQs

Who should learn self-defense?

Self-defense is something everyone should learn. It is particularly important for women since they are commonly targeted victims of violent attacks. 

What should I do when I feel threatened?

You can do several things to protect yourself when you feel threatened, to avoid escalation to an attack. The easiest solution is to make noise to attract the attention of protective passers-by. 

What are the best self-defense tools?

The best tools for self-defense are the tools you know how to use. Whichever method of self-defense you decide to use, practice frequently so you can act with confidence should the occasion arise.

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