Avoiding situations and locations where an attack may happen is your best defense. Follow common sense safety tips like walking and parking in well-lit, populated areas and being aware of your surroundings. Keep your eyes up and your attention alert. Walking with confidence and your head held high lets potential attackers know you’re not easy prey.
Remember, no amount of money or possession is worth your life. There is nothing wrong with handing over your wallet, purse, or keys to someone who is threatening your life. Possessions can be replaced you can’t.
Even when you try to avoid confrontation or prevent an altercation, violence is often unavoidable. If you need to defend yourself, these tips can help keep you safe and get you out of the situation quickly.
Shout a loud phrase like, “Get Away!” or even, “Fire!” “Fire” is an effective phrase to use because onlookers are more likely to respond to this than to shouts for help. Loud shouting brings onlookers and attention to your situation and demonstrates that you’re not an easy target.
Many times, using your voice to draw attention will scare off potential attackers.
Not all assailants will be scared off by shouting and the possibility of attention. If the situation continues to escalate, use speed and decisiveness as your next line of defense. Hesitation can be your worst enemy. Quickly target your assailant for a rapid strike and immediately attempt to flee the situation. By acting quickly, you can often catch your assailant off guard and escape the attack.
Confrontations and attacks on the street can start and finish in an instant, so you need to make every action and move count. If an attacker is attempting to subdue you, your strikes should target the most effective and sensitive areas of the body. Target your attacker's eyes, ears, nose, throat, groin, and knees.
If you’re being attacked, you’re already in a dirty fight, so don’t hesitate to strike areas of the body that are most sensitive. A solid blow to the side of the knee, an elbow to the nose, or a swift kick to the groin can render your assailant stunned long enough to escape the situation.
There is no etiquette in street fighting. Utilize every defensive tool at your disposal — keys, fingernails, teeth, perfume, elbows, knees, and even high heels can all be defensive weapons to inflict maximum harm to your assailant.
Though these are all useful tips, the best self-defense technique is to train with a professional. Repetition and familiarity with defensive attacks and counter attacks are the best way to avoid and survive a possible altercation.
Joining a self-defense program or attending classes at your local Krav Maga center will teach you the tools and techniques you need to properly defend yourself. The best defense is preparation.
Martin Clarke is a fitness trainer who dabbles in freelance writing. He instructs his students primarily in the self defense system of Krav Maga. Martin’s hobbies include swimming and cooking for his wife and two daughters.