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Self Defense Moves for Your Safety

Updated on November 14, 2010

Though for the most part we live in a safe world, it still pays to be ever vigilant about those around us. At the risk of being too paranoid, both strangers and those we think we know can be potential attackers. This issue is especially pertinent for women, many of whom feel vulnerable when alone walking on the street or even in their own home. Self defense, nevertheless, is an issue for everyone, male or female, adult or child. This article will describe some basic self defense moves that can be used in the event of an attack by someone, like a mugger, home invader, or someone just looking for a fight. [Disclaimer: Obviously, this article is meant for advice purposes only; any action you take is at your own risk.]

Keep Your Cool

The most important self defense move is to keep a level head. If you are walking around a bad area, don’t make your presence obvious. Keep your head on a swivel, watching around you constantly, and keep to lit areas. This should help prevent any mugging or assault situations. Similarly, if you are in a situation that is spiraling out of control, such as an argument in a bar or on the street, remember that whether or not the situation escalates is in largely in your hands. Preventing fights before they begin is one of the best self defense moves there is.

If a situation does develop, stay calm and think clearly about your options. You may find that in a crisis situation, you respond better than you could have imagined due to the adrenaline coursing through your veins. While you can’t prepare for how you’ll react in a situation, you can at least prepare for that situation.

Self Defense Tools

I don’t want to call them “weapons,” though they really are. There are various self defense products on the market of varying cost and damage potential. Consider purchasing pepper spray or another self defense weapon if your situation warrants it. A horn that makes a loud sound is also a good option if you want to steer clear from the physical route. If you do not have an object on you, consider all the possibilities for impromptu weapons you might have with you or see around you. Simply having an umbrella or even a big rock could deter a would-be attacker. It is not advisable, however, to carry around a more serious weapon like a gun or knife, as that might seriously escalate the situation and lead to a serious injury or death for you or your attacker.

Grabbed from Behind

Some of these following tips are more self defense moves for women, as they may find themselves in this particular situation more often than a man. We will also assume that the attacker is male, though certainly female attackers are possible. If you are grappled from behind, you have a number of options. One is to try to elbow your attacker. If you can’t get your arm free, another option is to headbutt them with the back of your head, multiple times of necessary. If they have their arm around you near your mouth, you could even bite them.

Attacked from the Front

Since you will have more mobility if attacked from the front, there are some easy self defense moves you can add to your repertoire. If you are attacked from the front, one obvious move is to try to kick or knee your assailant in the groin. Your male attacker may be expecting this, however, so he may block it or not give you the chance to make the strike. If your hands are free, you could rake your nails down his face, not letting up at all near his eyes. The attacker’s eyes are his weakest point, so don’t go easy on him. I know it probably is horrible to think about right now, but in a life or death situation you will find that you are capable of extraordinary things. Once the attacker is distracted, make a break for it, or strike again, perhaps going for the face or the groin. Another good area is the throat – a well timed punch or chop can stun your attacker, giving you the opportunity to escape.

Escape and Call the Police

Most of all, if you get the chance, run away. Do not stick around looking for revenge or to help your attacker if he’s injured. Run to the nearest public place and call 911. Make sure you file a police report. Do not assume that your assailant will not be caught – every data point is useful for the police in building a case against a suspect, and if they catch him they may prevent future attacks.

If you're interested in taking your self defense to the next level, you might consider taking some mixed martial arts training.


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    • captainchris profile image

      captainchris 7 years ago

      "Keep Your Cool"

      I strongly agree to that, calmness is the key to everything.

      Even if you know the greatest technique in martial arts you would not be able to pull it off if you are not calm.

      Nice hubs!

    • profile image

      Joey Bennett 7 years ago

      I have taken self defense classes and they are great. If you don't want to take them alone then have a couple friends do it with you. These class are beneficial to everyone. Tasers are also a great defense tool. They even come in pink for the women! Thanks for the great hub!

    • profile image

      SenseiMattKlein 7 years ago

      Excellent tips here, particularly keep your cool. TankTom, you might want to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Combined with your Muay Thai, you could fight in any range.

    • profile image

      Bryce Jackson 7 years ago

      This is a great hub. It is always very important to know the correct and most effective way to defend yourself. Remember that it is a lot easier to read about self defense move then to actually do them. Classes can be extremely helpful and are widely offered.

    • WillGrander profile image

      WillGrander 7 years ago from New York

      Hmm I'm not sure. Obviously it's hard to find one discipline that combines both together. Here's a good (Hub) article that might address this issue -

    • TankTom profile image

      TankTom 7 years ago

      Good article, but is there any specific martial art that you would say is the best for self defense? I know that most martial arts show different moves for different situations, but I train in Muay Thai and all of it's only stand up fighting and defense, there's no ground game whatsoever. So what art would you say offers both stand up and ground defense?