Women's Self Defense Tips
Be Alert! Stay Safe!
Recent research showed that a vast number of violent criminals chose their victims like the big cats in Africa chose their prey: they select the person who appears least likely to protect themselves. Slumped shoulders, passive behavior and lack of awareness telegraph this message. Walk with confidence, alertness and purpose--this makes you less of a target!
In today's busy, rush rush world, we often find ourselves distracted. This is one of the things criminals on the prowl use to their advantage. In order to better be able to protect yourself, your first line of defense is awareness--be alert! Look around you as you walk to your car from your place of employment, a store, etc. Notice what is going on around you. Observe who is around and what they are doing. Be aware of what type of vehicle is parked near your car. If a man is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. Police also advise to not get in your car if a van with a sliding door on your side is parked next to you. Many have been abducted this way. It sounds like paranoia, but--- IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY (or paranoid than dead).
Being in the wrong place, wrong time is never a good idea. Most of this is just common sense. DON'T be walking alone in an alley, or driving in a bad neighborhood at night. When you leave your place of employment or the mall/store have your car keys in your hand BEFORE you walk out the door. Glance around, under and in the car before you get in. To make this easier, I prefer to park under or as close to a light as I can get. Always remember to lock your doors as soon as you get into your car--it sounds like a no-brainer, but how many times have we forgotten because we were distracted?
One thing I've read and heard is that if an attacker says not to do something, he's just told you the best way to mess up whatever he is planning to do. This makes perfect sense to me, as he doesn't want to draw attention to himself. My own opinion is to do the opposite of what he says (if he says don't scream, SCREAM--especially if it's in a parking lot where someone can possibly hear you.) If he doesn't have control of you, run, even if he has a gun. Then you should weave as you run. Police only make four out of ten shots, even at close range (three to nine feet)--due to stress. Police are highly trained in the use of guns, so this could put the odds in your favor. A moving target is harder to hit--he may hit you only four times out of a hundred. It is also unlikely he will hit a vital organ. If he gets you from the primary crime scene, the place where he grabs you, your chances for survival diminish greatly.
Shoulder Drop Throw (Seoi Otoshi)
If you are attacked
From Ju Jitsu:
If your attacker pulls you, push him, if he pushes you pull. Step out of the way and this should give you room to escape. This method uses his momentum against him.
If he grabs you around the neck from behind, always remember to tuck your chin to your chest. This makes it harder for him to choke you. Quickly grab his elbow with one hand and his wrist with the other and drop to the knee (the side that you have gripped his wrist). This should take him to the ground. To see an animation of this technique click on the Judo Information site link below and go to Animations of throws--this is called Seoi Otoshi or shoulder drop. If it seems necessary, kick him a time or two then run as fast as you can to the nearest place of safety.
Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do! Never underestimate the pain of a good elbow shot especially to the ribs or solar plexus.
The eyes are the most vulnerable part of the body. Poke him there, and you have (possibly) your only window of opportunity. But you can't be squeamish about it. You have to do this like you MEAN IT!
The neck is also a vulnerable spot, but you MUST know where to grip, AND HAVE THE STRENGTH to cut off his breath. One place to grip (or strike) is around the Adam's Apple. This is potentially deadly, but in a life or death situation, I go with my sensei's logic: "It's better to be tried by twelve than carried by six."
The top of the foot is a good place for a stomp, especially if he has you from behind. This works especially well if you're wearing boots or even high heels.
The last place is the KNEES. Everyone's knees are very vulnerable, and a swift kick here will take anyone down. One thing to remember--you have to do this like you MEAN IT. Be forceful when you do. Stomp either the knee or the foot like you're killing a roach.
If you are being pursued, find an obstacle, such as a parked car, and run around it, like ring around the rosie. This is a tip my dojo has taught in our Kid's Safety courses.
If you are grabbed from behind and picked up (your attacker plans to take you elsewhere for example), bicycle your legs. This is another tip from our kid's saftey courses that should also work well for a woman.
My philosophy of self defense for anyone, male or female is simple: Hit hard, hit fast, run fast--yelling "FIRE!" all the way. People are more likely to come see what's going on, and your attacker likely doesn't want any witnesses.
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