Personal Safety Series: Basic Self Defense for Women

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By Heather Listhartke

Most women, at one time or another, ask themselves if they would know what to do if ever in a dangerous situation, like if they felt like someone was following them in a parking garage or if they were ever attacked. Unfortunately, many women don’t feel confident in what they should do in a situation like that, which is why it’s important to know some basic ways to protect yourself.

Here’s 3 fairly simple self-defense moves to learn that don’t require a lot of technique to be effective.

The first is a basic punch. If someone is in your personal space or has their hands on you, this can be a simple, but effective approach to getting away. The first important thing is that the more vulnerable place you hit, eyes, nose, throat, etc, the more effective your shot will be whether you have the technique down pat or not. If you have the power, you’re likely to do enough damage. From there, use your body by pushing from the ball of your foot to twist your body so that your hip and fist move forward at the same time and you’re hitting them squarely with the bulk of your fist and not with the pinky finger.

Another effective self-defense move is the front kick to the groin. Keeping with powerful moves to vulnerable places, the kick is one of the best offensive moves you can do. As with the basic punch, the key here is to use your body to move your hip forward, but your knee should be bent with the heel back. You’re then going to extend your knee and leg with force to hit your attacker right where it hurts. A good way to strengthen this move is to practice with lunges.

If your attacker is too close for those types of moves, it might be a good opportunity to use a knee kick instead. This works best if the person is in front of you. You’ll want to powerfully drive your knee up into their groin using the bony part of your knee. Just like in the movies, if you have the chance, grab between the person’s neck and shoulders and hold onto them to give you more leverage for a harder knee-kick.

Situations like this can be scary, but it doesn’t have to mean that you’re a victim. By learning to protect yourself with some basic moves, you can be powerful and reduce the likelihood of you being a target.

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