Unfortunately many women have lots to fear in this world while walking alone. I thought it would be comforting to attend a self-defense class and share that knowledge with our readers. Although I still recommend attending a self-defense class yourself, here is quick synopsis of what I’ve learned:
Just being aware of what is going on around you is a huge defense. If you aren’t looking at your phone, listening to music and are attuned to your surroundings, you are more likely to notice something sketchy and avoid it. Someone seeking a victim is also going to be looking for an easy target, and a distracted person is just that.
Body Language is key:
Walking with your shoulders back and with your gaze fixed forward rather than at the ground conveys confidence. A confident person appears to be a more difficult target than someone hunched over and looking down at their feet. You can also use body language to tell someone to back off. Warning someone to back up can be done through a strong negative facial expression and you can even put your hands up signaling them to stop. This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but oftentimes the situation is uncomfortable and our initial reaction is to nervously laugh. Conveying a clear message that it is not okay is best.
Practice being firm and clear in telling people that you are not okay with their behavior. This could be in the workplace, at a bar, in response to a catcall or in an attack. Stopping unwanted advances early can help deter further advances. Try to avoid using heated curse words. Your words have more power, if you can say them calmly and seriously. Here are some examples of phrases you can use:
“Your behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it.”
“I want you to leave.”
“I don’t want to talk to you.”
“You’re in my space, move back.”
Use whatever feels comfortable to you and the situation.
Physical Defense: Each of these moves are similar to delivering a punch but none of them use fists. Put one foot in front of the other to create a solid stance, put your arm back, and use your body weight to deliver these blows. I suggest taking a self-defense class and/or practicing with a punching bag and friend. It is empowering to see how lethal you really can be with these skills.
Eyes: (Straight hand, beak, claw) Jab hand into perpetrators eyes
Nose: (Hit with the bottom hard part of your palm) Draw your arm back and use an upward swing straight to the nose.
If put in a choke hold…
Put your hand straight up in the air and turn your body forcefully dropping your arm to break his grasp around your neck. This also creates the opportunity to use your elbows.
Use your Intuition:
Your intuition is there for a reason. If you have a bad feeling pay attention to it and do whatever you feel like you need to do in order to be safe.