Would you know how to defend yourself if attacked? For most women, the answer is likely no.
But, the troubling fact is 1 in 6 American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
The danger is real for women, but with the right training and preparation, they can be ready for any situation.
Below we’ve compiled seven useful self-defense tips for women. This includes what strikes to do if attacked, what martial arts classes to take, what small weapons to buy, and tips on purchasing your first firearm.
1. Self-Defense Begins With Situational Awareness
Have you ever heard the term “situational awareness” before? It’s a sophisticated way of saying you need to be aware of your surroundings. This is especially true for women.
Situational awareness doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But, the good news is it’s a skill that can be developed through proper training and practice.
One of the easiest ways to stay safe is by always being aware of what’s happening around you. Whether walking down a crowded street, in a dark parking garage, or in a large building that’s open to the public, you need to stay alert.
Oftentimes, if someone suspicious is following you or you’re about to walk near an intimidating group, you can change directions and avoid a problem.
You always want to avoid an issue first, if possible.
Here are some situational awareness tips you can do when out and about:
- Train the sides of your eyes (peripheral vision) to detect anything strange going on
- When you enter a new room, quickly scan for entrances, exits, potential barriers, and anything suspicious
- When in a crowded place, put your back against a wall so no one can come up from behind you
- Use any reflective surfaces to see what’s happening around you
- If you feel someone is following you, pretend to turn around like you forgot something to see if they will keep following
- Make yourself appear as confident as possible when outside
- Maintain personal space from others and be suspicious if someone doesn’t respect yours
- Run through bad scenarios in your head and visualize your response
- Always listen to your intuition
Start incorporating some of these tips in your daily routine to prevent any issues before they occur.
2. Self-Defense Advice for Women Fending off an Attacker
If the worst has happened and you’re attacked, there are some things you can do to stop the attacker and get away. These tips are self-defense for anyone, but especially women on their own.
Start off by perfecting your straight punch or your front kick. These are two simple and effective self-defense moves.
Another key component of defending yourself with a punch or kick is to aim for the most vulnerable places on the body.
Women defending themselves should punch an attacker in the throat, eyes, nose, solar plexus, knee, or groin. If the attacker is a man, a kick to the groin will likely end it.
But, gouging eyes and punching throats will also disorient your attacker long enough to escape.
The point of any self-defense move is to inflict enough pain on the attacker to be able to get away. Escape is the key.
3. What To Do If You Are Attacked From Behind?
The idea of getting attacked from behind is scary for many women because they feel like there’s nothing they can do to strike back.
An attacker could put them in a strong hold or bear hug before they even realized what happened. Police training instructors recommend screaming as loud as possible when attacked from behind to alert others you need help.
In the meantime, you can take your foot and ram it into the side of the attacker’s knee. Another good move is to stomp on their foot as hard as you can.
They also recommend grabbing an attacker’s forearms and dropping to your knees. By doing this they’ll be off-balance and you can run away.
Depending on your mobility and level of training, you can attempt a rear kick to the groin while being held in a bear hug.
Being attacked from behind isn’t ideal, but there are things you can do to escape. Self-defense experts can work with you to perfect any technique.
4. Learn To Defend Yourself on the Ground
Punching and kicking is major topic of conversation in the self-defense world, yet martial arts practitioners claim that 90% of fights end up on the ground.
Although this statistic hasn’t been officially proved, it is fair to say that a majority of street fights or attacks will end up on the ground. Therefore, it’s vital that women also learn to defend themselves in this scenario.
Thanks to the growing popularity of mixed martial arts or MMA, more people than ever are signing up for jiu-jitsu. This style of martial arts focuses on ground survival techniques, restraining opponents, and immobilizing their joints.
One of the best things about jiu-jitsu is that anyone can do it. In fact, jiu-jitsu specializes in helping smaller people overcome opponents who are bigger and stronger.
Students also learn skills under stress, which is helpful if you’re attacked in real life.
And there are other benefits to jiu-jitsu. It’s a fantastic workout. A mix of cardio, yoga, and weightlifting.
5. Self-Defense for Women: What Weapons Can You Carry?
Many women decide to carry small weapons for self-defense. This is a great option as long as you’re following local and state law.
First, check that you’re legally allowed to buy or possess certain items. The last thing you want is to get in trouble by trying to protect yourself.
There are many small weapons on the market that can be carried in your pocket, purse, or in a small bag:
- Pen knife
- Stun guns
- Pepper spray
- Telescoping baton
- Brass knuckles
- Keychain alarms
- Steel flashlights
- And more!
All of these weapons are tools of last resort. Developing your situational awareness will prevent most attacks.
Of course, it’s not enough to simply buy one of these weapons. You need to practice using it to make sure you’ll know what to do if the day ever comes.
When you’re in the heat of the moment and your adrenaline is pumping, your body will revert back to how it originally trained. Make sure you develop that muscle memory with whatever weapon you select.
6. Sign Up For a Krav Maga Class
Do you enjoy martial arts classes? Jiu-jitsu is one option, but one of the most popular styles on the market today is Krav Maga.
This style was first developed before World War II by a young Jewish athlete named Imi Lichtenfeld. He developed it as a way to fight fascists and anti-Semitic groups.
Today, it’s used by the Israeli Army and is considered one of the most brutal martial arts out there.
Here are the core principles of Krav Maga:
- Neutralize your target as quickly as possible
- Keep your fighting style simple
- Defend and attack at the same time
- Never stop moving and attacking
Krav Maga practitioners are not interested in fight etiquette. They don’t care are no rules or forms. No one competes in Krav Maga like Karate or Tae Kwon Do.
The only goal is to put an opponent down long enough to escape. They will teach you how to fight dirty and overcome an attacker as if your life depends on it.
Just like jiu-jitsu, Krav Maga is an excellent MMA workout. It incorporates boxing, kickboxing, judo, and even some jiu-jitsu.
7. Tips on Using a Gun for Self-Defense
Buying a gun is a serious personal and financial investment. It should never be taken lightly.
Besides filling out all required documentation for a gun, and checking your state and local laws, you have options.
Handgun or rifle? Revolver or semi-automatic? Getting a special conceal carry permit?
There’s a lot to consider. Some of the most popular handguns for women include Glock and Smith & Wesson 9mm products. These guns are compact enough to carry on you or in a small bag.
If you prefer a larger rifle for home protection, consider an AR-15 with a Magpul stock. These stocks help shooters of all sizes control recoil, improve accuracy on longer shots, and even help to fit your unique body type.
This particular stock has two water-resistant battery storage tubes, sloping cheek weld, rubber butpad, push-button QD sling sockets, shielded release latch, and even a storage compartment for small parts.
Are You Ready To Protect Yourself?
It’s a dangerous world we live in and you always need to be prepared for self-defense. After reading this article we hope you’ve learned more ways to prepare.
Whether you want to sign up for Krav Maga classes, carry pepper spray, or purchase a firearm, you’ll build confidence knowing that if something does happen you’re ready.
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