With all the news coverage about crime happening to other people, the best defense, of course, is our brains.
We always need to be aware of our surroundings and avoid places and times that tend to attract criminals. And carrying ourselves in a way that won’t make us prime targets also helps.
Of course, there may be times when you become a target despite all precautions. This why knowing some of these self-defense tips could just save your life!
1 – Make a fist correctly
While there is a debate about whether fists or open palms are effective, we instinctively close our fists in a fight. That’s why you may as well form a fist correctly. First, don’t expose your thumb but don’t hide it under your fingers, either.
2 – Breaking free of cord
The important thing is having wiggle room to work with. When you’re being tied, keep your fists clenched. If it’s your body that’s being tied, breathe so your diaphragm expands. Both tactics will give you more chances to break free.
3 – Breaking free of duct tape
Duct tape can actually be torn off: raise your hands above your head then smash them down with a lot of force. Theoretically, you can do a similar move even if your hands are bound from behind though it will depend on how flexible your arms are.
4 – Take note of the vital spots
These can be crucial especially if you’re going against someone stronger than you. One shot to these areas may or may not end the fight, but they do increase your chances. The important thing is to be swift and decisive about your strikes to catch your attacker by surprise.
5 – Take advantage of security apps
Family Locator and bSafe are just some of the apps that can help you take note of the movements of friends and relatives while allowing you to send a distress call yourself if needed.
6 – Have a code word
A quick code word or phrase that actually means you’re in trouble could get help on the way with your attacker being none the wiser.
7 – Everything on hand is a potential weapon
While you will ideally be armed (preferably with a firearm), sometimes the suddenness of an attack leaves you no time to draw. That’s when a scarf thrown in an attacker’s face or using a purse to shield yourself from a knife could buy you the time you need to set up a more decisive response.
8 – Make your pepper spray easy to access
Assuming you can’t carry firearms or don’t want to, pepper sprays can be an alternative deterrent. Just make sure to keep it in a place that you can access even under stress, just as you would with a firearm. Attacks can happen suddenly, so it defeats the purpose if you need to rummage around your bag for your pepper spray.
9 – How to break someone’s grip
Use the “rule of thumb:” rotate the bony side of your forearm (thumb or pinky finger side) toward your attacker’s thumb. When with a quick and sharp jerk, snap your arm away. You can combine this move with a knee to the groin or by stomping on his feet to distract him and make him relax his grip slightly before you pull away.
10 – Against a hair grab
Being grabbed by the hair is painful and provides control over the victim’s body. In this case, grab the attacker’s hand with both your hands to regain control then start using your feet again. Once the attacker has loosened his grip, start running.
11 – Against a neck grab
A groin strike or jabbing him in the eyes could distract him enough to loosen his grip.
12 – When in an elevator
First of all, make sure to leave if someone suspicious enters. Try to stand with your back to the wall where the buttons are. This gives you control of the elevator and you can hit that emergency call button if necessary.
13 – When in a car
Apart from not getting into cars with strangers, you can also tell someone on the phone (or write down) the car’s number, color, and destination while making sure the driver hears you. As always, take note of vulnerable areas like the nose and eyes should he try to attack you.
14 – Learn first aid
This is not just for situations where you may need to treat your own wounds before help can arrive. You may also be in a position to provide life-saving emergency treatment to others.
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