Whether you’re walking around on town or just strolling through your own neighbourhood you should know what to do if you suddenly find yourself in a threatening situation and need to escape.
But what if you have never taken a self defence class. What do you do then. Well here are some handy pointers on what to do if you think you’re in a potentially hazardous situation. Better safe than sorry, right?
Be Actively Aware of Your Surroundings
We all know this one, but it’s easy to forget: When you’re not paying attention, you’re much more vulnerable to an attack—no matter where you are. So stick your headphones in your bag, put your phone away (though make sure it’s easy to grab), and keep your eyes and ears open to what’s around you. People who look like they’re easy targets tend to be easy targets, and draw the attention of a potential attacker. Staying alert to what’s going on around you will not only help you be more prepared to defend yourself, but you may be less likely to need to in the first place.
Know How to Handle an Attack
So, this is a nightmare scenario—but there are things you can do to help increase your odds of getting away if you’re being overpowered. First off, a lot of people focus on the part of their body that’s being pinned, instead of employing the counter attack options available to them. An example? If your arms are being held to your sides, you still have free feet and legs to stomp on your attacker’s toes, knee them in the crotch, or kick their kneecaps or shins. If you’ve got free hands, go for vital points like the throat (you want to aim for the trachea, which is right below the chin) and the eyes (yep, as hard as you can, right in the eyeballs).
Another thing is that when a person is trying to physically move you, stabilizing your base can help fend them off. What does that mean? Basically, if your feet are spread apart on the ground and your knees are a little bent, you’re harder to knock over and have more control over your movements—which could keep someone from being able to pick you up in the first place.
Remember: You’re Not Trying to Win the Fight
An attack will trigger your flight or fight mode—but without a doubt your main job is to get away, as fast as you can. Make a scene: Scream as loud as possible, and alert anyone in earshot that you need help. But don’t just start swinging punches without trying to aim. You could wear yourself out, and that might make it harder to escape.
You might not be stronger than your attacker, but you are smarter: Grind your heel into the little bones of their foot, or aim for their nose. Both of those zones have bones and cartilage that can be easily broken, which would distract your assailant—and allow you to run for it. Adrenaline will help you to book it out of there, and try your best to run toward familiar territory and open spaces where you know there will be other people around.
We’re thinking about you guys—stay safe and aware out there. You can of course help you odds and attend a local self defence class like Shizoku Martial Arts classes. Even the basics can help you in that moment of crisis.