It’s important to remember the chances of being in a physical confrontation are very, very slim, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever have to use self-defence. But, it’s helpful to know how to deal with certain situations in the unlikely event they arise.
With that in mind, here are a few self-defence tricks that could make all the difference if you ever need them.
1. Protect your personal space
First and foremost is personal space. Your personal space varies from situation to situation.
For example, when chatting to someone in a crowded tube, your personal space will be very different to how it would be in an office; the same goes for when out walking or in a bar.
If you feel uncomfortable around somebody, ensure your personal space increases to reflect that. You can also tell them that they are getting too close if you feel safe to do so. Try phrases like “That’s close enough” or “I’d like a bit more space” in a calm, assertive voice. Avoid apologising or asking questions, unless you feel this will keep the situation safer for yourself.
Should the need arise, put your hands out in front, palms out, left arm in front of right arm, similar to the classic boxing stance. This is a non-aggressive gesture (as opposed to making a fist), but your arms will be ready and in place should you need to defend yourself as well as creating a further barrier.
2. Aim for vulnerable soft targets
Should that not work and the aggressor becomes physical, then go for the soft targets. A fast strike self-defence attack can take your attacker off guard while delivering painful and debilitating results.
- Eyes – Use your fingers and nails as hard and fast as you can at the eyes. Instinctually the human body will always go to protect the eyes and neck as its priority.
- Throat – Use an open hand palm strike to the throat. Open your hand as if you are about to shake somebody’s hand, now turn your palm towards the floor. The gap between the thumb and forefinger is what you strike the throat with.
- Nose – Open your hand, and with your palm, hit them as hard as you can on the bottom of the nose in an upward direction. Can a palm strike to the nose kill you?
Any form of impact on the brain can have serious effects. We’re not saying it’s impossible, but it’s unlikely to kill your attacker. It’s more likely cause concussion and a severe bout of dizziness.
- Groin – A hard knee strike, or multiple strikes, will more than suffice.
- Toes – With the heel of your foot, strike down as hard as you can on the toes. Depending on what footwear you have on this will either create a blunt or very sharp impact. Either is effective when defending yourself from attack.
A well-placed strike in self-defence to one or more than one of the above, if it doesn’t incapacitate them, will certainly make them think twice and give you the time to get away or call for help.
If you are in a public place, the chances of something happening are even less likely. If, however, you’re on a quiet street or in a new part of town, always plan ahead: what’s your route? What do you have in your possession that can be used as a weapon/deterrent? Can you use your keys, phone, hairspray etc.?
3. Make yourself heard—as loudly as possible
Finally, the most effective methods are your voice and body language.
Would-be attackers, on the whole, are cowards, attacking what they perceive to be weaker targets. You need to show them you are not.
They are counting on their ‘victim’ to be compliant, and it’s purely for this reason that you should use your voice as loudly and strongly as you can. You can either shout at them, looking at them directly while telling them to back off (profanities more than acceptable) or call out for assistance.
Do not hold back from using your voice. It will attract attention to you and your attacker – something they very much do not want. Never be afraid of making a fuss, or embarrassing yourself, especially if you are in a public place with other people.
Most of the time, strong body language and a ‘don’t fuck with me’ attitude will mean you won’t have to use self-defence.
If walking down the road or in a new place, stand straight and walk with purpose; everything about you should tell any potential assailant, ‘You do not fuck with me’. Shoulders back and eyes up, try to be alert to your surroundings by not having headphones in and keep any attention on your phone brief. Imagine that you are powerful and able to defend yourself. Your confidence will be off-putting to any potential attackers.
As mentioned, the chances of being in a situation are very remote, but always trust your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, then more often than not, it isn’t. Knock on a door, or go into a shop. The general public as a whole will always be willing to assist, should you ever need it, even if it’s simply speaking to you or waiting with you whilst you contact a friend for help.
KK self-defence classes
Your instructor for the evening will be Rav Gill, creator of Knockout Performance.
Rav started studying martial arts over 20 years ago, competing in numerous competitions. He holds a black belt in Kickboxing and also a coach’s licence with England Boxing.
In addition to his considerable experience in the UK, Rav also lived in China, studying different fighting and conditioning techniques under the tutelage of Shaolin Monks.
Written by the Killing Kittens team.