Violence against women

Violence against women seems to be in the spotlight in South Africa at the moment following the murder of Anene Booysen and Reeva Steenkamp and it seems apt to publish some self defense tips.


1. To Survive, Accept the Fact That You May Die

Here’s a fact that is useful to remember when someone attacks you: you may get killed and panicking doesn’t reduce your chances of getting killed. Accept this fact because it should help you concentrate despite the surge of fear. Many people fear for their lives too much in dangerous situations, that they ultimately fail to save their lives. Rather than vehemently denying and fearing the fact that you could die, accept it. This is the only way to get it out of your mind and think of options before you – options that can save your life.

2. Attack When You’re Being Attacked

Your instincts are made to protect you. There is one instinct though that will most likely lead to your destruction when your attacker is near you: running away. Sure running away helps, but only when your attacker is a good distance away. Rather than retreating, advance. In a typical scenario where your attacker is the one who feels he is the predator and you’re the prey, he doesn’t expect you to fight back at all. If you react quick enough, you’ll be able to surprise him and open up opportunities to deliver damage.

3. Kick Only When Necessary

Here’s a tip direct from the dragon himself, Bruce Lee. Kicking is effective only at the right distance. Make sure that your attacker can be reached by your kick before you kick him. Also, always bring your hips with you when you kick. Kicking with your leg alone is not that powerful. According to Lee, it’s also very effective to target the body part that’s nearest to you. Remember that when your attacker gets close to you, he’s not only increasing his chance of hurting you, he’s also increasing his chance of hurting himself. If your attacker steps in your range, kick his body part that’s closest to you (usually his knees).

4. Use Your Head… Literally

Do you know that bashing your forehead into a thug’s nose once deals more damage than slamming your fist into his nose twice? The human skull is a powerful weapon. Notice that in boxing, a single headbutt is enough to open a cut in a boxer’s forehead than a flurry of punches. Your skull is hard and it’s also easy to move your head. By using your head, you can deal significant damage to your attacker using minimal effort. Headbutts are especially useful when someone grabs you from behind. Don’t waste your time and energy elbowing your attacker’s ribs or stepping on his toes. Instead, try bashing his face with the back of your head.

5. The Triangle Trick

Keep in mind that you don’t have to get hit during a fight. Imagine a vertical line dividing your body into two. Your attacker is going to attack some point along or around that line. Moving in a straight line forward or backward will change your distance from the attacker, but it doesn’t get your centerline out of the attack path. On the other hand, moving laterally left or right moves your centerline but it doesn’t change the distance between you and your attacker. The trick is to move along a triangle to change both the location of your centerline and your distance at the same time.

6. Everything Can Be a Weapon

Guns, knives, and pepper sprays are not the only weapons available to you. Anything harder than your knuckles and sharper than your fingers is a good weapon. That’s why it’s advisable to always carry something that can serve as a weapon, like an umbrella or a pen. Stones on the ground are also useful, especially if the aggressor is a good distance away. The one rule you should remember is that hard objects should be smashed against bone, while pointed objects stabbed into soft tissue.

7. Aim for All Those Weak Spots

Yes, just like the big boss in any video game, your attacker is full of weak spots however fearsome he might seem. Aim for the following body parts during a fight: eyes, nose, ears, throat, kneecaps, and groin. The groin is the most effective to hit because it sticks out, it’s at the center, and it’s very painful when hit.

Master all these tricks and you can pass up on those judo lessons your friend recommends to you. Always remember that you’re not a passive target, and you’re equally dangerous as your attacker.

It also helps to avoid dangerous situations to start with.

♥ Try not to walk alone, especially around a big city or in a deserted area. Obviously, women who are alone at night are seen as an easier target than those in a group.

♥ Try not to carry a lot of things with you. Take the things out of your purse that you don’t need and leave them at home. I usually try to bring a small cross-body bag if I’m going to be walking around the city.

♥ Walk with confidence and always look up. Even if you don’t know where you’re going, walk like you know what’s going on and where you are.

♥ If you see a suspicious person that feels threatening, always look them in the eye and be observant about what they look like or might be wearing. That way, they know that you would be able to identify them later.

♥ If you think someone might be following you, cross the street or change directions in a way that it wouldn’t normally make sense to walk. If you are driving, do a series of turns until you’ve made a circle, but do not go home, because then if someone follows you they will know where you live.

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