As promised on Snapchat (katherinechloe), I’m sharing some of the tips that I learned from a beginner’s self-defense class taught by Alex Abossein, a martial arts master. But first, I’d like to thank Alex and Innerfit for putting on this event. All proceeds went to women recovering from abusive situations. Here are some of the tips that can help the rest of us avoid being in them:
Follow Your Intuition. If you don’t feel good about a location, leave. Don’t second-guess your instinct. It’s better to leave an event early than to learn that you are unable to leave at all because you have been placed in a dangerous situation.
Play it Safe. The first step in doing this is to avoid a confrontation. Attackers look for easy setups, like a woman alone in a car or elevator. So take precautions. When you are in a parking lot, get into your car without delay, and immediately drive away. If you get into your car and then stop to do something like make a call, you are giving an attacker the chance to break in and hurt you. When getting into an elevator, especially if there is only one other person present, do not face away from him.
Act in Control. If someone attacks you, never say something like, “Don’t hurt me.” That instantly gives the impression that you are an easy target, and bullies look for easy targets. Instead of making a request, give an order. Say something like, “Get lost,” with conviction. This exudes control and makes you the opposite of an easy target.
Know Where to Strike. If you cannot avoid a fight, some of the key places to hit your attacker are on the bottom of the nose in an upward motion, or on the throat, knees, and groin.
I hope that none of us will ever have to use these striking tips, but it’s better to be prepared.