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Killer moves to defend yourself

Wise tips on how to protect yourself from attackers and how to prevent things from getting worse.

By Christian Brazil Bautista

In spite of what you’ve seen in the movies, self-defense skills are not magically acquired the moment you need it. It’s not like an adrenaline rush that gives you the ability to lift a refrigerator when your house is on fire. In fact, more often than not, people get frazzled when faced with an assailant.

Protecting yourself

For every time a fighter executed a Bruce Lee-like move to subdue an attacker, a million other people get struck from behind with blunt objects. The wise thing to do when faced with an attacker is a technique called de-escalation. The idea is to prevent things from getting worse. If somebody harasses you in a private place, you can pretend to agree with what the person is saying and try to walk away calmly. If you find yourself being mugged by someone with a weapon, instead of attempting to fight, give up your valuables.

The best advice any self-defense class can give you is to avoid having to fight in the first place. However, if you find yourself in a situation where violence is inevitable, you should be prepared.


Self-defense for dummies

In case you’re not convinced, here are a few simple tips if you find yourself in a threatening situation:

Erect a barrier

When an attacker attempts to enter your personal space, back off to put some space between you. Do not show any signs of being intimidated. Be sure not to back yourself into a corner or against a wall. Seeking open spaces gives you the option of running away if you have to. If you can, run to a crowded area. If you find yourself in a side street, try to get to the main road.

Fight dirty

You’re not in a UFC fight, you’re on the street, which means there are no rules. You can bite, gouge the eyes of your attacker, kick his groin, and do whatever underhanded tricks you know. There are a number of areas that you can target so you can get away faster. The carotid artery, the temple, and the philtrum (the area just under the nose) are the usual sweet spots.

Learn simple self-defense moves

One of the simplest techniques is the low front kick to the shin or knee. When done right, it keeps your attacker away from you and gives you time to run away. There’s not much skill involved in this move—you just try to hit the knee or shin with the ball of your foot. It is important to execute the move with the ball of your foot; if you use your toes, you’ll do as much damage to yourself as you would your opponent.

Full article appears in
HealthToday November 2010 issue.

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