Knowing how to protect yourself in the unfortunate event someone attacks you is super important. Self-defense is more than knowing how to karate kick an attacker where it hurts—it’s about being smart about where, when, and how to attack, if needed.
To avoid getting into a potential situation altogether, there are a few things you can do: Avoid high-crime areas, always be aware of your surroundings, and consider carrying pepper spray, if that’s something you’re comfortable with.
However, in the event you do find yourself in a situation where you need to employ some self-defense tactics, study these moves to have in the back of your mind later. These techniques are simple but effective, and can help in even the most dire of occurrences.
Here’s how to fight back, no matter which way the attacker comes at you.
When you’re grabbed from the side: Elbow hit
Whether the attacker comes at you from the right or left side, you’ll want to come in with an elbow hit, one of the most dangerous hits in the martial arts world.
Using your elbow (and quick thinking), nail your attacker in his temple, jaw, or nose.
The attacker will likely need to take a few steps back because this type of hit is so strong, which leaves his stomach or chest area open for you to hit.
When you’re grabbed from behind: Back of head hit
One of the most common ways attackers will come at someone is from behind. Not only is it the sneakiest position, it also means they can hold the victim’s arms down so they can’t really move.
That said, if you’re attacked from behind and you can’t do anything with your hands, bend backwards and hit him with the back of your head.
This will make his legs come forward, so you can bend down, grab his leg, and pull it up with you. The attacker will immediately fall off balance.
When you’re in a fight: Breaking fingers/Adam’s apple jab
Maybe you’ll find yourself already in a fight and being attacked all types of ways. Two of the most effective moves for this situation are as follows:
1) Grab the attacker’s hand using both of your hands, and divide it into two parts; so grab his pinky and ring finger with one hand, and his middle and pointe finger with the other, and then bend the wrist forward. This is so painful that the attacker may even drop to his knees.
2) If the attacker’s hands aren’t easily accessible, try the Adam’s apple jab, in which you hit him between the collarbones or right into his Adam’s apple. The attacker will be immediately disjointed so you have time to continue fighting back while they try to regain their composure.
Bonus move! How to free your hands
Attackers know that if they can grab their victim’s hands, it’s much more of struggle for them to fight back.
In the event you find yourself in a position where they have your hands, try this sneak-out move: Rotate your arm and/or wrist to the side where the attacker’s thumb is. If you can get your arm under the attacks, pull it as hard as you can and it should slip out.
Have you ever found yourself in a position where you had to use self-defense moves? Tell us your go-to move that you always keep in your back pocket just in case.