Could you really defend yourself if attacked? Today`s blog deals with a strange question that clients seem to think I can answer for them. During the many kickboxing and self-defense sessions I have instructed over the years, one of the strangest and most common of things clients ask me time after time is what would they do if they were to get attacked? The question is, how would you handle being attacked?
You may never have to worry about being attacked by someone, but it’s wise to be prepared to defend yourself just in case it happens. The best way to fight off an attacker is to strike or scratch them in their vulnerable areas, like their eyes, nose, or groin. Additionally, protect your head, stomach, and groin from their blows using your arms or items in your environment. If it’s possible, avoid the confrontation by projecting confidence, telling the person to back off, or running away. Until it happens, its really hard to predict exactly what you’ll do.
The 3 options
Very hard to answer that one really, but you would either do one of three things…
2) run-away, or
3) fight back
But once the adrenalin kicks in there’s no telling what’s going to happen, as it will be a spur of the moment action that you can’t possibly predict in advance, and apart from that it’s kind of difficult to tell someone else what they would do in that or any other situation. But as they’re paying me, they seem to think I should know the answer! These are the three options I describe to them.
Freeze – How would you handle being attacked? Many people still think attacks are something they see on the news or read online that happen elsewhere and to other people, but never near them or to them, sadly, these are the most unprepared people and if attacked will be so frozen in fear and disbelief that it`s actually happening to them that they will be unable to do anything but freeze.
Run-away – How would you handle being attacked? The safest option would be to run-away, certainly for someone with no fighting skills, but of course that may not be an option, but at least the people who would try to run away are able to react and try to escape. There’s no shame in running away, live to fight another day as the saying goes.
Fight back – How would you handle being attacked? Most likely the people who would fight back would be the ones ready to take action and understand anyone can be attacked. If you are to fight back, you must have the confidence to do what is necessary as you could be putting yourself in danger by choosing this option.
If you are going to fight back…
If you have pepper spray, use it! – Open your pepper spray and aim it at your attacker’s face. Spray it onto their face and try to get it into their eyes. As soon as they react to the spray, turn around and run away as fast as you can.
Typically, the effects of pepper spray wear off in about 15-45 minutes. Some people have a very high threshold of pain, so it’s possible the attacker will keep advancing on you. If they attack again, strike their eyes or nose.
Scratch your attacker in their eyes – Make your dominant hand into a fist and punch your attacker in their eyes. If you have keys, jam them into their eye. As another option, scratch at their eyes with your fingernails. This may scare off your attacker and might temporarily blind them so you can escape.
Keep in mind that you’re not trying to blind your aggressor, just inflict some damage so you can escape the scene. That being said, do what is necessary and if your attacker gets hurt, too bad! Maybe they`ll think twice before attacking someone next time.
Aim for the nose with a fist or open hand – Punch them in the nose with a closed fist or push your open palm up into the base of their nose. Alternatively, use your elbow to strike them in their nose if they’re within 2 feet of you. Keep your momentum going as you make impact, so your strike has more impact.
The nose is a vulnerable, sensitive area that’s easy to injure. Hitting your attacker in the nose will leave them in immense pain and should give you time to quickly leave the area. When someone feels blood running out of their nose it’s a huge deterrent.
Punch their Adam’s apple or throat – Ball your hand into a fist or turn your hand sideways. Then, aim for the soft patch between the attacker’s collarbone and the base of their neck. Strike them as hard as you can to temporarily interrupt their breathing.
Be aware that a hard punch to the Adam’s apple could collapse someone’s airway and kill them. Unless you are literally fighting for your life, don’t hit the attacker as hard as you can in the Adam’s apple. This is strictly a life and death punch.
A kick to the groin works great – Aim for the center of the groin, directly in the center of the attacker’s legs. This should incapacitate the attacker for several minutes while you run away. No matter how big and strong anyone is, this will bring them down immediately.
Keep in mind that your attacker will likely be expecting a kick in the groin and may quickly move away or block your kick.
If you’re being attacked by a woman, kicking her in the groin isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but it won’t be as effective as it will against a man.
The knees reduce their mobility. Kick the front of their knees to cause a serious injury and immense pain, or the sides of their knees to knock them down. Keep kicking until they fall or back away from you. This will cause them a lot of pain and limit their ability to chase you.
If your attacker has already knocked you to the ground, don’t give up the fight! Strike at the sides of the attacker’s knees with your elbows. It will be harder for the attacker to grab your feet if you’re kicking them in the knees because they’re lower to the ground.
Once your attacker is down, run! – Run and escape as soon as your attacker is down. Get to a safe location and call 911 to request help. Explain what happened, then file a report with the police.
Never try to “finish” a fight or detain your attacker. If you see that your opponent is in pain (e.g., because of a blow to the throat, eyes, or groin), don’t wait around to see if they are ok. Run away and get to safety: your car, inside a building, or in a crowd of people where the assailant won’t be able to find you easily, if at all.
I cannot stress this enough, how would you handle being attacked? once your attacker is down, do not admire what you’ve done, do not hang around for any reason what-so-ever! get out of there immediately. Live to fight another day.
If you are unfortunate enough to be attacked, you cannot predict what you’ll do, because once the adrenalin kicks in there’s no telling what’s going to happen, as it will be a spur of the moment action, how would you handle being attacked? this is where self-defense plays a huge part in giving you the confidence to protect and defend yourself in such a situation. Learn today, it could save your life!