Self-Defense 101

There is a simple system of self-defense that will give you a great foundation upon which you are able to build. Discovering how to escape from an attack is such a crucial aspect of self-defense, particularly during the early days of learning. This article will provide the necessities and some general concepts that you are able to apply to many situations. You might also want to take further training.

Acquire a game plan. Avoidance ought to be your first goal but if somehow this has failed, then your next option ought to be escape. Avoidance is a great deal controlled by your cognizance which may be heightened by increasing your self-defense knowledge through reading and research. If running or walking away isn't an option either, then escape is by all odds your next option. If this calls for a physical battle then you ought to look to make this encounter as abbreviated as possible. The longer it continues the longer the odds might be against you.

The Basics

The strategies in this article originate mainly from Jujitsu. Jujitsu itself forms the cornerstone of a lot of other martial arts, the origins going back thousands of years and still being utilized by military and police organizations. The strategies here have been updated to suit contemporary situations; they'll differ somewhat from person to person but essentially everybody, young and old, is capable of executing these strategies, which are easy to learn but may take longer to perfect.

It's through repetition and teaching other people that makes you ask yourself the necessary questions to help you really comprehend the strategies. When you're learning, don’t be in a hurry to rush on and cover the following strategies. Take your time and let the concepts be absorbed.

This system is created with assorted concepts; it's far easier to learn a couple of concepts than to learn a different strategy to counter every different type of attack.

I have adopted some of the very basic concepts used to produce a range of break-aways, blended with some primary striking and postures. Together they'll give you a great feel for some of the basics of self-defense.

Right now you might well live in a place where you feel it’s safe and unnecessary for you to read this type of article, but will it always be like that? Is the region expanding, with new individuals bringing in different thoughts and values with them? Will you leave that region to travel for work or even for fun? It may be very useful just to learn some fresh ideas. Open your mind and have a look at the situation from a wider point of view; there’s no harm in being prepared for the unforeseen.

These strategies use gross motor skills (basic body movements) so they're really easy to learn and execute. Strategies or concepts have to be easy in order to be effective under pressure. These are crucial factors, as strategies must be easy enough to be performed under pressure. Rehearse these strategies with acquaintances and family. The more you rehearse the more innate they'll feel. Likewise practice your freshly-learned skills in different places - the kitchen, bathroom, front room, garage and so forth. If you spend much of your time in little rooms or spaces then don’t confine your practice to the big open space of a gym. You have to rehearse in environments that are applicable to you. As part of your consciousness, it helps to realize who the foe is and learn to distinguish the movements and rituals that are common among their particular type of attacker. Women are likely to come across a different sort of attacker than men are expected to face. Normally women are much more expected to take-on men like muggers or rapists, as opposed to other women.

If we understand the foe, then we have a far higher chance of defeating them. There's much deception that comes with these individuals and commonly the bigger the crime the bigger the deceit. Not all aggressors will fit the stereotype affiliated with “The Bad Guy”, and often you may not even have to look beyond your own loved ones. We hear accounts of domestic violence on a daily basis. Try not to get ensnared in your own little bubble, and be cognizant that there are individuals outside of your domain. Whether we like it or not there are individuals out there whose aims are not always beneficial. Perhaps you’ll never run across individuals like that, but then again perhaps you will, or perhaps you already have. It may be in the workplace, in the house, on the street, in a barroom or even on the road - it truly may be anyplace. Don’t turn off your awareness - that’s just the type of individuals that vultures seek.

Bad things occasionally happen to good individuals and don’t think that it couldn’t occur to you, because it can. I’m certainly not saying that it will, but it may. We hear of matters happening day-in and day-out, and by just being cognizant that it’s out there is a huge step.

Break Away

The beginning lesson to learn in self-defense is that you're imprtant. The most valuable possession you'll ever hold is you. No one has the right to injure, intimidate or provoke you. You have the right to protect yourself and you're well worth fighting for. The second most crucial lesson is to understand that your brain is your most useful weapon; in self-defense we utilize our brain to check panic and fear, utilize our mind to evaluate a situation and to judge the most suitable action to take. We use our mind to arrive at choices, and making choices is a huge part of self-protection.

Get Away

Self-protection isn't simply learning a couple of strategies; it’s about all the things we do on a day-by-day basis to make our lives more secure. Much of it is good sense and the rest of it just adds up. Some things you simply do without consideration, whether it’s wearing a seat-belt, crossing the road or using a knife safely. Once individuals had to be coerced to wear seat-belts in the car; today individuals sit in a car and reach across without a thought. It shows that when you do something often enough, it gets to be a habit, after that it becomes natural.

Body Language

Gazing at the ground, hunched shoulders, concealing your hands in your pockets and making yourself little, carries the message “I’m feeble and vulnerable”. Women get placed as easy targets, so having firm body language lessens the risk of being fair game. Make eye-contact with individuals in a way that lets them Understand you’ve seen them (wishful crooks are far less likely to do anything if they believe they may be described). Swing your arms while walking; take up space. Firm body language not only bears on how other people view you but it step-ups your own self-assurance.

Compare predators on the streets to predators in the wild; they're not seeking the largest, boldest, most non-attackable animal to bring down, but the feeble, hurt or set-apart. Try not to place yourself in a position where it increases your vulnerability. Attackers are not seeking a fight but a simple kill, and when the target fights back fiercely the attacker will often abort their attack.

Verbal Techniques

Asserting yourself is a crucial part of taking charge of your life. If somebody’s conduct is making you feel foul, uncomfortable or scared then face up to the individual. Tell them – distinguish the conduct, criticize it, tell them what you want them to do: - “You’re always touching me, I don’t enjoy it, quit it” – Repeat if needed. This is a direct, non-engaging way of demonstrating what you wish; avoid stating “please” when you're asserting yourself. If somebody is irritating you in a public place, throw a fit — it will be much more mortifying for that individual than for you. Your vocalization is a weapon also.

Yelling will alert others around and may startle an aggressor. It may likewise help channel your fright into aggression - scream “NO” loud and deep from your stomach. Trust your instincts; if something doesn't look right, then it likely isn’t. Say somebody objectionable is following you – believe your instinct and do something, whether it’s facing them, getting to safety, calling somebody or getting a weapon prepared.

Acquire a cell-phone - it’s not expensive if it’s for emergencies only. Not only may you muster up help from anyplace but you are able to likewise utilize it as a weapon (if you discover how).

Utilize your voice once a forcible confrontation has started. Screaming loudly as you strike serves a lot of purposes. First of all, you might startle the aggressor with a sudden loud scream, you're likewise attracting attention to yourself so somebody might come to your assistance, and you might be producing witnesses which might come in convenient if you induced physical harm to your aggressor. In self-defense it might well come to a spot where it’s just your word versus theirs, But, if it just so happened that a passer-by heard you screaming “Let go, let go” then that all of a sudden becomes evidence. Screaming likewise tenses up your ab region so if you happened to get a hit at that same time then you're much less likely to be short-winded by it.

Space and Time

It makes sense that the closer you are to your aggressor then the less time you have to react to their motions. Clearly, the larger the distance, the more time you have to respond. Keep at a safe distance, a distance that you're comfortable with and will give you time to respond. If possible, stand with an obstruction between you and the other individual. The aggressor always has the upper hand during an attack – defend point of view as he knows that he's going to strike but your mind will have to process what he’s doing and then determine what it is you’re going to do as a response, then send the signals to the muscle tissue to make them move as needed. This is the real reason we urge the interview stance, the defensive stance and to keep at a safe distance.

Differences Between Martial Arts And Self-Defense

I'd never disrespect one combat art over another. I'd advocate that you check into the assorted types available to you and ensure the one that you pick fulfills your standards, whether you wish to be more involved in a traditional art, a competitive sport, sustain fitness, a family recreation or strictly for self-defense. Go and view a couple of classes and see what you think for yourself, talk to the teacher and if it's self-defense that you're interested in see to it that they commit a large portion of their teaching specifically to self-defense techniques.


Traditional martial arts frequently commit a good deal of time to Kata, which are collections of choreographed moves and strategies, simulating an individual taking on one or more adversaries. Frequently they call for speed, power, good poise and flexibility. These may be a great training aid but provide little help when it comes to pragmatic modern self-defense. A lot of arts don't prepare you for when an aggressor comes in close contact or takes you to the ground as these might not be strategies that are allowed under the rules of a certain style. Remember - in a street-fight or assault, anything goes.

For a minute, picture two jocks in a tournament facing one another. They've prepared for a long time; physically they're in good shape. Keep looking and first let's remove the referee collectively with the rules that he was there to impose. Now anything goes, they're not confined to the same assortment of moves that they're both accustomed to. Remove the gloves, the foot pads, padded head gear, groin shield and mouth guard. Remove the mat and substitute it with concrete; let’s add a few brick walls and remove the lighting.

Remove the crowd and anybody else there who might have been quick to jump in and break them up as one person is beat beyond unconscious. In fact, let's alter the surroundings to a back-alley, perhaps a kitchen, a bedroom or even a bar, and let's make available all the possible weapons in each of these surroundings: glass, steel bars, screwdrivers, knives and additional items that you might not even recognize as a weapon. There's a different type of mentality required for a street encounter that isn't always covered by the normal martial arts classes.

In most cases it might not even be such a prepared stand-off but most likely be originated with a blind-sided onslaught, a mugging or even an attempted rape. Alter the odds and substitute one of the battlers with another who's 50 pounds lighter so it’s no longer an even match; alter the aggressor to 2 men or more. Now a lot of these competitive jocks might well be in good physical shape, but are they groomed mentally for such an encounter? In most cases, the answer is no.

Many knowledgeable martial artists have fallen apart in a street fight chiefly because of the mentality required and, likewise, what works in the training hall might not be practical on the street, particularly if space is confined. Would you choose to hang around to discover how you fared in a situation where the odds are heaped against you? I'd suggest right now that if there's a front entrance, take it; if there's not then take the back entrance, and if there are no doors then make one. If you choose you can always be the person remembered for encountering four guys and who didn't survive. Avoid, break-away and approach ought to be your options, in that order.

The detail here is that just because somebody is believed an expert in the dojo, in a certain style, it doesn't inevitably mean that they're an authority in self-defense. In a few cases they might well be, but the two don't automatically go hand-in-hand.

Action movies are often glamorized by Hollywood with a hero utilizing a range of fancy strategies against many aggressors with a mixture of weapons, but the truth is anything but - it's bloody, ghastly, and dirty and often ends in death. Those lucky enough to endure might end up with broken bones, banged-up faces or any number of grievous injuries, in many cases inducing physical and mental scars that might never heal. It's crucial to train and rehearse in a way that you would like to respond if you ever did face a true situation. If you're always pulling your punches 2 inches away from hitting the object in training then the chances are that your innate reaction under pressure might well be the same. In training get your aggressor padded up so you are able to respond with some true full-on blows. You don’t want your training partners to forever be meek either; ask them to stand firm and make it hard for you to do the necessary techniques to make the strategies work.


Think for a minute about what it is that makes us feel frightened. The fact that you might get gravely hurt, scarred or even killed by this individual standing in front of you. You have family; children, husbands, wives, friends and so forth waiting for you at home that you might never see again. Now you have to tell yourself that this low-life standing in front of you isn't going to grant you the right to get home to your family, the individuals you need and who need you.


If that calls for you sticking your fingers deep into somebody’s eyes then so be it. Begin thinking more along the lines of what you'll do to them instead of what they may do to you. During an encounter it's normal to experience a shot of adrenalin; this may frequently be mistaken for fear, particularly if you have not had regular exposure to it. The body quaking, the legs feel feeble, losing bowel control, the brain going blank and a general feeling of numbness is all affiliated with adrenalin as your body readies itself for fight or flight. Adrenalin may provide you added speed and force, so although you might not think so at the time it truly is there to help.

Remember, you're worth it! If you were ever assaulted, don’t worry about what they might do to you - let’s be smart and then you can fret more about what you may do to them. When you've really made that decision to battle, there’s no stopping you. Give it everything you have got.

Postures And Body Tools

The Interview Posture

Stand in a comfortable position in readiness, before any physical approach has started; feet shoulder-width apart, hands opened up at about chest level and elbows tucked away. Keep an eye on your aggressor, looking roughly at chest level where you are able to see motion from both their hands and feet. Attempt to keep a distance of at least six feet. The closer you allow them to be the less response time you have. You're now in a safer position, aware and ready to protect yourself. Your elbows are tucked away protecting your body and your hands are close to your head, should you have to move them to protect your face

Defensive Posture

Step back with your dominant side, same shoulder and leg backwards. Your right side is backwards if you’re right handed), this lets you generate more might with your dominant hand or foot as you hit. Stepping back as opposed to forward into this position likewise produces that little bit of additional distance between you and the aggressor – again, that gives you more time to respond. Tuck your chin; hold hands high to protect the face and hold elbows in to protect the ribs. This pose will feel uncomfortable so rehearse this enough until you're comfortable. Your legs ought to be staggered to provide added stability by broadening your base and your knees somewhat bent to further help stability and balance. This Defensive Stance provides good protection and balance. It lets you move fast into positions to strike.

Body Tools

Your body is furnished with a lot of tools:

  • Fists
  • Hands
  • Fingers
  • Head
  • Elbows
  • Shoulders
  • Knees
  • Feet
  • Butt
  • Hips

Strikes may be utilized in assorted ways, rehearse utilizing different tools to get at the different basic targets:

  • Groin
  • Eyes
  • Throat
  • Solar Plexus
  • Ribs
  • Knees
  • Instep

Everybody, regardless of size, has these vulnerable points. Follow the steps for increasing the force of your strikes. Yelling with each strike not only startles an aggressor, it alerts any individuals around you and likewise helps channel your fear into aggressiveness. For practice, seek possible targets on individuals as you're talking to them or even if you’re just watching somebody. Consider the various strikes that you may utilize for each of the targets that you have in mind. This is what is sometimes called “What If” training. The bottom line for striking is to utilize whatever you’ve got; it doesn't matter if the style of strike is from a book or a video - if it works for you then utilize it.

Targeting And Strikes

Rehearse various strikes to each target area and discover which ones you're most comfortable with. Utilize very light contact (no more than 5% - 10%). This is still enough for you to feel some of the effect without inducing any lasting harm. During practice, add padding to the acting aggressor so that you are able to increase the amount of power that you utilize. If possible rehearse your strikes on a punching bag; the more you rehearse the more innate the movements will feel.

Ramp It Up

The eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus, ribs, groin, instep and shins serve as good beginning points to target; they're all very effective places that are easily accessible with assorted types of strikes. While the groin area may be really effective, don't concentrate only on the groin as a target. Men have an instinct to react exceedingly fast to strikes aimed at the groin so save this region as a target on aggressors that are really close.

Strikes are made better in several ways:

  • Brace the target area by placing the individual against a wall or floor or even brace the target yourself by confining the individual or limb in place while striking.
  • Don’t aim just at the target area but about six inches past it.
  • Don’t pull your strikes back too fast. If your strike is kept in contact for a moment this helps produce a better transfer of energy. Hitting with a bigger surface likewise gives a better carry-over of energy.
  • Strike multiple times to the same target.
  • Yelling helps you center your energy into your strike.

As a universal rule strike with hard to soft and soft to hard – for instance:

  • Elbows to Ribs
  • Knee to Femoral
  • Knee to groin
  • Head to Nose
  • Palms to Head

Prevent punching to the head if possible. It’s quite easy to break knuckles and fingers as the head is so hard. There's likewise the risk of somebody transmitting nasty infections or even HIV or hepatitis by puncture wounds from the teeth to the knuckles. You are able to hit just has hard with the palm of your hand with much less risk of harm to yourself.

While working with these tender areas, pressure points or motor-nerve points, full-on strikes would cause permanent damage and even 5% hits may have an effect on individuals; occasionally there's even a delay before the response. Due to this, we have to be really careful in our practice sessions. Hitting these areas may have the effect of shutting down that limb and may likewise induce unconsciousness.

Be warned that strikes to the throat may cause permanent damage to the throat and even result in death, so this has to be treated very carefully in training and only utilized in a true self-defense scenario. The same precaution is necessary with strikes to the eyes; you have to treat this with total caution in training and only utilize hard strikes in a real self-protection situation.

Escapes From Basic Holds

The concept for each break-away strategy is - posture, distract, hit, disable.

Aggressor seizes you - go into a Defensive posture, dominant side backwards. This broadens your base making you more stable and making it harder for the aggressor to pull you around. A speedy strike to a tender area like a well-focused shin kick would likely end the battle there and then. However, if not, it will at any rate act as a distraction, relaxing the aggressor's grip. Additional distractions might include a slap to the head, a poke to the solar plexus, a foot stomp or even spitting.

Pull back on the arm being held and drive your free arm in the opposite direction against theirs. This impact will cause double the power of simply pulling or merely hitting. Also by rotating the body you’re integrating some of your body's bigger muscle groups against perhaps just a hold, so the odds of getting free are now in your favor. Don’t forget to yell as you strike. Strike to a fragile area:

  • Eyes
  • Throat
  • Groin
  • Solar Plexus
  • Femorals

Give it your all, there’s no stopping you. Your life might hinge upon this. This will buy you a little time, and while the aggressor is more interested in whether or not he will see or take a breath again you will take the chance to break loose and run to safety.

1. Wrist Grab

Step back into Defensive posture. Dominant side back. Draw back the arm being held and drive your free arm against theirs. Twisting your body, distract and direct your fingers to the eyes or throat and run to safety. Utilize additional types of strikes / targets to disable the aggressor if you prefer.

2. Wrist Grab

Aggressor grabs your wrists. Step backwards into Defensive posture. Dominant side backward. Drive your elbows down, turning your wrist somewhat inward as you pull your arms through the aggressors thumbs.

Shin kick hard. Fingers to the eyes or throat and run to safety.

3. Wrist Grab Behind

Attacker grabs your wrists. This time step forward into Defensive posture. Lift your knee and drive your foot onto their instep. Pull your arm out of their grasp. Force your elbow back into the solar plexus and run to safety. 4. Hair Grab

Attacker snatches your hair. This time step forward into Defensive posture. Get a grip on one or two digits and bend them right back. Hold fingers in a lock or break the fingers. Utilize a shin kick once again if necessary. Escape to safety.

5. Bear Hug

Attacker seizes you from behind. Drop your weight and broaden your stance for more stability. Drive your knuckle joint many times into the back of aggressor’s hands. Shoot your head backward into the aggressors face. Hit hard to the groin (an open hand works well). Grab, squeeze and tear off whatever you can get to to induce as much pain as conceivable. Run to safety.

6. Head Lock

Aggressor goes to grab you. Put your hands promptly against the sides of your head to keep their arm from enclosing around your neck. Slip underneath their arm as they attempt to clinch, maintaining a hold on their arm. Keeping ahold of aggressor's arm, force your knee into the nervus femoralis, situated a couple of inches above the knee on the exterior of the leg. Push the aggressor away and run to safety.

7. Punches

Aggressor throws Punches. Step back into a Defensive posture with hands elevated in front of the face. The aggressor's innate response is to punch around your hands in a Hook Punch or arm-swing. Adjust your elbow with any punches thrown. Precise alignment of elbow joint isn't vital as you have your arms as part of the block also. This block itself induces far more injury to the aggressor.

Wrapping Up

Be aware of what’s going on close to you – while walking down the street, do you know if you’re being followed? When out running or walking are you alone and wearing earphones? These actions will truly curtail your awareness.

When out walking, look at oncoming traffic. Keep your hands out of your pockets so that they're ready to use if you're snatched up. Walk confidently; look like you Understand what you’re doing and where you’re going, even if you do not. Keep your head and eyes upward.

Have you observed a vehicle drive by you many times, or is there a person sitting outside your work or school. Adults don't need to ask youngsters for help. There’s safety in numbers. Don't walk in dark alleyways / areas to take a short cut. Always let individuals know where you are and what time you anticipate being someplace. Trust your instincts, if you see something unusual going on, avoid it and tell someone.

If you run or walk by yourself don’t wear headphones. Don’t reply to questions from strangers on the phone giving info that you’re alone. Create eye contact with individuals in a way they know that you’ve seen them (a would-be crook doesn't want to be described, so is less likely to attack). Yelling works as somebody might come to your assistance, if nothing else; at least you're drawing attention to yourself.

Do not hitchhike. Be heedful while utilizing ATM’s at night. If you wear a handbag with a shoulder strap be geared up to let it go if it’s snatched up, you might get hurt if you’re hauled along with it. (Do you truly have to carry such a handbag?)

If an unknown person stops you to ask directions then maintain a safe distance from them. If you're dropping somebody off at their house, ensure that they're safely inside prior to you driving away. If you’re alone and you see an accident or marooned motorist, report it from your cell phone or from the closest telephone.

See to it that you rehearse at home with loved ones or friends, attend classes, search for more info and don’t disregard the verbal or psychological aspects of self-defense. Develop the confidence that you have in yourself and that you’re geared up to defend yourself. Be in command of your own fate instead of leaving it in the hands of some remorseless hoodlum.

Categories: Martial Arts | Martial Arts Philosophy

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