Unfortunately, our world is not perfect and physical attacks happen every day. All of us should be well prepared and confident that we can stand up for ourselves should the worst happen. Here are 4 of the best self-defense techniques you can learn to keep yourself safe in the event of a crisis.
Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom, part of the Ryukyu Islands, which was ruled as a tributary state of Imperial China from 1429 to 1879. It evolved from the martial arts practiced on the island and was mainly influenced by kung fu. During the 20th century, people from the Ryukyu islands traveled to Japan, searching for employment, and took their martial art skills with them.
The word karate means ‘empty hand’ in Japanese and is probably so-called because no weapons are involved in the art. Karate consists mainly of kicking and striking an opponent with the arms and legs and employing defensive moves – blocking the body with the limbs. It was initially designed for self-defense and personal protection rather than a fighting sport. Karate has a number of different styles, which have evolved from different karate masters putting their own stamp on the art. Other types of karate include Shotokan, Goju-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu, Wado-Ryu, Shorin-Ryu, Kyokushin, Shito-Ryu, and Ashihara.
Shotokan karate was founded in 1938 by Gichin Funakoshi and is an excellent form of self-defense. This form of karate utilizes many parts of the body as weapons, such as the eyes, arms, legs, feet, elbows, hands, and fingers. Students are taught to focus on their balance, breathing, and speed and how to put as much power into their strikes as possible.
Gadgets and Weapons
Some weapons for self-defense are legal for a person to carry in most states in the USA. Stun guns use electricity to shock attackers. They are pretty loud and give off bright lights, so they may scare off an enemy without you actually having to injure them. If you want to carry something smaller and more discreet, consider buying a tactical pen.
A tactical pen looks like a normal ballpoint pen but is made from more robust materials such as steel, ABS plastic, aluminum, and nylon polymers. These pens can be used to stab an attacker in a delicate area such as in the eye, philtrum, and temples. Some tactical pens have glass breaker tips that can be used to break glass in the event of an emergency – such as being shut in a locked car.
Personal alarms are a popular form of defense against attackers – particularly among women. Personal alarms are small electronic devices that give off a very loud noise when activated that should scare off an attacker and draw attention to them and the victim. A safe personal alarm is about 5cm long and can be attached to a keychain or fitted to a made-for-purpose adjustable wrist strap.
Pepper spray, also known as oleoresin, OC, capsicum, or capsaicin spray, is a form of self-defense weapon which causes pain and temporary blindness when sprayed into the eyes of an attacker. When inhaled, it can cause shortness of breath and burning of the lungs because it irritates the body’s mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Depending on the potency of the spray, the effects can last anywhere between 20 minutes and 24 hours.
Krav Maga is a self-defense technique founded by Imi Lichtenfeld for the Israeli army after World War II. It is suitable for everybody regardless of gender, age, and physical ability. Nowadays, all military and police officers in Israel are trained in the art, and various law enforcement units all over the world like the FBI and CIA have followed suit. It takes elements from a number of martial arts such as judo, boxing, wrestling, and jujitsu.
The basic principles of Krav Maga involve understanding and using surroundings during a street confrontation, avoiding confrontation if possible, and making the duration of the fight as short as possible. A victim should use close-at-hand objects to help them defend themselves as well as using the body’s natural weapons such as fingernails, teeth, hands, and feet. It is based on natural reactions and movements and was made to be quick and straightforward to learn, with beginners usually able to pick up the basic moves of Krav Maga within 6-12 months.
Self Defence Moves
Attending a self-defense class to learn different moves you can use to harm your attacker or protect yourself will ensure that you are better equipped to deal with any form of physical assault. You will also feel more confident if you know that you are capable of fighting back at an assailant. Self-defence class will teach students to go for an attacker’s vulnerable locations such as the nose, eyes, throat, and groin.
A basic self-defense move is The Hammer Strike. This is when you hold something such as your house keys in your fist with the sharp end sticking out and thrust downward into your attacker as if you are using a hammer. A fast, hard kick or knee in the groin can incapacitate most perpetrators for a long enough time period to allow you to make an escape – just make sure you are well balanced and not at risk of falling over when you strike.
Another effective self-defense move is to strike your attacker in the nose or throat with the heel of your palm. Use upward jabbing movements from underneath the nose or chin. This should make your attacker move back, allowing you to make your escape. If a person approaches you from behind, bend forward to make it awkward for the attacker to pick you up and try to elbow them sharply in the face or kick back and boot them in the groin.
Above all, if you think you are being followed, try to stay in a well-lit area or go into the nearest shop or café and ask for help or call the police. Never feel stupid if you have misunderstood a situation – it’s better to be safe than sorry.