Sure, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever find yourself in a life-or-death jam. But bad things can happen. So what to do? Don’t live your life in fear – learn some basic self defense, commit it to memory, and bust it out if you ever need to.
1. Use your head.
Your head is big, hard and armored. A well-placed headbutt can work wonders, much more than punches or kicks. Aim at the bridge of your attacker’s nose and you can do some serious damage.
2. If someone attempts to abduct you, scatter your belongings.
If the worst-case scenario happens and you’re forced into a vehicle, try to drop as many of your possessions as possible (minus your cell phone!) Leaving evidence at the scene of the crime could help investigators track you down.
3. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
Take it from Muhammad Ali: The hardest target is a moving target. Standing still makes you an easy target. If you’re able to keep moving, you can avoid attacks — and give yourself an opening to make your move.
4. Learn some pressure points.
Don’t fight hard, fight smart. If you know exactly where to strike, a fight can be over before it’s even started.
5. Home invasion? Head for the kitchen.
If there’s no other escape, go to the room in your house that’s full of potential weapons: Your kitchen. You know exactly where you keep your sharp knives while the intruder doesn’t.
6. Toss your wallet.
No one wants to give up their wallet. But if you’re in a situation where you’re forced to surrender it, don’t hand it over — throw it a few feet away. Chances are good your mugger values grabbing the wallet more than keeping you at bay. Tossing it will give you a window to run away.
7. What to do if you feel threatened in an elevator.
Press as many buttons as possible. Opening the doors at every floor will increase the chances of the attacker getting caught. It will also slow their progress if the attacker has a destination in mind.
8. Don’t be afraid to yell.
While carrying a whistle can be handy, the sound of a whistle might not signal “emergency!” to people nearby. Try a more direct route: Yell “HELP!”, “ATTACK!”, or “911!” These words have more urgency than the sound of a whistle.
9. Know how to escape zip ties.
The thought of being tied up is terrifying. If your attackers use zip ties, there’s a way out. You can leverage your body against itself and break the restraint. This YouTube tutorial gives a great outline.
10. If you’re being followed, take action.
If you’re on foot and suspect someone is following you, try to head to a public place. If you’re in your vehicle, go to the nearest police station.
11. Wear dual purpose jewelry.
This decorative ring, for example, really packs a punch.