Continuing on with our series of guest posts on the topic of Self-Defence. The article below was kindly submitted by Ross.

Always on Guard: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Defense

It’s a dangerous world, and there may come a time when you need to protect yourself and your loved ones from would-be attackers. Self-defense skills are an essential part of staying safe in dangerous situations. This beginner’s guide includes preventive techniques, counterattacks and defense moves to help you guard your personal safety.

Part A: Preventative Techniques

Personal Safety Measures

An attack or assault is never the victims’ fault, no matter the situation. But, to reduce your likelihood of being attacked, there are several safety measures you can take.

Stick to well-lit areas and main roads when traveling at night. If you often travel by foot, try to mix up your route or the time randomly throughout the week to keep attackers from tracking your moves.

If your attacker’s objective is your purse or wallet, give it to them. Remember, no amount of money or material goods is worth compromising your safety.

Get Loud

An attack is no time to be polite. If you feel threatened or are physically grabbed, raise your voice and tell the attacker to “Back off!” before the violence escalates.

Vocalizing your discomfort alerts anyone nearby and also acts a deterrent to attackers who may have thought you were an easy target. Accompany your loud voice with a forceful shove to really get your point across.

Carry a Weapon

Understandably, most individuals feel safer when they carry a weapon. Carrying a folding knife acts as an excellent and unexpected deterrent, and there are many discreet everyday carry knives available that are designed specifically for self-defense.

Ensure you are well trained in how to use your chosen weapon effectively. This can include how to wear, draw and use it. Safety training is also essential. As it will teach you techniques that allow you to avoid inadvertently injuring yourself during a self-defense situation

Check with your state laws regarding concealed carry weapons for both knives and firearms, as there are typically restrictions concerning the size and power of weapons you can carry that vary from state to state. Remember to research licenses and register firearms with the appropriate organizations.

Part B: Counterattacks


If the attack escalates to violence, do not be afraid to react in an equally violent manner that will debilitate your assailant and give you the opportunity to escape.

Know Where to Hit

Certain parts of the body are more sensitive and vulnerable than others. If you are ever in a dangerous situation, aiming your blows at these areas is your best bet for incapacitating your attacker.

The eyes are a particularly sensitive area of the body and using your fingers to gouge or knuckle the eyes can temporarily blind your attacker. Or temporarily distract them.

The nose is another sensitive target. Use the heel of your palm and drive it upwards into the nose to cause extreme pain. Conversely, if you are attacked from behind, aim blows from your elbow at the side of the assailant’s nose.

A knee or elbow to the groin is another effective way to disable an attacker. A blow to the knee, which is vulnerable from all angles, can throw your attacker off-balance.

Aim for Maximum Damage

Fighting for your safety is no time to be timid. Never spare a thought for the comfort of your attacker. Because you may only have a single chance to make a counterattack. You need to make it count: Always aim to inflict as much damage as possible with every blow.

Using the strongest parts of your body allows even weaker or smaller individuals inflict maximum damage. The elbows, knees, and head are hard and bony and can act as your body’s natural defense weapons.

If you find yourself unable to use these parts of your body. Look around for everyday objects that can be used as weapons or to distract your attacker. This can include glass bottles, rocks or a fistful of dirt or sand to the eyes.

Part C: Defense Moves

When it comes to assault, one of your attacker’s objectives is to exhaust you and make it less likely that you will fight back. These defense moves help you conserve your energy and remove yourself from many common hold or attack positions.

Escaping Wrist Holds

If an attacker grabs you by the wrist, your first instinct is typically to pull away. However, this will only make the attacker grip harder.

To get out of a wrist hold, squat into a wide stable stance and lean your elbow toward your attacker until they are forced to drop your wrist or risk injury.

Alternatively, the weakest point in a wrist grip is where the thumb meets the four fingers. Try to maneuver your wrist until your palm faces down. (or if they grab across your body, rotate your hand until the palm faces up). Then, pull your wrist free and follow up with a counterattack that disables the attacker and allows you to escape.

Escaping Choke Holds

This technique is useful for escaping both front and back choke holds. Do not immediately try to pull the attacker’s arm away from your neck. Instead, use your free hand to find the attacker’s throat and grab or press hard on the esophagus. While you do this, use your other arm to free yourself from the attacker’s grip.

Escaping a Bear Hug

If an attacker grabs you from behind and wraps their arms around your torso. Your arms are restricted to limited mobility, but your fingers and hands are entirely free.

Use your hands to grab the ends of the attacker’s fingers and bend them back as far as you can to cause debilitating pain. Conversely, you can also stomp down as hard as possible on the tops or insoles of their feet.

Escaping a Mount Position


In a mount position, the attacker is sitting on top of you, and it is one of the most challenging positions to escape. This escape technique, however, can help you remove yourself from the position and reverse the power dynamic between you and the assailant.

When the attacker sits on top of you, block their punches with your arms and hands and draw your feet toward your backside.

Thrust upward and make a bridge with your body to force the attacker to put his hands on the ground above your head.

Then, wrap your arms around one of the elbows and draw it downward. At the same time, step your foot to the outside of your attacker’s foot on the same side as the elbow that you have grabbed. Bridge again and roll until you are on top of your attacker. Incapacitate them with a strike to one of their vulnerable areas and make your escape.


Beginner’s Guide to Self-Defense – Final Thoughts

Self-defense is an essential skill for anyone who values protecting their safety. Practice the moves and techniques outlined above with a friend or enroll in a self-defense class so that you can react with confidence and authority in a dangerous situation.


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