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April 7, 2014

Learning how to (actually) defend myself


Over the course of two hours, Joe taught me more self-defense moves than I probably would have learned in five different paid classes. I couldn’t possibly describe to you every defense move he showed me and had me practice, but I can tell you about some tips that stuck out as things I would be sharing with family and friends to help them feel more confident in their abilities.

“If you were a madman and you saw me walking by myself, how would you attack me?” I asked him. We went over various different ways to get out of a would-be attacker’s grasp, including a wrist-grab (the most common), grab around the neck, or grab around the waist. Two things you (and I) need to remember about this, he said: forcefully stomp on their toes with your heel and force your center of gravity outwards so it’s harder to keep hold of you.

But first things first, Joe said: Distraction: so you can run. A quick cupped hand to an ear can be very painful and is a great way to distract a would-be attacker. A pointed finger jabbed to an eyeball or in the small, round area between a person’s collarbone is also a great distraction, as well as a knee or foot to the groin or back of the knee. If you can peel one of their fingers away from their fist and bend it backwards sharply, you can most likely break it, giving you extra time to get out of there. Carrying keys? Place one or two of them facing outward between two of your knuckles, Joe said, and you have a hidden weapon. Scratching of the face in an upward direction, he said, is another simple but effective tip. 

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