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April 7, 2014

Learning how to (actually) defend myself


But the most powerful part of your body if you have never trained, like me, is probably your elbow. If your hands aren’t conditioned to punch, Joe said, but you try to punch your attacker, you could wind up with a broken hand. That’s why your elbow is your best bet. It’s strong and powerful and, if you really get your entire body behind it, can be very forceful. When practicing on a punching pad, the strikes I made with my elbows were probably the most powerful.

Another tip Joe shared with me is to sound angry. As silly as it may sound, if you sound enraged and furious, the attacker will most likely be intimidated long enough to stop and take notice. I was relieved to know I had done something right during my encounter. I guess your adrenaline and instinct just kind of kicks in.

And then Joe threw me over his shoulder and I decided all bets were off. I’m a hopeless cause, I thought. But, thankfully, that’s not a common way that a “bad guy” would try to take off with someone, he said, so I should be OK.

For as much as I learned, I would suggest that people who feel similarly uncomfortable with their ability to defend themselves look into taking a couple of self-defense classes. I’m planning on going back to Joe to practice more and refresh the things he taught me. I’m certainly no Bruce Lee, but I do feel a little more confident that I would be able to take care of myself if faced with a dangerous situation, and I feel like that confidence is half the battle. No offense Joe, but here’s hoping I (and all of you reading this) never have to use these tips.




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