Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
In the last articles, we talked a bit about self-defense verses self-preservation.
I am very cautious when anyone tells me they have taken a self-defense class and now know how to stay safe. Especially when they tell me they learned XYZ techniques to free themselves from an attacker.
However, when push comes to shove and your life or the lives of those you love are threatened, you need to know how to protect yourself. That is where I believe self-preservation comes into play.
This doesnít always have to involve violence. Perhaps thereís a way you can outsmart your attacker. Perhaps you can talk him away or find a peaceful way to get out of the situation.
Reality is sometimes there isnít another way. To protect yourself, there are some simple, easy-to-remember things you can do that donít require a great deal of training. The basic premise is that no matter how strong you are, there are always going to be areas in your body that are weak.
Remember, we are working on how to get free of your attacker and run. Not how to put them down for the count or hold them until the authorities comes. Some of these attacks, while they seem simple enough can be quite deadly or permanent to your attacker, especially those attacks to the face region. By law statues in some areas, attacking to the point where you cause life-threating damage can make you leagally liable. So remember, this should only be a last resort option in your arsenal.
So letís begin from the top and work our way down to some of the more obvious places you can attack:
1) The eyes -- I donít care how strong you are. A good blow to the eyes will take any fighter out. Clawing, hitting, or even spitting into the eyes is a good way to stop your attacker. Most fighters, even well trained ones, rely on their eyes to attack.
2) The ears -- Ever get slapped really hard on the side of your head? I hope not. The region of the ear, which is so close to the brain, is another sensitive part of the body. It is also an orifice to the body and prone to being delicate.
3) The nose -- Another delicate membrane that when hit hard enough will bleed. At the very least, a strike to the nose will stun your attacker. If hit hard enough, it will cause the eyes to tear and blur vision. Followed by another strike to either the eyes or ears can cause what is known as ďwhiplashĒ and take your attacker down.
4) The throat -- It takes some skill to hit but if you ever hit someone in either the Adamís apple region or the space between the rib cage and the throat, youíre liable to knock the wind out of them.
5) Under the arm -- Okay, this spot isnít the easiest to get to but thereís an area right under the arm that I donít care how much you workout, you will always be tender in that area. A good punch or blow to that spot can render your attacker without use of that arm and cause a great deal of pain.
6) The groin -- Ah yes, one of my favorite spots to attack. Even before I learned any basic techniques, it was my habit to raise my knee and protect myself. That simple move places me just in the right spot for a knee strike to the groin.
7) Instep -- A good stomp down to the instep of your opponents foot is likely to cause a lot of pain. This spot isnít always easy to hit but if the attacker comes to you from behind and grabs you, youíve got a pretty good view of it.
8) Toes -- And if you miss the instep, follow-up with another stomp to the toes. Unless your attacker has a high tolerance for pain or is wearing steel-toe shoes, getting your toes stomped on is no fun deal.
One thing to consider and what the various self-defense classes ARE good for, is to find out what is comfortable for you. What feels natural? What is your bodyís first reaction to danger? Do you do like me and raise your knees? Do you immediately ball your hands into fists ready to attack? Taking some time to figure out what is your instinctual reaction to threat will help you figure out what your best defense will be. Each of us is unique as is each situation and you may find different types of attacks from above work best for you.
Overall, the best defense is to never get yourself into this situation in the first place. But if you find yourself in a dangerous spot, take a moment to realize the difference between things you must do to save yourself from bodily harm and possessions that can be replaced. And if youíre forced into confrontation, you donít need anything fancy. Just go for the weak parts of the body and get out of there as quickly as you can.