When you live in a rough neighborhood, you know how important it can be to know how to defend yourself against and attacker if you need to. It could happen when you least expect it. And it could be caused by a robbery, carjacking, domestic violence, or just about any other reason under the sun. If you can afford them, martial arts classes are one way to learn self defense.
Besides giving you the ability to protect yourself, they help keep you in shape and teach discipline.
But nowadays, some people can’t afford to pay a few hundred dollars for a handful of classes. Besides, it may not always be the best way to go for those with petite figures. Not all forms of martial arts account for the chance of a considerable size difference between you and your attacker. Never mind the fact that, when your in a life-threatening situation, all that training tends to go out the window. You no longer have the capability for fine motor movements in a fear-induced state, let alone complex ones.
So what options does that leave you with?
Believe it or not, everyday gross motor movements can be used for self defense. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small 100-pound woman or a well-built Marine. You can train yourself to act on reflex with some very basic, very instinctual maneuvers that will allow you to regain control should you ever have to face an assailant. You may be surprised at how forceful some of these tricks can be in close combat situations.
As an example, a quick flick of your wrist to their face with all your fingers extended will force your attacker to hesitate for at least a fraction of a second. That’s all you need to take back control of the situation. Nobody likes getting flicked in the face – and all the better if you can poke him in the eye to hinder their vision! And a good old-fashioned kick to the groin or knee is great for taking down an assailant of any size.
No one ever expects to be shoved in the face. The more “traditional” and anticipated reaction to an assault is a punch. So if you ever need to drive past a person in a fight, there is no more effective method than grabbing their face, digging your fingers in, and shoving them away. It throws their balance off and gives you a chance to get out of there.
Another very potent technique is, what is essentially, a hand chop. Anyone who’s watched a Kung Fu or action movie has already seen it in action. In karate the move is very rigid and precise. But for the average Joe, it doesn’t matter if you actually strike the collarbone. The target is anywhere from the shoulders on up. You can hit your attacker on the side of the face, the jaw, the top of the head, the ear, the neck – anywhere in the general area. And you can strike the person with anything from the edge of your hand to your elbow. If a twelve-year-old can bring down a kid twice his size with the maneuver – and shatter his clavicle in the process – it will work for anyone.
There is one maneuver, the chin jab, that should only be used in definite life-and-death situations. This one is so dangerous to the one on the receiving end that it is banned from combat sports, and there is no way to practice it in full force on actual people. It helped the Shanghai Municipal Police take control of the city from the violent opium gangs of the 1920s and the Americans survive against the Nazis. It is not exaggerating to say that this move can knock an attacker unconscious – or even kill them.