Most women are taught about the benefits of pepper spray by their first week of college, but while it generally takes about 20 seconds to withdraw a can of pepper spray from a purse, the actual window for making an effective self defense move is 4 seconds or less. To make matters worse, according to one study, 80% of college campus stalking victims know their stalkers, and only 24% of intimate partner murder victims were not stalked first. This makes it doubly-imperative that young women know how to defend themselves in a moment’s notice—and to be equally prepared to perform self-defense moves on acquaintances or exes as complete strangers.
Read onward for five potentially self-defense moves to add to your arsenal.
Self-Defense Move #1: Go for the Stomach
If followed in a deserted area or street, use firm language, and punch either his stomach or groin. Depending on your hand strength, there are two methods for this. Either:
Option 1: Clench your fingers into a tradition fist. Punch hard just below the ribs.
Option 2: Press out the base of your hand, as if you were preparing to open a heavy door, and twist your torso back at least 45 degrees before letting loose with all your might. The momentum of the heel of your hand swinging into place will cause a more forceful hit.
For physically fit and taller women, option one is probably best. For petite gals like myself, option two can compensate for physical weakness.
Self-Defense Move #2: Go for the Eyes
Place your thumb at the base of your first two fingers, twist your torso back by 45 degrees as described Move 1, and go for his eyes with all your might.
Although variations of this move can be found throughout the web, I was first introduced to this method in high school by a friend who had recently received her black belt. At the time, I asked, “But isn’t this move kind of mean?”
Her response was worth taking to heart: “The moment someone tries to physically threaten you in any way, they have forfeited all personal rights.”
Self-Defense Move #3: Go for the Adam’s Apple
This move is especially important for anyone who finds one’s self in the passenger seat of a car driven by an individual whom you realize is taking you someplace other than he or she originally claimed. If this individual does not stop to let you out of the car the first time you express your wish, clearly veers off-course or expresses a threatening sentiment, yank back his hair from behind, and chop his Adam’s apple with the edge of your hand. According to martial arts expert Somesh Kamra, this should by you about thirty seconds to undo child locks and flee the car.
No matter when, where, or under what circumstances you learn self-defense, please know that you are not alone.The Little Black Dress Society strives to serve survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence in every way possible. Step by step, day by day, we hope to remove all masks, and journey toward meaningful change.