Self-Defense is the countermeasure to a threat to one's health and well-being… defending yourself from harm basically. As a female college student in a large city, I've had to wonder far too many times how exactly I could disarm and escape confrontational situations. While self-defense may not be completely efficient, it definitely is a useful skill I ask all women to consider learning.
There's no end to learning or revising this skill. I've been to self-defense classes where the main philosophy is escape and not confrontation and I've been to classes where they train you to efficiently identify targets and execute them to stop blood flow to the brain, incapacitating the attacker. While I will never claim that I feel completely safe and at ease, it has definitely trained my eyes to take in all possible escape routes the moment I enter a room and all possible targets that I can hit to incapacitate someone with minimum damage to myself.
I might not be an expert combatant, but I believe these classes have given me more skills to survive. At the end of the day, it's a matter of survival and knowing some basic self-defense might make or break a situation. I would like to go out at night, to a party or just the grocery store without having to worry about my safety, but unfortunately that's not a possibility so learning how to take care of myself was the only way. I can't exactly stop being a functioning human because of fear can I?
To make this article worth your time, I'll be mentioning 3 tips/strategies I learned from my classes and ones I feel are important and easy to implement.
1. Let go of your civility
We are civil and courteous people, yes, but in a situation where your life is at risk, throw everything away. DO NOT freak out or panic! Your priority is to incapacitate them efficiently. So that doesn't mean kneeing them in the groin or scratching their eyes and running. Rather gouge their eyes, keep hitting after they falter. Once you know they are down completely, leave ASAP.
2. Always look for a quick exit
Wherever you might be at, it's a good practice to look for possible exits. This will make your escape much more effective. While running away, do not turn your back on the 'incapacitated' attacker. If you already know where the exit is, running towards it with you back facing it is easier.
3. The primary focus while targeting is the attacker
The threat is always the attacker. Do not be jumpy if they happen to have a weapon. A weapon is useless if the human behind it is incapacitated. Never try to follow a pattern, instead always look at what targets are easy for you to reach and break completely. These might be the groin, back of the neck. eyes, windpipe, or ribs. Always get to a position of advantage where you can inflict maximum damage.
While some of these might seem extreme, it is a precaution I have to take. I am not a physically imposing figure so self-defense classes, which are tailored for everyone, is my best bet to live a little relaxed. Invest in this skill. It can be a matter of life or death.