It’s scary but we’ve all felt it. You’re walking to your car at night, or through an underground parking garage, or even jogging in an isolated area, and you feel it. Fear.

Unfortunately, that fear can be real, especially for women. While it may be rare, there are predators our there and they launch their attacks on the unsuspecting victim so you can’t let yourself be one. But how? Start with your mindset.

You may know all of the techniques in the world, but can you do what is necessary when the time comes? In psychology, we are taught the Fight or Flight Syndrome. In practice, though, people tend to freeze up when they are confronted or hit and by the time they recover from the shock, it’s too late. That’s why it’s so important to get used to the feeling of physical contact. You need to be able to “return fire when fired upon”.

I Am Woman: 11 Self Defense Tips You Need to Protect YourselfUnderstanding the mind of a criminal also helps. You are not a human being to an attacker but rather, an object to subdue. Their goal is to impose their will on you. Since they tend to lack the compassion of people you know, it can be impossible to reason with them or appeal to their humanity. 

Since your protection is your responsibility, make sure you’re not a target. Follow these tips and increase your chances of not becoming a victim.

11 Self Defense Tips for Women

Self Defense Tip 1: Always carry a chemical deterrent.

Keep pepper spray with you at all times and have it at the ready, not lying in the bottom of your purse. Get into the habit of placing it in your hand. You may be attacked at any moment, and it will come when you least expect it so always be prepared. It’s better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it. Words to live by, literally.

When using your chemical deterrent, spray your assailant in the “Sign of the Cross” fashion, then deliver effective strikes to vital and semi-vital target areas and make your escape.

Self Defense Tip 2: Use a magazine as a weapon. 

A rolled up magazine, especially Cosmo, Glamour or another woman’s periodical can be used as a readily accessible weapon. It’s nice and thick with strong bindings. Roll up your magazine tightly and make a “stick” out of it.

Guess what? You can actually break a board with a rolled up magazine. Try tapping the board with your knuckles and then tap your nose. The board is much harder. So if you can break the board, that means you can break an attacker’s nose. Empowering, right?

Self Defense Tip 3: Pay attention to where you park.

Park near street lights and populated areas. Take note of your parking space when shopping at a mall. Predators watch for someone who is laden with packages and wandering about the parking lot.

Also, do not hesitate to ask a store employee to help you to your car with your packages. And keep your keys in your hands. You should be ready to press the car alarm button if necessary.

Self Defense Tip 4: Wear practical clothing.

You have to be able to move, run, jump and kick. If your clothing does not permit you to do so, reassess your wardrobe. Those $350 high heels, as good as your legs may look in them, aren’t going to aid you in your escape. High heels have their time and place, but walking alone in a parking lot is definitely not it.

Self Defense Tip 5: Do not travel alone.

If at all possible, make sure that you travel with another person. There is safety in numbers. Attacking two or more people is significantly harder than attacking one, even for a group. Traveling in packs is recommended, especially for those in college or heading out on the town for the night. Also, have a predetermined game plan in case things go awry.

Self Defense Tip 6: Practice the 3 A’s.

  • Awareness, be cognizant of your surroundings.
  • Avoidance, stay away from areas and situations where the probability of an unfavourable occurrence is not in your favour.
  • Action, know what you are going to do in case you need a game plan, ie. whether run away, fight, etc.

Self Defense Tip 7: Adhere to the S.I.P.D.E. Plan

Do you know what it stands for? This:

  • Scan the area.
  • Identify potential potential hazards and escape routes.
  • Predict what may happen.
  • Decide what your response will be and
  • Execute your course of action.

You may choose to run, throw something, draw your weapon if you have a concealed carry permit, strike the perpetrator or douse them with a healthy dose of chemical deterrent. But do something.

Self Defense Tip 8: Know your target zones.

When it comes to action, know where to hit someone and with what weapon of your body. Everyone has throats, eyes, knees, groins, bladders and shin. Attack those targets with unrelenting force.

Self Defense Tip 9: Be Smart at Parties and Bars

Never accept an unopened drink from anyone. Also, keep your hand over the top of your drink and never leave it unattended. Its very easy to slip a roofie or some other substance into a glass. Do not get visibly drunk in public, ever.

Self Defense Tip 10: Employ the “All or Nothing” Principle.

If attacked, meet the onslaught with power, purpose and persistence. Do not hold back. Gouge eyes, smash groins, kick knees, strike throats with reckless abandon and do not stop until you are 100% certain that they cannot get up and follow you. Hit them until they cannot move. It’s the only way you’ll surely escape.

Self Defense Tip 11: Practice self defense scenarios and techniques.

Doing so will give you the confidence and muscle memory to perform the techniques when called upon in a real life situation. Make training part of your lifestyle so you can continue living your lifestyle for a good long time.

Phil Ross is a bodyguard turned self defense and fitness guru who wants to share his life-saving techniques with as many people as possible. An 8th Degree Black Belt, he is the owner of American Eagle Mixed Martial Arts as well as Kettlebells: The Ultimate Training Center. For more self defense tips, check out his new book, Survival Strong. 


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