In the realm of women's self-defense training, there are generally two very different theories. One says that a woman can learn the same techniques, tactics, skills and strategies as a man - that self-defense is no different for men and women. The other "camp" says that the only thing that a woman needs to know is how to deliver a well-placed kick to the groin and she's home free.
And I say that they're both full of it! Self-defense for women is unique in that there are many strategies, tactics, skills and self-defense techniques that can be applied equally well by both men and women, there are certain things that women should avoid, and others that only they will need to worry about.
Also, as I have pointed out in many other articles and self-defense courses and programs, kicking a man in the groin, if not done correctly, could leave the female defender lying in a crumpled heap on the floor, wondering why her instructor's so-called "guaranteed, never-to-fail" women's self-defense trick failed so miserably.
To clarify and to set you on the right track for success, this article will focus on weapons, both armed and unarmed, that you should add to your women's self-defense arsenal.
Effective Body Weapons for Striking in Women's Self Defense:
Hands: There are many ways to shape the hand for striking. Some are better or worse, depending on the target area on your assailant's body. As a rule of thumb, strike hard parts of the body like the skull with the base area of your palm. It provides you with the same kind of damaging force as a clenched fist, while simultaneously resulting in less chance of breaking your hand or receiving cuts from striking the chisel-like ridges on head and face. Use your clenched fist and fore-knuckles for soft spots in the torso like the sternum. A fist would devastate the throat, but harder to get at compared to sneaking in a strong karate-like chop with the edge of your hand.
Elbows and Knees: Both are much harder than the hands and can inflict serious injury to the head area, torso area and any weak points in the skeleton from the groin up. And since self-defense for women is usually at closer distances than attacks on men, the elbows and knees are in better positions for delivering the kind of knock-down blows you'll need to get this bigger, heavier attacker off of you!
Feet: Great for striking the groin area and below. Using the foot in a stamping like fashion, crushing the toes or smaller bones in his foot with the bottom of your heel is the goal. Striking higher than the groin, like you see in arts like karate, tae kwon do, and in many movie scenes is a serious no-no. Kicking the upper body or head is only recommended if your attacker is already kneeling, bent over, or on the ground where he can't take advantage of your raised leg if you miss.
Hand-Held Self-Defense Weapons and Everyday Items for Women's Self Defense:
Kubotan: A Kubotan is a short piece of metal, often sold in the form of a self-defense keychain. Combining this very effective weapon, with a training class where you will learn simple yet effective techniques and striking methods is highly recommended, as long as it is legal in your State or Province. If not you could use a similar item that looks less threatening and legal to carry.
Keys: A good strong key from your key ring, or the entire set, held in the hand while walking to your car or doorway can be very effective. While many women's self-defense courses will teach you to place the base of the key in your palm and let the key portion rest between your index and middle finger, this is actually not as strong as simply holding the key the same way that you would to open a lock. Of course you can also hold a fob or other part of your key chain and use the keys in a flailing manner.
Ink Pen: A strong solid ink pen (preferably metal frame) is a great tool for stabbing soft tissue areas. The face would be a good area as well even though it is hard because of facial sensitivity. A pen is one of the best weapons and makes a great substitute for the Kubotan self-defense key chain.
Other Objects: Anything that is solid, with a little weight, and that fits in your hand, or something you can grasp tightly will do in an emergency. Good examples include: rocks, bricks, glass bottle, pool ball, book, knife, hairbrush, or how about your purse! I've heard many instructors have their female students go through their purses during a women's self-defense course, looking for all the weapons inside.
The reality is this... if you don't already have it in your hand when the attack starts - forget it! But, that being said, I have a wife and sisters. I've seen what many women put in their purses.
Hell! if I was carrying something like that...
I'd just use the purse!
Keep in mind that these are just a few ideas, and is by no means all the answers. There are many ways to protect yourself. The important thing to remember is to always be in the proper mindset and to have the survivor's attitude when it comes to effective women's self-defense designed to save your life and give you the greatest advantage!
Effective women's self defense requires more than just a few "karate moves." It involves the ability to think strategically, and understand how to defend yourself with as little wear-and-tear on you as possible - against an attacker who will be bigger, stronger, and determined to succeed!
How? Start by following the steps above and decide to be responsible for your own safety and survival. You might also want to read this book on, women's self-defense: "For Women Only!" It's available free at: http://www.warrior-concepts-online.com/womens-self-defense-book.html
Jeffrey M. Miller SPS, DTI, is an internationally-known women's self defense expert. He is a former federal police officer, undercover investigator, private detective and bodyguard. He has worked in operations all over the world and has served to protect a former U.S. Secretary of Defense, His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet, and several members of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders while traveling overseas. Each month he teaches literally thousands of students through live seminars, corporate training events, and his online self-defense courses, the lessons to be able to survive in Today's often dangerous world.
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