Be Strong, Be Healthy, Be in Charge! Self-Defense Can Save Your Life
By: Mary Clarkin, CNP • Posted on September 10, 2013
No woman wants to think about being cornered in a back alley, being attacked or experiencing any type of violence. However, these types of assaults on women do occur, and the best offense is a good defensive plan.
I recently attended an excellent presentation on self-defense from our Cleveland Clinic Police Department and I want to share the great tips I learned with other women.
6 Tips to Remember When Walking to your Car or Walking Anywhere Alone
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention and do NOT be distracted by your cell phone or texting. Have your keys out to open your car. Consider carrying a canister of mace attached to your car keys.
- As you approach your car, look around and make sure you don’t see anything out of the ordinary such as a broken window, flat tire, etc. Someone may be watching you and if you stop to fix the tire etc., they have the opportunity to attack.
- Break the triangle. The triangle is you, (the potential victim), assailant and the opportunity. If you take away one of these, they cannot attack.
- As soon as you get in your car, lock your doors and drive away. Taking a long time to drive away creates more of an opportunity for an attack or car-jacking.
- If you are getting off work and your car is in an area that is not well lit or you don’t feel safe, have a friend or coworker drive you to your car or call security to give you a ride to your car.
- Always follow your intuition. If you see someone suspicious or feel something isn’t right, follow your instinct.
6 Self-Defense Moves that Women Can Do to Protect Themselves
- Butterfly: When you are strangled from the front, cross your wrist in front of you with your palms facing the attacker, make C’s with your fingers and thumbs, place your C on the attacker’s wrist and press outward toward your shoulders to make enough room for your neck to escape.
- Knee Strike: Grab the attacker’s shoulders to pull them into you at the same time deliver the knee strike to the groin, tip your head to the side so you don’t smash your head into the attacker’s head.
- Wrist Breaks: Remember the thumb is the weakest part to break, so don’t make a fist. Instead, relax your hands and twist and wriggle your wrists until you are ready to quickly yank your wrists out of the attacker's hands. Then hit their forearm with the back of your other hand.
- Bear Hugs (from front or back): Drop down and get a good foundation with your legs, and use any tool on your body to attack: shin scrapes, heel stomps, knee strikes, head butt, smack and grab, heel kick to groin.
- Strike with your Hand: If you strike an attacker with your hand, you can use a closed fist strike with the flat outside part of the fingers. Strike through the target each time to deliver a hard strike, and reload immediately.
- Yell No: Yell NO, if you are getting attacked instead of screaming.
Be sure to practice some of these self-defense techniques so you have them in your head and are prepared in case someone tries to attack you. Also, consider taking a course on self-defense. And have a safety plan at home, at work and when you are out and about.
We hope nothing like this ever happens, but it is better to be prepared and know some techniques to defend ourselves if an attacker strikes.
Be Strong, Be Healthy and Be in Charge!
-Mary Clarkin, CNP
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