Building your strength, agility and balance are just some of the things you need when it comes to learning self-defence. Here are some simple moves to learn that come with the best of both worlds of learning to defend yourself whilst getting in a good workout.
Before we start
68.5% of South African women have experienced physical abuse and sexual harassment in some form and the continued growth in these numbers reveal that there is a deep underlying issue within our communities. It is time that men took a stand when it comes to protecting women from Gender-Based Violence (GBV). It starts with you.
Know your attackers’ weak spots
When it comes to defending yourself, it is important to know what areas to target. Knowing your attackers' weak spots can help you act quickly and efficiently to weaken them, giving you more time to take the next step. The key vulnerable spots are:
Solar plexus (The area below the ribs which becomes painful when hit hard)
Remember to execute each strike with as much force as you can muster and make noise to attract attention. Investing in things such as tasers and pepper spray can also help in such situations.
The groin attack
For this movement, you will need to learn how to balance yourself so that when you inflict the blow on your attacker you do not lose your balance. Workouts such as leg swings or single leg deadlifts can be done by anyone to help improve your core and balance. Knowing how to engage your core and stabilize yourself means that you will get better at balancing yourself to leverage as much strength that you can muster to inflict a good blow to your attackers' groin. Lift your dominant leg off the ground and drive your knee upwards or extend your leg, while slightly leaning backwards, towards their groin or stomach if they are coming from the front.
The palm and elbow strike
Most impact from a movement requires strength and core stability to execute a blow that can hurt or disorientate an attacker. If you are being attacked from the front, try to leverage your elbows and hands. Stabilize yourself and use your palm to thrust upwards towards their nose which can unbalance them. Using your house or car keys by clenching your fists to expose the keys while inflicting the blow can also inflict enough pain to give you a chance to escape. In cases where they are already too close for you to thrust your arm outward, try smacking the palm of your hands on the side of their heads by their ears, which can be disorientating. Proceed to the groin attack to weaken them and escape.
Escaping a bear hug
A bear hug can be used by an attacker to pin a victim's hands to their side to minimise their movement and ability to strike them. Should you find yourself in such a situation remember to create enough room to leverage your head and elbows. You can do this by bending forward from the waist to shift your weight, making it difficult for your attacker to pick you up. It can also be a great position to make use of your elbows by thrusting them into their stomach or sides to weaken them. Use your head to hit them from under their jaw to disorientate them and loosen their grip.