Today afternoon in Mumbai at Andheri East, on my way back to office, a drunk guy carrying a liquor bottle caught my hand and tried to harass me. I was not sure what was happening. Soon he started verbally abusing me. I was scared.While in these more enlightened times few people still think of women as the “weaker sex”, most men still retain some advantages in physical height and strength. His nails were piercing my skin and people around were just watching. I knew then what I had to do! I kicked him on his groin. I then punched his nose and then kicked on his knees. He fell down. I ran and took a rickshaw to office.
I then wondered, would I be able to defend myself and my loved ones if someone were to physically attack me? It’s a question most of us don’t want to consider, but violence is, unfortunately, a fact of life.
Fortunately, there are a number of self-defense tips and techniques that can level the playing field and allow women to protect themselves and those that they are responsible for protecting.
Prevention Is The Best Self-Defence
Attackers, whatever their objectives, are looking for unsuspecting, vulnerable targets. Apart from avoiding confrontation, if you can defuse a situation (talk someone down from physically assaulting you) or get away—by handing over your wallet/purse or whatever they want, do that. Hand over your money rather than fight. Nothing you own is worth more than your life or health.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Fear
It’s a perfectly natural emotion, designed by nature to help you avoid serious problems. But there’s a fine line between breaking down into hopeless hysteria or running blindly off of the edge of a cliff, and making your fear work for you.
Don’t be crippled by fear, but do listen to that little voice warning you when going into unfamiliar areas, encountering strange groups, etc. And remember that the adrenaline produced when you enter the “flight or fight” mode actually increases your physical strength. Use it accordingly.
Get Loud and Push Back
As soon as the attacker touches you or it’s clear that escape isn’t possible, shout loudly (“BACK OFF!”) and push back at him. This does two things: it signals for help and it lets the attacker know you’re not an easy target.
The Most Effective Body Parts to Hit
|Eyes: Gouging, poking, or scratching the attacker’s eyes with your fingers or knuckles would be effective, as you can imagine. Besides causing a lot of pain, this should also make your escape easier by at least temporarily interfering with his vision.|
|Nose: If the attacker is close in front of you, use the heel of your palm to strike up under his nose; throw the whole weight of your body into the move to cause the most pain and force him to loosen his grip on you. If he’s behind you, you can strike his nose (from the side or front) with your elbow. Either way, aim for the nasal bones.|
Neck: The side of the neck is a bigger target, where both the carotid artery and jugular vein are located. You could possibly temporarily stun your attacker with a knife hand strike (all fingers held straight and tightly together, with thumb tucked and slightly bent at the knuckle) at the side of the neck. (For even more injury, you could thrust your elbow into your assailant’s throat while pitching the weight of your body forward.)
|Knee: Su says the knee is an ideal self-defense target, vulnerable from every angle and easily kicked without risk of your foot being grabbed. Kick the side of the knee to cause injury or partially incapacitate your attacker. Kicking the front of the knee may cause more injury but is less likely to result in imbalance.|
How to Maximize Damage
1) Use your elbows, knees, and head. Those are the parts of the body that are most sensitive when hit. Now here are the parts of the body used most effectively for inflicting damage: your elbows, knees, and head (they’re your body’s bony built-in weapons).
2) Use everyday objects. Everyday objects you carry around with you or things in your environment can also be used to your advantage as weapons. Hold a key or pen between your middle and ring finger while you’re walking home in the dark for more assurance. Outdoors, you can toss some dirt or sand into your attacker’s eyes. Women are often told to spray perfume or hairspray into an assailant’s eyes. The point is, use what ever you can to make your defence stronger
3) Leverage your weight. No matter your size, weight, or strength in relation to your opponent, you can defend yourself by strategically using your body and the simple law of physics. This is the principle behind martial arts systems like Jujitsu and other self-defence programs where a smaller person is able to defeat a larger one.
In the end, don’t try to be a Ninja. Locking and grappling only works in movies and sports. Best bet is to hit the effective body part and … run. It is not about which gender you are of. This can happen to anybody and so remember, be alert and educate people about these basics of self defence around you.
I hope the drunk guy will now think twice before harassing another woman.
Be Safe! 🙂