Self-defence tips for women

Self-defence tips for women

Jennifer Brown from Elite Defence Academy International shares methods that will help you know how to defend yourself if you are attacked.

Woman fighting in self-defence
Woman fighting in self-defence/ iStock

Women and children are the most vulnerable in society when it comes to being attacked.

In 2018/19, a total of 2,771 women were murdered in South Africa, according to a report from SAPS. Thousands of women were also assaulted and raped.

Learning how to defend yourself when someone attacks you is the first step to ensuring your safety.

Jennifer says one of the first things to help protect your life is to be aware of your surroundings and spot danger before it occurs.

"One of the first things we teach is awareness. It's pretty boring, but it is completely life-saving. You know if you spot trouble before it arrives, you have got a much better way of being able to deal with it and you would be able to get out of there before it reaches you," says Jennifer.

"If you are leaving your home or a shopping centre or you are approaching your car, just stop by the entrance briefly and scan your surroundings, but do it from right to left. That way your subconscious mind picks up funny things - if you see a shadow somewhere. Your brain picks up things that are out of place and we also advise looking from far to near, so instead of looking down at the ground and your immediate vicinity, look as far as you can," adds Jennifer. 

But, because it is not always possible to spot danger, Jennifer says: "We advise that ladies focus on three targets on the assailant's body. These are targets that are linked to the central nervous system, so there's an automatic response."

The areas are the eyes, the throat, and then the groin. 

"The eyes we advise the ladies to grab the assailant's head by his ears and then plunge your thumbs into both of his eyes," says the self-defence master.

When it comes to the throat, Jennifer says "you can strike him in his throat using a karate chop, or you can grab it as if you are holding a coffee mug and then crash."

"And then the groin, we advise them to slap them in the groin rather than a punch," says Jennifer. "It is more painful and allows ladies a better chance of getting away."  

READ: We throw rocks in self-defence: students

Bags and car keys can come in handy during an attack, says Jennifer. 

"Have your car keys in the hand so that if someone surprises you you can use your car keys to strike him in the eyes or in the throat or in the groin," says Jennifer.

"Also, a lady's handbag or even your cell phone, you can use that to strike the assailant and it's gonna hurt you a lot less than if you were using your hands," she adds. 

But, when it comes to hijacking, Jennifer says don't try to act the hero.

"In terms of hijacking or home invasions or that kind of thing, we do advise compliance. Cooperate. Be humble. Don't try to play the hero," warns Jennifer.

READ: Cycling safety: How to stay safe of the road

Image courtesy of iStock/videodet

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