On my journey to find the best self-defense system, I uncovered what I intuitively already thought was true. This truth is the simplest move or technique is usually the best and most effective. You can search high and low and learn the most intricate and deadliest martial art out there, but what good is it going to do if you can't perform it under stress or if it takes ten years to become proficient at it?
The largest barrier to women's self-defense and to self-defense in general, is your mental state. Everyone reacts differently but most people will initially freeze up when faced with a life-threatening situation. The only way to work past this mental state is through realistic practice with a partner and by knowing the most vulnerable areas to attack on another human being. What follows are what I believe to be five of the most effective women's self-defense techniques out there. I absolutely do not recomment practicing the following self-defense moves full force or full speed on your partner. Instead, you want to practice them slowly and deliberately so you will have them hard wired into your brain and your muscle memory will take over when the pressure is really on!
The following targets and descriptions of the basic self-defense moves are violent and graphic. Obviously great care should be taken not to injure your training partners. When training with a partner you should stop before the point of injury and visualize continuing all the way through the target. The best way to practice is to have your partner put you in a situation and your job is to go slowly and identify a vulnerable area and practice accessing that targer from whatever situation you may find yourself in.
The following moves and targets are given in no particular order.
Women’s Self Defense Move #1 - The Eye Gouge
This one is straightforward but warrants some discussion. Most people have a natural aversion to harming another human being. Attacking someone’s eyes is no exception. Morgues are full of people who left scratch marks all over their attackers face, but for some reason they never had the nerve to stick their finger or preferably their thumb directly into the eye socket of their attacker. I am not talking about scratching at the eyes either. I am talking about sinking your thumb all the way in up to your knuckle at the inside corner of the eye, rupturing the eyeball and then dragging your thumb knuckle all the way across and to the opposite corner of the eye. This will definitely cause a reaction from your assailant that will buy you time to escape to safety. The police should have no problem identifying your attacker at the local hospital emergency room either! What if they have glasses on? No problem, simply slide your thumb from the cheekbone up and under the glasses.
Women’s Self Defense Move #2 - The Ear Slap
A good and properly performed slap on the ears will at worst disorient your attacker and at best rupture their eardrums sending them crumpling to the ground in pain. Let us say for example that someone has grabbed you in a bear hug from the front underneath your arms and is carrying you off to their trademarked creepo van. You know where his arms are! He has left himself wide open and defenseless! For some reason or another you have decided not to gouge the eyes. Maybe you are saving the eye gouge as your last option if the ear slap does not work. Anyways, the critical component of this technique is to cup your hands just like you would if you were clapping loudly at a sporting event. No opera claps here! With both hands cupped you "clap” or "slap” both ears at the same time. If you only have access to hitting just one ear that will be fine too! The important thing is it should be a good hard clap with a cupped hand. This point is critical! Your fingers should also be pressed tightly together. The cupped hand creates a vacuum, which ruptures the eardrum of your attacker. Take care with your training partner here! Do not actually clap over your training partners ears. This can cause permanent damage and a lifetime of pain for your partner! For practice, go slowly and keep your fingers spread open to avoid an accidental injury. In real life keep your fingers tight together, hand cupped, and aim to have the center of your palm seal your attacker’s ear canal.
One word of warning! How you practice these women’s self-defense techniques usually dictates how you will actually strike when the real pressure is on. Therefore, you may want to improvise and practice an ear slap on an empty bleach bottle or something like a watermelon that your training partner is holding up. If you get to know the feeling of performing this technique properly you will be able to tell the police to look for the guy with a ruptured eardrum at the hospital emergency room. Injuries make it so much easier to identify your attacker!
Women’s Self Defense Move #3 - The Ball Buster
Nothing new here! If you can reach the testicles with your knee, foot or hand you have found one heck of a sensitive area! The real issue here is launching your attack without setting off any radar. Guys are conditioned from a very young age to instinctively respond to any incoming threats to this vulnerable area. An attacker can usually respond in time to avoid most kicks because they see it coming and subconsciously respond or flinch! Ideally you want to get close and use your knee because it flies under the peripheral view. The goal is to kick or knee the testicles and follow through. In a self-defense situation you are aiming to kick or knee them up through the groin area and try to follow through all the way up to their neck! What if someone has grabbed you from behind in a bear hug over your arms? Stomp on their foot, get a handful of their family jewels, and squeeze as hard as you can for as long as you can until the guy either drops to the ground or lets you go.
Women’s Self Defense Move #4 - The Throat
This self-defense move can be lethal so take it easy on your training partner. A strong forearm strike to the windpipe can cause enough damage to collapse the windpipe and your attacker will suffocate. Surfaces to attack with are endless. It can be a punch, edge of hand blow, forearm strike, elbow, hammer fist or even the webbing of you hand that is made when you make an "L” shape with your pointer finger and your thumb. You can even place a cell phone inside your fist so that the bottom of the phone is just slightly protruding out the bottom of your fist and then you hammer fist the throat. The unforgiving structure of the cell phone is sure to cause serious damage. The one thing to always remember is a strike with to the throat area can potentially kill the other person. You can even take this target further and include what I call the "Ring Around the Collar”. The sides of the neck are vulnerable because of the nerves running through this area. Any impact to the "Ring Around the Collar” can cause serious life threatening injuries. Take special care of your training partner and never go full speed or full force on any of these areas. Use a light touch and slow controlled movement in practice. Practicing in this manner will build muscle memory.
Women’s Self Defense Move #5 - The Lower Leg
The vulnerable spots here while not immediately life threatening can lead to injuring your attacker allowing you time to escape to safety. If someone has grabbed you from behind tying up your arms, you can use the edge of your foot and scrape as hard as you can down the attackers shin. This is should get them to loosen their grip! You can also stomp your heel as hard as you can directly on top of the attacker’s foot. What if someone has knocked you to the ground and is standing over you? Bring your knee up and strike the attacker’s ankle-joint with your foot. This tears the ankle joint and sends your assailant either limping away or crashing down into the pavement. Be careful with your partner. Go easy and go lightly.
You should be able to stop just about any assailant with these five moves. Seriously injuring your attacker will free you up and buy time to get to safety.
A true self-defense system knows no boundaries and does not care what the sex of the user or attacker is. I believe that these five areas on the human body are consistent on both males and females. Even a hit to the groin will cause excruciating pain to a female attacker.
This is why focus must be given to proper execution and follows through. No single hit or technique is 100% effective on its own; when you are in a life or death situation, you may find it most effective to perform two or more of these techniques to completely disable your attacker.
The five self-defense moves discussed here should only be used in situations that warrant extreme self-defense and all other options have been exhausted.