If you are ever in the mood for a good laugh, check out the many YouTube videos on self-defense tips for women. Flashy videos boasting ‘5 Self-Defense Techniques Every Woman Should Know’ or the ‘3 Best Moves to Defeat an Attacker’ go on and on. If you know nearly anything about actual violent attacks and real fighting, your BS meter will immediately peg ‘off the chart.’
Unfortunately, the best weapon a woman can use against against an attacker is the knowledge of how to keep from being a target in the first place.
I know, how boring. Just when people are leaning in to learn how to Scarlett Johansen someone across the room, I go and burst the fantasy bubble.
Here are 6 self-defense tips for women that could ACTUALLY save your life:
- Avoid Giving Personal Information to Strangers (especially MEN you don’t know) – You don’t owe anyone any information about you. Don’t tell men where you live, work, visit, or anything about your routine. If you are interested in developing new relationships, meet in public places and in groups until the man is no longer a stranger and trust has been built.
- Be Rude – Predators will often pretend to be kind to get information (a process called ‘grooming’) with the end goal of isolating you for an attack. A common thread in reading the accounts of victims is their remarking how the attacker ‘seemed so nice’. It may help to liken the man to a high-pressure salesman of sorts. They ask a seemingly harmless question and then recoil when you don’t give them what they want. They pretend that YOU are the one being rude, when in reality they are the rude ones. Being rude (or ‘cold’), is really important in sending a strong message to a would-be attacker that you are ‘not an easy target’ and cannot be manipulated or bullied. In short, they see you are a fighter and will therefore move on to an easier target.
- Avoid THE STUPIDS – Avoid stupid places, at stupid times, with stupid people. Don’t go running by yourself down a secluded nature trail with your headphones in while wearing revealing clothing. Holy cow. This is the trifecta of stupidity. There are bad folks out there, and one day this person’s naïveté could cost them everything.
- Be Situational Aware – STOP LOOKING AT YOUR PHONE when you are in public. Situational awareness is one of the top things you can do to ensure you do not become a victim. If you want to fiddle with your phone, do it in the protection of your home, or your work. Some of the worst places to be distracted are: sitting in your car in a parking lot, in any public place, in an airport, at a bus stop, outside a restaurant, etc.
- Trust Your Gut – Many victims felt the attack coming before it came. There was a feeling they shouldn’t trust someone, but they talked themselves out of this internal warning. Your sub-conscious can often pick up on warning signs that your conscious brain misses. Learn to listen to your subconscious and BE SMART. Don’t get in the car with them. No you won’t meet at that secluded spot. No I cannot help you sir.
- Become a Ninja Assassin – Okay, maybe not necessarily a ninja, but start training so you can defend yourself. This is an important piece, but the prior self-defense tips for women are more essential than this. Ambush predators with weapons and testosterone do not fight fair, so don’t give too much credit to the old kick to the groin and punch with the car keys. I recommend taking a good martial art like Krav Maga, Muay Thai, or Brazilian jiu-jitsu.