Whenever possible, I recommend walking away from a confrontation. It is not worth the risk to yourself to engage. Using self-defence is a last resort to protect yourself or your loved ones. You really do not want to get into a struggle with someone. It is never pretty and never like the movies! You may be successful defending yourself but could still sustain injuries both mental and physical.
There are several strategies that you can use to avoid a direct assault. Use your gut instincts and avoid potentially dangerous situations whenever possible. If a situation does not feel right, there is probably a reason for that. Listen to that inner voice and walk away.
If you are approached, see if you can talk your way out of things. Your voice is a powerful tool. Use it! Anything goes here, distract with conversation, yelling or even humor to defuse a tense situation. Perhaps if you can keep an attacker distracted and talking; others will walk by and the opportunity for the attacker is lost.
Sometimes despite your best efforts, an attack can happen. Don’t panic. Continue to use your voice to draw attention to yourself. Then defend yourself with everything you’ve got! Be strong, confident and determined to protect yourself.
This month I am demonstrating a self-defence technique where the attacker grabs both of your hands in front of you. It can be very difficult to protect yourself when both of your hands are caught. The escape however is very simple and easy to execute.
• You are approached or threatened by an attacker
• Keep your hands up in front of you and open
• You are being very non-aggressive in your stance
• Perhaps use your voice telling them to keep away
• Using your voice is your distraction
• The attacker; undeterred, grabs both of your wrists
• Keep your hands open
• Quickly clap your hands together and hold on
• Notice that my right arm (which is my dominant arm is slightly higher than my left arm)
• My hands are tightly clasped together
• As soon as I have brought my hands together, I will raise my right elbow
• I am putting my elbow on top of the attackers’ arm
• To do this, turn your body to the side to help your momentum
• Press your (right) elbow down towards your body very fast and very strong
• Keep your other arm strong against your own body to help with leverage
• Notice in this picture the attackers’ grab is already starting to slip
• I have continued this movement forcefully until the attacker can no longer hold on to my wrists
• Look how tightly my elbows are held to my body
• This action must be executed as hard and as fast as you can!!!
• Immediately after escaping the grab, strike with both of your hands still clasped together
• Your target could be throat or nose
• Notice I have rotated my hands so that my left is now on the top
• Do this strike with all of the strength you can muster
• Reach out and grab your attacker with both hands
• You are preparing to kick to finish the escape
• Quickly kick the attacker
• Your target here is the groin
• I am using my shin to make contact
• Repeat this kick a few times if necessary
• Your goal is to escape the grab of the attacker
• Perhaps drop them to their knees
• Step back & take your distance once you are free and the attacker can no longer grab you
• Then RUN!!!!
As always, your goal is to escape to safety; not to engage in combat. When you have escaped, run to safety and report the incident to the police. Keep training in Karate and self-defence to keep your skills and confidence levels high. Stay safe everyone.