Self Defence For Women: 15 Effective Techniques
When we are young and unwary about the evils of the outside world, how do the elders advise us to be cautious?
They usually say- “don't wear fancy jewellery, it might attract robbers”, “it’s better for you to come back home before it gets dark”, “don’t wear short and skinny clothes for it might attract the bad boys on street and you could become their prey for harassment”, or things like “girls are like ‘Khuli Tijori’ and they are safer at home” and the list goes on.
These were mostly inspired by the old Bollywood movies where girls were portrayed as ‘Chhuyi-Muyi’ and there was always a male entity for protection.
(Read about status of women in India.)
Now girls like you and me are much bold and we don’t need anyone for protection. We can do it on our own.
Now, girls need to be told that, though there are people in the world who in some or the other way after them... girls need to be bold, confident and self-protectors. They should be told that they do not need a father, a brother or a man by their side all the time to take care, making sure that nothing bad happens to them. Neither do they need to stay in safe zones all the time to stay protected, Instead, they can look after themselves and are strong enough to fight against any evil.
What we can positively do is to support and motivate girls to move forward, take steps that the society needs to see. Face your fears and emerge as leaders.
Although the candle marches that take place as non-violent protests to get justice for the victims or changing profile pictures and showing all sort of virtual support through our social media accounts help to some extent, actually this is not all that needs to be done (I am ready to debate on this topic).
There are incidents we know where girls could not help themselves and became a victim of harassment, molestation, rape, and murder. When you have no one around and your dignity and life are at stake, IT IS YOU WHO SHOULD ACT!
Fighting back is one thing we ask a woman to do, but we never tell them how to do it.
One way for women and girls to fight back to protect and safeguard themselves is by using ‘self-defense techniques’.
Self-defence is not only about keeping a pepper spray in your purse but also to be battle-ready every time you are prone to danger (I know it doesn’t sound good but no one knows when you may face a situation).
It is a blend of your instincts, alertness of your mind and basic fight tactics. You don’t have to be a pro in karate or taekwondo, you just have to trust yourself and believe that you are no less than the person you are protecting yourself from.
(How strong are you? Let’s find out through these strong women quotes.)
To understand the meaning of self-defence better, let’s know what it majorly consists of and learn some of the easy yet effective tactics that we can apply in our self-defence:
#1. Your Intuition: God’s gift
I had a chance to talk to a lady, who was once sexually assaulted. As she said, “ I was 25 when my senior colleague tried to sexually assault me. My intuitions always warned me about his intentions. I wish I had followed my instinct and slapped him when he first touched me.”
The main point here to focus is, you should not delay even a second doubting your instinct. Call it a sixth sense or a second sight, women are naturally blessed with it. Make full utilization of it, without thinking twice.
Many a time, while travelling in a bus, when a man brushes/ pushes/ pokes us, we tend to avoid it, thinking it could be a mistake and decide that if he repeats, we’ll take action. But we should not give him a second chance. Regardless of his intentions, whether it is by mistake or not, we should warn him loud enough for his embarrassment in the very first go.
After you have trusted your intuition, if you don't understand what to do next to stop the danger, just scream at him. Yelling boosts power as much as 33 percent and can attract help.
Scream and shout as loud as you can, but never keep quiet and ignore. If you ignore the danger, you are allowing them to succeed in their first step.
Learn to nip the evil in the bud, otherwise, it is your loss, not his.
#2. Your Alertness: Your Watchdog
As per the statistics provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of 2015 (most recent data available) in 98% of the cases, the victim gets raped by the person they know.
Having known this, we already know who our potential culprits are and where all we have to stay alert! Staying alert will only help us and not anyone else.
Speaking to one teenager, on how she was abused in the middle of the street, this is what she has got to say, “ I was down on the street for a small stroll within our colony, with my earphones on. Suddenly someone spanked me very hard. Within a fraction of second when I looked behind, two young boys speeded on their bike from my side. I ran behind them as much as I could but in vain. I felt so embarrassed with everyone on the street staring at me. A few days later, an aunt who had witnessed the incident, told me that those boys were circling around me for a long while. Only if I was more alert, this wouldn't have had happened”
We can comprehend that, how being alert saves us from danger, from another example. A working lady in her late 20s has to travel to different cities in India, says, “ Since the time I have read the news of women being robbed, raped in cabs, it had scared the hell out of me. I have seen a common pattern of mistake that girls do and then end up repenting. The thumb rule to avoid mishaps during travelling by cabs is to be alert. When I book a cab I always take a picture of the cab, the driver and the number plate and send the photos to my known ones. I then ask him to agree on two conditions, that I will keep the window planes open and he should not child lock the back doors. Many drivers are offended due to this behaviour, but if they argue I simply cancel the ride.”
One should be extra alert and wise when projected to any adverse situation. We should have our brains working smart at that point in time. It is said,
If we are watchful of our surrounding, we can avoid 50% of danger.
#3. Your Fight: Your Guard
Here comes the major step. When nothing works, you have to take charge and fight for your life.
Fighting back till you can is what you ought to do because it is a matter of your respect and life. Being a female doesn’t make you any less in strength or power.
There are numerous courses, articles, youtube tutorials that teach you how to be your own hero and fight back harder.
You do not have to drop your guard at any time. What all you need to do is, watch, learn, practice and memorize some easy (if not hard) but effective self-defence moves and techniques by heart, for different situations.
10 More Self Defence Techniques
Below are few TECHNIQUES that you should always keep in mind:
- Memorize the vulnerable places (Eyes, Nose, Throat, Groin, Knees) and target them with a punch, any hard object or any defensive move.
- In case you get hold of one of his hand, grab his( little finger+his ring finger ) with one hand, and( his middle + index finger) with the other and pull them in opposite direction from each other with full force as if you are going to tear them.
- To disorient your opponent enough that it will take him a long time to come back to his senses, hit him with a fist or with a finger or a pen between the collarbones or into his Adam’s apple.
- You can’t lift your hands if you were grabbed from the front. Hence move your hands forward making a fist in front of your pelvis. Then swiftly hit the attacker’s nose with your forehead and hit him in the groin with your knee.
- At times the attacker might stronghold your wrist, during such times, rotate your wrist toward the thumb, this will get your arm is under the attacker’s, now you need to pull your arm as strongly as you can.
- If the attacker holds you from your back, you can set yourself free, by quickly bending back and trying to hit the attacker with the back of your head. If you can’t do this, keep bending down, grab his leg and get up pulling it with you. The attacker will lose balance and fall.
- All kinds of martial arts emphasis on the use of the elbow attack. The elbow hit is one of the most dangerous hits is exactly what you need if you are held by the attacker from the side.
- Always try hitting the attacker’s temple, jaw, or nose with an arched move, if your side is held. You can also hit him in his belly or chest. These hits are so strong that they will disorient any opponent.
- You can use any object near you for your self-defence, your dupatta, your belt, your scarf, hairpins, safety pins etc. The point is to hurt him back. You can also use your perfume to spray it in his eyes to permanently make him blind. You can use your purse to hit him on his face. You can use a filled water bottle to bang on his head.
- Last but not the least, hit his groin with all your strength, whenever possible. You don't need to shy away from this move. Hitting there will paralyze the attacker while you can just escape.
Note: Be merciless in hitting a molester as he will not do mercy with you.
Only learning these moves or watching them over and over might not be fruitful. To increase the core strength, women should eat healthy every day, keep their body flexible for speed and make it a point to meditate regularly.
Deep breathing techniques and meditations not only help you to build up your foundation of strength but also helps you with multiple benefits so that you do not go numb while being intimidated. To make the most of your intuition, alertness and self-defence techniques, you should practice breathing exercise whenever possible. Also, make sure you meditate 5-10 minutes a day to help your mind work better.
Self Defence Techniques for Molestation Prone Area
Along with all the prerequisites that have been mentioned earlier, below are some additional tips, that every woman should remember if you have to travel a lot in some molestation prone area:
- Walk in the opposite direction of traffic, so that cars can’t approach you from behind.
- Keep the self-defence items separately and easily accessible in your bag, so that in the moment of danger you don't end up fiddling with your bag.
- Practice the moves discussed above with any male in your house. Be it your father, brother, husband, or simply a male friend. You will know what amount of power is still required for you to overpower the opponent.
We are a woman, who have the ultimate strength to bring a new life in this world. Women are originally victors and should not succumb like a victim. We have all the strength inbuilt in us. We all have to remember that staying away from danger is good, but it doesn't mean that you remain unprepared for it.
Tell a defence technique that you have developed for your protection.