5 Self-Defense Strategies That Every Woman Must Learn

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I’m sure we share the experience of having to walk alone in the streets feeling scared and anxious. Sometimes we’d be sitting on the bus, and we feel someone looking at us from our peripheral view, and we get goosebumps. We’ve all been there. Don’t worry – you’re not paranoid. It’s not only you.

“Any situation in which one partner wields power over the other repeatedly can fall under the umbrella of domestic abuse.” – Susanne Babbel MFT, PhD

In a survey done last year, about 80% of women reported having been assaulted or sexually harassed. More than 50% of that population experienced verbal abuse – this was the most common type of harassment revealed in the survey. Nearly 30% of these women experienced sexual abuse. If you were among the few who have never tried to be in a situation where you felt unsafe or in danger, it would be reassuring to learn about what strategies you can learn to help yourself should you experience these unfortunate situations.

Below is a list of self-defense strategies or moves for the women out there who want to feel safe and confident that they can defend themselves in any circumstance.

Source: functionalselfdefense.org

Groin Kick. If someone attempts to come at you from the front, kick the assailant from the groin with sufficient force to weaken him, making your getaway possible.

Execution: Find your balance. Then lift your leading or stronger leg to drive your knee forward and up. Move your hips forward while extending your leading leg, making a forceful kick by contacting your shin against the assailant’s groin area.

Diana Delahaye LMHC, says, “Defense should be taught in all schools starting in Elementary School. Instead of volleyball or climbing ropes, girls and boys could learn self-defense.”

Hammer Strike. This strategy is done using the keys of your car. It’s better than using your nails and risking injury to your hands. When you’re walking to your car, and you feel unsafe or anxious, hold your keys in a way that they stick out from one end of your fist. This is the hammer strike.

Execution: Grasp your key ring inside your fist, with the edge of the keys extending from one side of your fist. Defend yourself by ‘hammering’ your assailant.


Elbow Strike. You can do this if your attacker is within proximity, and you can’t push him before making a punch or a kick.

Execution: Contract your core and legs for stability before doing a strong hit by pushing your weight forward and forcing your bent elbow towards your attacker’s neck or chin.

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Getting Away With The Hands Trapped. This is more physical because the assailant traps your arms from behind. First, don’t lose your presence of mind and make sure that your assailant’s arms don’t go higher. Then quickly move your hips to one side, allowing you to strike the groin. Now, raise your hands and the opposite elbow to form into a wrap.

Remember to keep your arms hugged to your chest as you do this. Whatever extremity is free, be aggressive with your counter strikes either by arm or knee.


Getting Away From A Bear Hug Assault. In this case, the assailant is also attacking you from behind, and this strategy is very effective. The key is to go low and to make space for freeing your extremities.

Execution: When the assailant grasps you, stoop down from the waist, allowing you to move your weight to the front and making it hard for your assailant to carry you. This also provides you with a much better angle to move your elbows from side to side to hit the assailant’s face. When you have more freedom, you can be able to strike him again to hurt his face or the groin. Finally, you will be able to get away from the grasp.



These five strategies are simple to follow and very useful for your safety and protection as a woman. You and your kids can benefit well from these moves. Defend yourselves by learning more about these strategies.

To end, here’s what Hung Tran, Psy.D. has to say: “Sometimes survivors can experience strong feelings of anger. These reactions are normal and ways of coping with an atypical and traumatic event. The person may feel alone and isolated and feel like no one can help. In some cases, these reactions may lead to a disruption in functioning including depression, which may indicate a need to seek professional help.”



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