Defend yourself in an attack
Editor’s Note: Sports reporter Sara Seyydin caught up with Dan and Debbie Lovas, who own Auburn Martial Arts Center, Monday, for instructions on how to defend yourself in case of an attack. This is the second in a series of how-to articles in Journal Sports to appear Tuesdays. A summary of the Lovas’ basic tips, instructions and insights follow.
Preventing an attack is the first step in self defense. Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to your instincts. Walk with confidence and make eye contact with people you encounter. Become familiar with your personal space and what it feels like when someone crosses into it.
Pain and distance
The most important principle in self-defense is to cause pain to create a window for yourself to get away from an attacker. The following four moves are just a few quick, but effective techniques you can use to cause pain and create distance. Shouting while you execute or practice them helps trigger adrenal stress, which will give you a better idea of how you respond under pressure. For complete self-defense training and personal instruction consider taking a class from a certified martial arts or self-defense instructor.
Target: Jugular or eye
Use if: attacked from the front in a choke-hold
If an attacker has apprehended you in a choke-hold from the front, firmly grab their right wrist with your left wrist. With your right hand, slightly bend your middle finger, so the tip of it is in line with your index and ring fingers (Reverse the hand instructions if you are left-handed). Keeping your right hand flat, with palm parallel to the ground, bend your elbow, step out with your right foot and strike the edges of your fingers into the jugular or eye of your attacker. Both will create pain and are designed to give you 3 to 5 seconds to escape.
Two: Elbow Strike or Hammer Fist with sidestep
Use if: attacker tries to grab you from behind
If an attacker is attempting to grab you from behind, duck down and step to the side. This will prevent them from grabbing you at your midline. Next, on the opposite side of the direction you stepped, create a fist with your hand and strike their groin with the rear of your elbow. You can also use your hammer fist to strike.
Three: Flat palm strike
Target: Nose or chin
Use if: attacked from the front
This move can either be used by itself or in conjunction with the previous two. With your hand bent and palm perpendicular to the floor, bend your fingers to create a flat, hard palm. Keep the opposite hand in front of your face for protection. Quickly bend your arm back, step forward with the same hand you are going to use to strike and hit the flat part of your palm on your attacker’s nose or chin. This can easily break a predator’s nose and is a good maneuver to use if you want to finish an attacker off, so you can run further.
Four: Front Kick
Use if: You have been attacked from the front and have already utilized another technique with some success. This will create more distance between you and the attacker.
With your arms in a fighting stance and hands in fists, reach one foot up, keeping the bottom of your foot parallel to the attacker’s body. Pull your foot back toward your body and follow through to kick the attacker’s midsection, using the ball of your foot to push them backward.
Reach Sara Seyydin at email@example.com.