Self-Defense Moves You Should Know

By Mary Beth Wallace  |  Photos by Rich Smith
Being able to escape a physical attack is a skill every woman should have in her back pocket. A basic understanding of self-defense can build confidence and provide a sense of peace in potentially dangerous situations. While getting away is always the goal, sometimes confrontation is inevitable. Here, Trevor Haines and Michelle Gardner demonstrate five effective self-defense moves you can use – and they’re perfect for practicing at home!


 


“Remember: You are far more likely to be attacked by a known assailant than a random villain. You do not have to be stronger or a more capable fighter than your attacker; you just need to be a more challenging target than what they are used to facing. Causing pain will achieve that goal.”

– Trevor Haines, owner of Dojo Chattanooga


 



Throw a Baseball

If your attacker is in front of you, aim for the bridge of the nose. Just like you would throw a ball, swing your palm overhead and down using your whole weight, breaking the nose. As an added bonus, your fingernails can follow through and claw the attacker’s face.



 



The Front Knee

When in doubt, hit the groin. Your knee is a powerful weapon and ideal for groin strikes. Drive the knee forward and upward into the attacker’s groin (or any available target). Get your hips and buttocks driving into the action. By grabbing on to the attacker, you will not misjudge distance.


 


 



The Stomp

If challenged from behind, your attacker’s instep, or foot, is an easy target. Stomp your heel down onto your attacker’s instep, and turn your foot as needed to fit to the target area.



 



The Rear Elbow

Your elbow can be used to strike your attacker’s chin, head, and abdomen – inflicting maximum damage with minimal effort. If attacked from behind, knock the wind out of your attacker by targeting the abdomen with your elbow. To do this, drive your elbow straight back into the solar plexus.



 



The Inward Elbow

Alternatively, fold your arm and swing the elbow across a horizontal plane, hitting your attacker’s head (or any available target). In this move, your power comes from the waist. A strong blow to the head could cause immediate unconsciousness, allowing you time to get away.

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