Empowering Women through Self-defense: A Guide for Beginners

We all went home late at night at certain times in our lives, maybe you’re commuting from work, went out with friends for a party, or maybe you just had to stop by the convenience store to get a quick midnight snack. At some point, you have to walk back to the parking lot or get off the bus, and realizing that you are alone you start feeling the chilly air and for some reason, your heart starts pounding and you get paranoid that someone might attack you

We’ve all been there, it’s normal, it’s human. That’s where the art of self-defense comes into play. According to a survey conducted by the fitness app SWEAT, 72% of the 1000 women who conducted the survey felt more confident in defending themselves after learning self-defense. Self-defense training also enhanced the fitness level, reaction times, and hand-eye coordination of those who practiced it. But people learn in different comfort and different paces – we understand that and that’s why we created a brief guide for women on how you can start learning how to defend yourself.

Preparation is the key to self-defense

You’ll never know when and where you could get threatened, who might attack you, what they might be carrying, and just too many factors you have no control over. So the best course of action is being equipped with self-defense techniques and the right knowledge of what to do in various situations that will empower you and ensure you prioritize your safety when faced with a potential threat.

Self-defense fundamentals

Before diving into the self-defense techniques you can practice and the self-defense tools you can find, you need to learn the fundamentals of self-defense.

  1. The goal – The best action to take in protecting yourself is getting away from the potential threat and contacting authorities, only use self-defense techniques and self-defense tools if you believe your well-being is being threatened and you have to act immediately.
  2. Awareness – Be aware of your surroundings and always stay alert especially if you’re alone. Make sure that when making plans you avoid risky situations such as being drunk in a place you’re unfamiliar with.
  3. Confidence – Having a confident demeanor can deter potential threats. You will also develop confidence through the practice of self-defense techniques.

These 3 are the foundations of practicing self-defense, emphasizing the Empowerment and Safety of women.

Self-defense techniques

Self-defense techniques are created to require as little need for recalling and make those who use them move instinctively and efficiently. Unlike martial arts where there are rankings and the higher the ranking means the more advanced and complicated the techniques are, self-defense techniques emphasize on the simplicity of movements. 

Here are 3 of the most used self-defense moves taught by self-defense schools around the world:

Striking using palm heel to attacker's face

The palm heel strike is one of the first techniques you learn in self-defense classes, it is a straightforward technique. 

To perform a palm heel strike:

  1. Raise your dominant hand and form a solid surface with your palm ready for a strike.
  2. Aim for the sensitive points of the attacker such as the nose or throat.
  3. Use your body weight to generate more force as you strike.
Kicking upwards to attacker's groin area

The groin kick is an easy-to-remember move and an effective move. 

To perform a groin kick:

  1. Lift your knee high and align it with the attacker’s groin area.
  2. Use your shin and the top of the foot to kick.
  3. Follow through to maximize the effect of the technique.
Knee strike towards attacker

Similar to the groin kick, knee strikes require little recall and are a powerful move. 

To perform a knee strike:

  1. Prepare your knee for driving by lifting it.
  2. Drive your knee as hard as you can to the attacker’s exposed sensitive points such as the abdomen, groin, or face.
  3. Back away quickly to avoid getting pulled by the attacker.

Self-defense tools

Learning self-defense techniques requires time, effort, and resources. So if you have concerns for your safety or simply want to be empowered and confident but can’t commit to self-defense classes, another solution you can resort to is self-defense tools. 

Self-defense tools are also an effective way of protecting yourself, but keep in mind that depending on your area, there may be legal restrictions on what tools you can use for self-defense. Here are 4 of the most common self-defense tools used around the world:

  1. Pepper sprays – They have various forms such as mace pepper sprays or lipstick pepper sprays. Its purpose is to temporarily blind attackers and allow you to get away.
  2. Tactical flashlights – This tool produces a powerful beam of light enough to disorient an attacker and give you time to get away.
  3. Self-defense keychains – These keychains are embedded with sharp points that can inflict just enough damage to deter an attacker.
  4. Personal alarms – These are useful in more populated areas. This tool produces a loud alarm to draw attention and discourage attackers from continuing to threaten you.

There are lots of other self-defense tools legally available depending on your region or state such as tasers, make sure that when purchasing a self-defense tool, you have the proper knowledge on how and when to use it to avoid legal complications.

Alternatives for learning self-defense techniques

If you can’t commit to a self-defense class but want to learn self-defense techniques, you can find an online self-defense coach or trainer to teach you in your own spare time. They will provide you guidance such as which drills to do which are tailored to you and your lifestyle.

Another alternative is purchasing an online self-defense course at ASDMA, this allows you to learn at your own pace, allowing you to pick up from where you left off anytime and anywhere.

Although these alternatives are great options – joining a self-defense class such as the one we offer is still the best option in learning self-defense because it allows you to experience simulations and practice techniques until you move instinctively to each situation which allows you to avoid “freezing” or panicking at the moment. It also improves your hand-to-eye coordination and reflexes whenever you train with a partner. In self-defense classes, you will also get the benefit of socializing with people of the same interests while getting physically fit and mentally empowered.

The priority of self-defense classes is your safety, but you would also benefit physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. At ASDMA our mission is to help you take a step back and defend yourself while also pushing you to take a step forward and lead an empowered and confident life.