Self Defense Techniques: Defend Quickly and Decisively

Recently, I have studied videos from some news reports. They reinforced the importance of pre-planning your self defense techniques. These news reports showed videos of assaults. One was on a child, where a stranger tried to kidnap her on the sidewalk in front of her house. And the other was on a woman in a busy Walmart. Both of the assailants moved quickly, and didn’t give time for people to pause and think about what was happening.

Self Defense Techniques for Attempted Kidnapping: Yell, Resist (Fight Back), and Run

In the kidnapping attempt, a six-year-old girl was taking out the trash to the curb. She paused just past the sidewalk to put the trash in the can.

A strange man walked by on the sidewalk and “touched her inappropriately,” then took two steps and turned back and reached out to grab her wrist.

The girl froze for about a second, probably processing what had just happened. Then she tried to run.

However, the man moved quickly, grabbed her wrist and started pulling her.

The decisive girl shrieked as loudly as she could, planting her feet and resisting the pull on her wrist. (She remembered and used the self defense techniques her parents had taught her.)

That is when the man let go and ran off, and the girl continued yelling and ran into her house. The girl’s dad found and followed him and called 911, who apprehended him.

This girl had only seconds to react in a way to save her life. Even though she paused, at least she came around quickly and used the self defense techniques she needed to, just in time to protect herself.

Self Defense Techniques for Sexual Assault: Fight Back, Yell, and Run to Safety (or Life Protection for Assault on Another: Use Force to Apprehend the Assailant and Call 911)

In the other video, the victim didn’t successfully use self defense techniques to defend herself. We don’t see the initial attack on the video. The woman was shopping in a busy Walmart.

A man came up to her, reached under her skirt and inappropriately touched her, then pushed her onto the ground and pulled off her underwear.

She may have yelled at least, but we can see in the video several men literally ran to her aid. They pulled the assailant off of her and held him until police arrived. Thank goodness for these protectors who sprung into action and got involved to do the right thing.

What would have happened if the men weren’t there to rescue this woman? Like the girl, she only had seconds to act. However, in her case, it was to protect herself from a sudden, violent rape. Did she know what to do to fight back? She could: elbow, knee, bite, scratch, head butt and palm heel, especially to the soft targets. As soon as she had an opening, maybe she could roll away and run to safety. Hopefully she would still yell as much as she could to get some help against a larger, stronger assailant.

These videos are reminders that we may only have seconds, and sometimes a split second in which to act to save ourselves. In the case of an attack, don’t pause and think at that time.

Observe and Plan Now, Execute the Plan Immediately if Needed

Think about it now. What would you do if you were in the shoes of one of the victims mentioned above? Priority one: run and get to safety. Priority two: yell to acquire help. Priority three: fight back until you can get to safety. Put those three things securely into your toolbox of self defense techniques: Run, Yell, Fight Back. Think about it now. Ingrain the plan. If someone ever does attack you, act immediately. The life you save could be your own.

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

Jenifer Tull-Gauger knows what it’s like to be an “old soul” and a painfully quiet kid struggling to fit in. Her journey to 7th degree black belt is a testament of how she found inner strength through traditional karate. Now in leadership for the international U.R.K.A., she heads up a private dojo with her husband.

Jenifer combined her passions for art and writing, with what she’s learned from 23-plus years of teaching karate, to create a children’s character-building picture book series. The Dojo Kun Character Books help children to find their own power in their lives.

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