5 Self-Defense Strategies Women Should Know

5 Self-Defense Strategies Women Should Know 

Knowing how to defend yourself during an attack can save your life, and sharing these techniques with others can keep them safe as well. It is important to remember that using self-defense should be your last option if you are in a situation where you need to protect yourself. First, do everything you can to get away from an attacker; running to a safe and public area should be your goal for getting away. While trying to remove yourself from the situation you should be drawing attention to yourself by yelling, calling for help, blowing a whistle, or making loud noises. If you are in a situation that you are unable to get away from, using self-defense strategies can give you a better chance of getting away and getting help. We’re going to share 5 self-defense moves that you should know that can help keep you safe. 

#1 Front Kick to the Groin 

The groin is a vulnerable area for any attacker and any easy strike point. One hard kick can easily send an attacker to the ground where you can then escape and run towards a safe area. When doing this move it is important that you do not injure your foot, because that could prevent you from getting away in a timely manner. When striking the attacker you want to be sure to kick upwards and strike their groin with the top of your foot. This area of your foot would be where your shoelaces would be if you were wearing sneakers. Striking with the top of your foot allows you to kick upwards and avoid injury to your toes, ankle, or foot. Here are the steps to maximize your strength and use this move effectively: 

  • While standing facing the attacker, slightly bend the knee you will be balancing on
  • Lift your kicking foot up so that your thigh is horizontal in front of you
  • Extend your leg, with your toes pointed towards the ground
  • Strike the groin with the top of your foot 

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#2 Open Hand Strike 

Striking an attacker on a vulnerable area of the face is a powerful way to injure them and give yourself a better chance of getting away. When you use the open hand strike method there is less of a chance of injuring your hand, while still delivering a powerful strike to the face of the attacker. When you use this strategy you are using the hard part of your palm as a sturdy and strong surface that is meeting that attacker’s face. Always use all your strength to deliver strikes if you are in a situation you need to get away from, but with this move you can still injure the attacker if you are feeling weak. Here is how to effectively use an open hand strike method as a self-defense move:

  • Start facing forward towards the attacker
  • As if you are making a “stop” motion with your hand, extend your arm out without licking your elbow 
  • Then strike upwards on a vulnerable area of the attacker 
  • Vulnerable face areas are to strike upwards on their chin or upwards on their nose 

#3 Elbow Strikes 

Using an elbow strike move on an attacker is a good choice if you're unable to face them forward during the attack. Using your elbow as a defense mechanism is a good idea because it is powerful and harder to injure. You can get a lot of force behind your elbow, and this move can really make a difference in your chances of escaping to safety. This strategy of self-defense is very versatile because you can perform this move if the attacker is behind you, or at your side. We are going to share the moves for both standing positions:

  • If the attacker is behind you - bear-hug position, grabbing your waist, etc.  
  • If your arms are constricted do everything you can to free at least one for this move
  • Once an arm is free, with all your force, bring your elbow to about shoulder height and deliver a strong blow to a vulnerable area of the attacker
  • Vulnerable areas are the chin, nose, eyes, head, throat, and stomach or groin if you are in a position to powerfully strike there

  • If the attacker is at your side  - trying to pull you in or running towards you and you are unable to escape
  • With your feet firmly on the ground, use your hips to pivot towards the attacker
  • Lift your elbow to about shoulder height and deliver a blow to a vulnerable area of the attacker using the back of your elbow 
  • After enough strikes make any efforts you can to flee to safety 

#4 Knee Strike 

A knee strike to your opponent is a good move for weakening them in a vulnerable area, giving you time to fun to safety and call for help. If you are facing your opponent you have two strike point options, which are both effective and can be easy to maneuver. Using your knee as a weapon is a good choice because your legs can be very powerful and the knee is a solid surface that can easily weaken the attacker. This is how to effectively deliver a knee strike to an attacker:

  • When face-to-face with the attacker be sure to get as balanced as possible to avoid falling while striking 
  • Grab the attacker’s head - grab their hair, behind their head, or the back of their neck to effectively bend them over and bring their face towards the ground 
  • If you cannot grab their head or neck bring your hands towards your face in a fist position to maintain balance or attempt to grab their shoulder to gain more power 
  • One they are bent bring your knee to their face or groin area and begin kneeing them until they are weak and you have a chance to escape
  • The top of your knee should be the surface meeting with the attacker 

#5 Defend a Strike 

Attackers are going to do what they can to weaken you or make you vulnerable, knowing how to avoid a strike can help save you from further injury and give you a chance to run. Although defending a strike could still be painful to your arm, it is more favorable than a strike to a vulnerable area of the face. Defending strikes could give you more time to get a vantage point on the attacker and position yourself to deliver a strike to them. Here is how to defend yourself from an attackers strike: 

  • Bring both bands in a fist position towards your face 
  • Make sure your elbows are bent and you are able to move your arms and head effectively to better angle yourself against an attackers strike towards you 
  • A striker will likely be hitting the sides of your arms or forearms, so try hard to keep your arms sturdy with your fists facing the sky 


Remember that if you have the choice of fight or flight, choose flight. Getting distance from the attacker by going towards a public or well lit area and calling for help is preferable over a physical fight. Also remember that if an attacker is only attempting to steal your purse, cellphone, or other belongings it is best to just give it to them rather than fighting back. Material items can be replaced, and your life cannot be. Fighting back should be your last resort if other methods have failed and you are unable to escape. If you need to fight an attacker and defend yourself try using these strike options and strategies to the best of your ability and then flee to safety. 


Davis. N. (2018, August 29). 8 self-defense moves every woman needs to know. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/self-defense-tips-escape