When a Predator Attacks: Street-Smart Self-Defense for Women

As a woman, taking the time to learn a few self-defense techniques is important. Of course, by self-defense I'm not talking about spending months or years earning yourself a belt or ranking through a martial arts class. I'm talking about learning practical, street-smart self-defense tactics that can be applied in real-life situations.

Women often question their ability to protect themselves against a male attacker. Not only does the average man weigh more, he's also stronger than the average woman. But as every self-defense expert knows, it doesn't take the size or the strength of a man to take a man down—a fact that a 17-year-old girl in New York recently confirmed for herself.

According to the NYDailyNews.com report, the young girl was walking along the street in the afternoon hours when a man she didn't know forced her behind a nearby commercial building. As the man proceeded to attack her, shoving her against a wall and ripping her jacket off, she fought back and freed herself with a well-placed kick to his groin.

What's important to point out about the young lady in the above story is that she followed the most important rule of all in terms of self-defense: she ran away the moment the opportunity presented itself.

Protecting yourself against an attacker doesn't always mean you have to engage in some type of physical combat. If you have an opportunity to escape before physical contact occurs, that's exactly what you should do. However, not every situation will allow you to run away that easily. It many cases, it will be up to you to create your own opportunity of escape by using physical, self-defense methods.

The following are a few industry-recommended self-defense methods that can help create the opportunity you need to free yourself from a potentially dangerous attack:

  • Create a scene by shouting, screaming, and yelling for help as loudly as you can. If you feel threatened but can't run away, shout at the would-be attacker as loud as you can and/or scream and yell for help. This may throw the thug off guard and cause him to step back for a moment, providing the precious seconds you need to escape.
  • Arm yourself with pepper spray or a stun gun and be prepared to use it. Carrying pepper spray, mace, or a stun gun in your purse is never a bad idea. Just be sure you check the regulations in the state you live in first. Many states require carriers of such devices to take a certified course, especially for stun guns. Once equipped with the device, practice retrieving it from your purse and rehearse using it from time to time. This will help keep your response skills fresh and increase your confidence in your ability to protect yourself in a real-life emergency.
  • Take a self-defense course designed especially for women. Investing a little money and time into a self-defense class or two is worth the potentially life-saving techniques you'll learn. Just be sure to do your research first. Find a class that's taught by a professional who has real-life defense experience, such as an active or retired police officer, military personnel, or martial arts expert.

Finding a self-defense class that's designed around women will ensure you learn protective tactics that can help you escape an attacker, no matter how big or strong he is. Some of the self-defense tactics you can expect to learn in such a class include:

  • kick to the groin
  • kick to the knee
  • neck and/or throat punch
  • eye gouge
  • pward hand thrust to the nose
  • fingers to the nostrils
  • Using the weight of the attacker to your advantage.

Learning self-defense tactics is never a waste of time or money. The knowledge in itself can bring you a great deal of confidence, which can transfer over to the way you carry yourself. Body language is sometimes all it takes to keep predators at a distance, as many prefer women who appear easy to dominate both physically and psychologically. Through the eyes of a predator, a woman who walks with confidence, with her head up high and her eyes focused on what's going on around her, is a challenge. It would be much easier to wait for a weaker-appearing woman than to take on a more challenging one that could risk him being seen or apprehended.

A good self-defense class will also arm you with critical-thinking skills. A common question among women is "How do I know when to fight back and when to submit?" As a security expert, I know that every crime comes with its own set of unique circumstances. The key to surviving any attack is having options.

As women's self-defense expert, Melissa Soalt (AKA Dr. Ruthless), puts it, "Being armed with the option to fight and the resistance strategies to do so is what's most crucial—let alone fundamental to all living creatures. While of course I encourage women to be self defenders, I would never say that a woman should always fight back. There's no substitute for good judgment in the moment—and “moment" is a key term. Rape, in particular, often involves phases of attack and sometimes a combination of strategies work best—e.g., verbal/ physical / mental/ manipulative."

Of course, no woman wants to find herself face-to-face with a criminal with immoral intentions. That's why it's important to adopt a "safety and security first" mindset. Most predators look for women who are alone and unsuspecting. To avoid being singled out, you need to remain aware of your surroundings in every situation and take extra precautions when walking around outdoors by yourself, especially at night. Whether you're returning to your car after a day of shopping, walking around your college campus, or leaving a bar or nightclub, it's better to have someone along with you than to travel alone—even if it means asking security staff to escort you.

As today's news stories continue to show us, women are attacked every day by heartless criminals. So don't fool yourself into thinking it will never happen to you. Evil can find its way to anyone. To protect yourself, stay cautious and alert in your everyday routines, and arm yourself with as many self-defense tactics as possible. To help protect other women, pass on what you've learned to your girlfriends, sisters, mothers, aunts, and any other woman you know. In doing so, you just might save a life.

Jordan Frankel, commonly known as The Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel's security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan's ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys - coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.

Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:

The American Society for Industrial Security.

The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.

The Society of Professional Locksmiths.