These Are The 4 Essential Self Defense Moves Every Woman Needs To Know

Assault is something that happens all too often in our society and while you can never truly anticipate an attack, there are many ways to keep yourself prepared to escape an unexpected situation. Self defense is a vital tool that should be in every woman’s arsenal and mastering a handful of simple moves can make a huge difference if you’re ever caught in a dangerous scenario.

We decided our self defense education could use a refresher so we asked the wonderfully talented Jena Mays to help us brush up on a few easy, yet effective maneuvers. Here’s what we learned..

This is fitness guru and certified badass Jena Mays:

Jena is an all around fitness and health expert at Onnit Academy in Austin, Texas,  as well as a long-time favorite featurette on theCHIVE.

We asked Jena to help us out with a few self defense techniques because we figured she knew a thing or two…

And here’s what we learned:

1. If you’re grabbed from behind

The first maneuver comes in handy if an attacker has surprised you from behind, which is one of the most common situations. First, you’ll want to step forward with one foot to establish your balance. Then, use your elbow to strike the attackers face. Pro Tip: aim for the jaw, temple, or cheek bones to get the most impact. Once you’ve stunned your attacker, continue to strike until you’ve been freed and can make your escape.

2. If your arms have been grabbed

This move is ideal for when your attacker comes at you directly and has a hold on both of your arms. Since your upper body is compromised, you’ll want to use your legs to kick forcefully at the attackers shins. Pro Tip: If he has your body pulled in too close for kicking, throw your knees into him and continue to push until freed.

3. If your wrists are trapped

If the attacker grabs your wrist, your first instinct will be to pull away. However, this won’t help you escape. Instead, you’ll want to step in towards the attacker and drive your elbow up to break his grip. Once your arm is freed, throw a palm to strike the attacker’s face and quickly make your escape.

4. If you’re pinned down

This last move is designed to help you get free if your assailant has you pinned down with their body on top of you, a position that happens all too often. It doesn’t matter how heavy the attacker is or how small you are, this defense maneuver can be accomplished by anyone. It’s all about trigger points. First, use one hand to grab the attacker’s wrist and use the other to grab the inside of his elbow. Then, use your leg to trap his foot and establish leverage. Finally, lift up, roll your hips and use your momentum to push the attacker off.

Check out the full step-by-step video here:

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