Tips for self defense in places where you can’t use the likes of pepper spray etc (it’s also legal).
- Use a house key or a car key
- If you have key rings on the keys, simply keep these in the palm of your hand and hold tight.
- Place the key between your ring finger and your middle finger - do not place it between your index and middle finger as it’s a weaker hold.
- If you want to be discreet, keep this position in your coat pocket or somewhere where you can keep the keys hidden. If you don’t have a pocket, try keeping hold of the keys in your hand but within your sleeve - as if they were too big for you.
- If you feel in danger or someone goes to attack you, try to jab your attacker in the places circled in red. These are weak spots and will give off a feeling of being stabbed, however there will be no wound - it’ll just stun your attacker and bide you enough time to run.
- Try to aim for the lower areas such as the stomach and sides, these are weaker spots, however the middle of the chest and neck help too. This is the same for women.
This is important.
I do this on every walk home if it’s just me
The more you know.
My mom taught me how to do this when I was a teenager. Also walk in such a way as to make yourself seem as big as possible - hold your head up high and take note of your surroundings. Never look as if you are lost even if you are. Act as if you are almost at your car/home/destination even if you have a while to go.
These are all safety tips that just make you seem like less of a target.
OK… time again to talk about self defense!!!
First off, from the OP - if you’re going to use keys three things:
Going for lower targets means you have to get through more clothes, and possibly a fat layer. Neck and eyes will fuck someone up and if you’re being attacked, fucking someone up so you can get away is critical.
Here’s what you do. Get a piece of cardboard. Get those keys (pocketknife, screwdriver, whatever you’re going to carry around and use if something happens) and practice stabbing it.
Do your fingers slip? Might you accidentally cut yourself? Do you have to re-grip it? How hard can you stab it?
Maybe the best grip is the index/middle finger, maybe it’s between your thumb and your index - it REALLY depends on the tool you’re using and the size of your hands and no one in the internet can tell you what’s the best grip - you’re going to have to try it and find out.
"Piston Stabbing" (aka prison shanking).
If you have to stab someone, you’re going to want to do multiple stabs into the same location. The fact is, a lot of people who get stabbed say, “I didn’t realize I was stabbed. I felt like I got punched.”
You need this person to stop attacking you and they need to hurt enough so you can get away. The multiple stabs at high speed is what does it. This is what folks do in prison, and pretty much anyone who isn’t doing some kind of special forces /assassin shank with a blade you’re not going to be carrying around on the streets anyway.
A better weapon
If you are really concerned about self defense but cannot carry a “weapon”, I recommend a small, but heavy flashlight. You can get 6-8 inch mag lights or “tactical” flashlights. Alternatively - you can use the bar section of a bike U-lock in the same fashion.
What makes this a good weapon?
First, you don’t have to think about the grip when you grab it. And since you may need to pull it out in very short notice, just by feel, a simple clubbing tool is a good choice. Keys require you to be comfortable to feel and get the grip on short notice. Folder knives have to be opened without cutting yourself.
Second, you can blast the light into the attacker’s eyes, to get them to flinch. This is, in fact, what police do to a lot of people.
Third, it requires less training. All you have to do is hammer fist it into a person’s arms or head and you get an immediate effect. Sharp weapons may be more lethal overall, but they don’t necessarily produce immediate stopping power - having your attacker bleed out 10 minutes later is still 10 minutes they’re attacking you. Stunning them right away and so you can run is better.
Expect to hit them at least 3-5 times and if you know how to use elbows and knees as well you can produce a lot of damage quickly.
And of course my usual two caveats about self defense:
1. You can never learn “enough” to be safe. Helpful advice on Tumblr or the internet or “how to” videos are terribly insufficient, practicing and training under stress is what helps you use things when shit happens.
2. Self defense is not the solution for what is a society wide problem. The large scale solution revolves around ending misogyny and violence as an acceptable use of power in our society. Self defense is a stop-gap measure, much like fire extinguishers vs. a gang of arsonists.