The Five Fingers of Self-Defense
In a world riddled with heinous crimes from gun shootings to murder, from bullying to various forms of abuse, self-defense is a necessity. Self-defense is the utilization of force in order to protect oneself and counteract harmful attacks. More specifically, our defense mechanism is mandatory in order to increase our physical, mental, and emotional safety. Therefore, the ability to think, yell, run, fight, and tell — alternatively known as the five fingers of self-defense — are pivotal in times of crisis. Of course, you do not have to follow this in order due to the different potential circumstances you may be in. After all, self-defense is simply a duty beginning with the belief that you are worth fighting for.
First and foremost, one’s brain plays a crucial role in fighting back due to the capacity to think. One way to demonstrate this trait is by being assertive through your tone, posture, and eyes. You must state your point firmly and exude confidence in your voice when you say “No”. You must also look the attacker in the eyes without your gaze faltering and maintain your composure. Stand straight with your chin up and do not fidget. This, in turn, will indicate seriousness and throw your attacker off guard. Additionally, you must be conscious of your surroundings at all times such as escape routes, public places, people, location, etc. You must keep in mind that violence can come from strangers, acquaintances, friends, and family. Listen to your gut instinct in regards to signs of danger and believe that you are valuable. Furthermore, you must strategize and take action immediately. If one tactic does not work, try another. Never stop fighting and do not under any circumstance give up.
Do not be afraid to yell. Your volume and intensity is important in the sense of showing your attacker that you are willing to cause a scene. This will draw attention to the situation at hand. Take control of a situation by speaking assertively. For instance, if someone wanted to rob you, try to negotiate by showing that you mean no harm and that you are willing to cooperate. Keep a distance between you and the robber and throw the object behind the robber. When they try to retrieve it, you can escape and call for help.
Running is essential in order to escape a dangerous circumstance. This involves running away, evading danger, looking for escape routes, and leaving an abusive relationship. It is your uttermost priority to be safe, which can be resolved by maintaining distance.
Before fighting, know your motive for doing so and fight if there is absolutely no option left. In terms of timing (especially if they have a weapon), pretend to cooperate. When you get the chance and especially if they are unarmed, strike your attacker. When striking, aim for vulnerable parts such as the throat, knees, eyes, or groin. If you are in a choke hold, tuck your chin in, thus making it difficult to squeeze your throat. This buys you additional time to attack since you only have six seconds to escape before you lose consciousness. In this time, look for openings and put your body into a strike. To properly punch, make certain that your fingers are tightly clenched and that your thumb is securely wrapped around your second and third knuckles. When you kick, put your knee up and strike with your heel.
Lastly, you must tell someone about your experience in order to heal emotionally and prevent others from experiencing similar situations. Break the silence by listening to other experiences and share your own. This ensures that you are not alone in coping and healing from your experience. Share self-defense techniques with others and simply speak up to end this era of violence. The victim should never be blamed for what they are wearing or how much they drank.