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How to Defend Yourself From an Attacker

We've all found ourselves in situations where we are forced to defend ourselves from an attacker. Perhaps you got into a fight at a bar, or you are being bullied in school. Whatever the situation, it's important to know how to defend yourself.

Note: It's always best to avoid fights or talk your way out of them. However, it's not always possible, so it's best to be prepared.

Here are a few ways you can defend yourself from attackers:

Let them take the first swing — The person who takes the first swing is the "instigator," meaning you can claim self-defense if/when the cops show up. Also, the first swing is usually a wild, full-powered one meant to knock out an opponent. Keep an eye on your foe's shoulders, and watch for them to do that tell-tale wind-up that signals they're going to throw a punch. Duck, dodge, or block that punch, and counter with a short, quick jab to their solar plexus or a kick to the groin. They won't get back up.

Assume a fighting stance — If someone is threatening you, it's time to "square off." Step your right foot back and slightly to the side, raise your fists on level with your chin, and lower your chin for protection. This is the proper boxing stance, and it will often be enough to intimidate your opponent. If you look like you know what you're doing, they'll usually back off. Hold your position and wait for them to make the first move.

Kick the knee — Most people have learned to protect their upper body (head and torso) from attack, but they aren't accustomed to leg attacks. Once your opponent has thrown a few wild punches, kick them in the back or side of their knee with enough force to make it buckle. This will send them stumbling, giving you a chance for a proper punch or kick to their face or body. Even if you don't counterattack, the knee kick is usually enough to make your opponent think twice.

Hit the weak spots — The groin is just one place where you can hit your attacker. Hit their eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus, and knees to inflict maximum pain with minimal force. Don't hit so hard that you kill or seriously injure them. Even a limited amount of force is enough to hurt and repel them. They will instinctively protect those sensitive areas, exposing other parts of their body for follow-up attacks.

Switch between low and high — Don't just strike at their face, but mix up your counterattacks to catch them off guard. If they swing high, kick them in the groin or knee or punch them in the solar plexus. When they drop their hands or curl up to protect their weak spots, punch for their throat or face. Unless your opponent is well-trained, they won't be prepared for this switch.

Violence is NEVER the best remedy for a situation, but there will be times when you have no choice but to defend yourself. These tips will help you be prepared to face people and come out of the scuffle as unharmed as possible.

[Image via Getty]

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