Most of the street attacks don’t look like the ones in the movies. They are brutal, aggressive and over before you know it. In most cases during physical altercation you will be dealing with a bigger, stronger, faster and determined attacker, or even worse – multiple attackers. They might have and use weapons such as knives, sticks or even firearms.
Their motive to attack you could be a robbery, terrorism, sexual assault, gang initiation, racism or just pure evil. It doesn’t really matter. What matters for you, should you find yourself in this situation, is to stay alive. But how?
Here are the steps you should take to maximize your chances of survival.
Always know what is going on around you. Being on the phone with the headphones on while walking home from the train station might sound like a fun thing to do but doesn’t count as a safe practice. Not only you’re giving up one of your senses (and the important one), but also, you’re painting big target on your back for a potential perpetrator.
Avoid unsafe places
If you really need to be in that “bad” part of town after dusk, ask a friend to go with you – preferably someone who knows self-defense or combat fighting. Let someone know where you are going and when you should be back.
If something seams off it probably is. Listen to your gut. It’s your seventh sense and you have it for a reason. If you spot someone suspicious cross the street, walk into the building where there are people or run. Make sure you can outrun your potential attacker and that you’re keeping substantial distance.
Ok. You didn’t listen and now you are face to face with your attacker. What to do? De-escalating techniques might work in asocial encounter but won’t work in more serious situation. You must fight! But how?
Pick a target and strike hard, applying your body weight. You need an element of surprise to get to the target and you need strength to cause structure damage, otherwise the attacker will be able to retaliate.
What’s the best target to attack? The short answer is the one you can get to.
There are over a hundred good targets to attack on human body but in Krav Maga we focus our attention on just five: eyes, nose, throat, groin and a knee. You take one of these targets out, you’ll take your attacker out of fight.
Use weapon of opportunity
Almost anything can be turned into a weapon. If you’re not carrying a firearm, stun gun or pepper spray think what else you have on you or in your immediate area that you can use. A phone (yes, it will probably brake), car keys, umbrella, cane… Maybe a rock or a bottle on the ground. Even dirt can be turned into a weapon if thrown into your perpetrator’s eyes.
Ask for help
Scream! Maybe someone will hear you and will rush to help you.
If you’re successful freeing yourself from the attacker leave the area immediately and look for safe place. Call the authorities.
Of course, all of this is easier said than done. If you want to maximize your chances, be prepared. Attend self-defense courses or better yet find a reputable Krav Maga Training Center and attend classes. Krav Maga is easy to learn and extremally effective. You will learn how to defend yourself in any situation against unarmed and armed attackers. I hope you’ll never find yourself in the situation where your life is at risk, but if you do have a plan, be prepared, be trained!
Written by Greg Dziewonski