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Six Self-Defense Principles Every Woman Should Know

Steve Kardian spent more than thirty years as a career law enforcement officer, including time as an FBI defense tactics instructor. He is a partner at Defend University, a self-defense program created specifically for women that has trained and educated more than 200,000 women of all ages. He also holds a third-degree black belt and the title of professor in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. His book, The New Super Power For Women, is on sale now from Touchstone, an imprint of our sister company, Simon & Schuster.

Use of force and violence is always the last resort. You turn to it when you have tried everything else and have no other alternatives. Predators use surprise to their advantage and will pick a person who they don’t think will resist or fight back. They will assess your body language within a few seconds and decide if you are easy to intimidate and control. You have to fight back with determination and effective techniques so that they know immediately that they have picked the wrong woman. Here are six practical principles that could save your life in a dangerous situation.

Pay Attention To The People Around You

When you are on the go, be sure to scan and monitor your surroundings. Be alert and observant, listen to your intuition, and if something catches your attention as unusual, watch it until you are certain it is not a threat. Predators will exhibit pre-indicators, behaviors that show they are preparing to act out. They may engage you in conversation, sometimes known as “interviewing.” Their facial expressions will also provide clues to their intentions.

Stay with People Or Go To People

Do not let yourself be taken somewhere else. If you are in a parking lot or a mall, at a party, or anywhere there are people around, do not go with the predator. Conversely, if you are alone in your house or in an office, go to people. Run outside, climb out your window, drive to a convenience store—but go where there are people.

Keep A Barrier Between You And The Bad Guy

Lock your doors. Don’t open the door for anyone you don’t know. Stay in your car; push a shopping cart in the parking lot. Keep something in between you and him. Anything that requires more time and effort for him to get to you increases his chances of being discovered. It also gives you extra time to fight back or escape. If the predator doesn’t have isolation and control, then he sees time as the adversary. The clock is ticking and he doesn’t want to get caught.

Attract Attention

More than 90 percent of all predators will say something like “Don’t scream or I’ll kill you” or “Stay quiet and you won’t get hurt.” They are telling you exactly what will ruin their plan. Honk the horn, scream, kick, throw an object, and break windows in order to attract attention.

Control His Hips And Control His Hands

You are controlling the distance between the two of you when you control his hips. His hands can hurt you by choking, hitting, or stabbing. When you inhibit his reach, you limit his ability to injure you.

Take Advantage Of A Woman’s Strengths When You Fight

Don’t try to fight a man like a man. If you punch a predator in the face, he’s going to punch you back with even more power, possibly breaking your nose or even knocking you out. Use your strongest weapons against his weakest targets. Kick and use elbows and knees against his face, throat, and groin.

Steve Kardian spent more than thirty years as a career law enforcement officer, including time as an FBI defense tactics instructor. He is a partner at Defend University, a self-defense program created specifically for women that has trained and educated more than 200,000 women of all ages. He also holds a third-degree black belt and the title of professor in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. His book, The New Super Power For Women, is on sale now from Touchstone, an imprint of our sister company, Simon & Schuster.

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