After the recent attacks in Brooklyn, many women are turning to martial-arts based self-defense classes to learn how to protect themselves.
Haven’t made it to a class yet? Here are some easy self-defense tips from the Center for Anti-Violence Education in Park Slope.
1. Stay alert. Be aware of people near you and of your surroundings—in your home, on the street, at work, at school, and other places you frequent.
2. If you think you are being followed, try changing your pace or crossing the street. Do not lead a potential attacker to your home. Instead go to a store or another populated place.
3. You can choose to ignore or respond to a verbal harasser, depending on your comfort level. In either case, remain aware of the person or group. Take into account your potential allies in the vicinity, the environment (any safer places?), and your ability to physically defend yourself.
If you are attacked:
1. Stay active and keep thinking, “What can I do?”
2. Yell and make a scene—attackers often expect us to be silent. Use a loud voice to draw attention and to let the attacker know you will not be an easy target.
3. Strike for the eyes, nose, throat, knees, groin—all attackers have vulnerable places on their bodies.
4. Use things you have with you (keys, pens, bags) or things you can pick up (garbage, rocks) as weapons or shields.
5. As soon as the opportunity arises, get away.
Want to learn more? Tell us, in the comments below, if you’d be interested in attending a Well+Good-sponsored self-defense class.