Self Defense For Busy People: A 10-Minute Primer That Could Save Your Life

Eye Strike

Would you like to be able to prevent an attack but don't have much time for training?

Fortunately, for the vast majority of people you can prevent becoming a victim without any physical self defense training at all.

7 Steps to Preventing An Attack

Here are the top 7 steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Avoid Dangerous Places
  • Don't Be A Good Target
  • Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
  • Maintain A Safe Distance
  • Escape When You Feel Threatened
  • De-escalate Verbal Conflicts
  • Secure Your Private Areas

For a more detailed explanation of the 7 steps above, see my page on awareness and prevention. Simply by understanding violence and following the 7 steps, it's highly unlikely you'll ever be attacked.

If you've done everything you can to avoid and prevent an attack, but still find yourself in trouble, pepper spray and a couple of solid techniques will go a long way.

Pepper Spray

I very highly recommend pepper spray for self defense. It's easy to carry, non-lethal, and works against both multiple opponents and those armed with knives and impact weapons. I even prefer pepper spray to knives and guns. It's non-lethal, you can use it at a distance, and you don't have to worry about killing an innocent bystander with stray bullets.

To use pepper spray, you must carry it in your hand. It's not going to do you any good in your purse or pocket. A keyring unit attached to your keys is the best option, as you'll always have it with you when going outdoors.

You also need to be aware of your surroundings and maintain your distance from potential attackers in order to use your pepper spray. And, it's important that if you do spray someone, you should spray and move instead of spraying and standing in the same place.

A Few Solid Techniques

If you can't carry pepper spray or don't have it with you, a couple of solid techniques may be able to save you. For those with little time, I'll focus on one strategy: hit and run. Without sufficient training, you probably shouldn't attempt to annihilate an attacker. A quick hit however, can temporarily stun your opponent and give you the chance to run. Here are two good options:

Both techniques above allow you to hit an attacker fast, and put you in a position to sprint away immediately after doing so. You can train the eye strike against a partner wearing goggles, and the groin slap by having your partner wear a cup, or by smacking him on the leg instead. See our training section for more information on training methods.

Keep in mind that your first option is always to escape. Especially if your attacker has a weapon and is asking for a physical object, give it to him. If he's asking for you...if he wants you to get in his car, your car, or to follow him somewhere, that's a very bad proposition. You may be better off running or fighting no matter what, in such a situation.

With more time to train, take a look at our techniques section, and go through the MMA Base before progressing to the rest of the material. In addition to being great for self defense, it's all great exercise and a great deal of fun.