How to Fend off an Attacker

This article is about ways to defend yourself in any situation, whether in a bar, at school, or on the street.


  1. Image titled Weapon Step 1
    Remember that every part of your body and everything on your person has the potential to be used as a weapon. This includes items you may carry in your pockets such as pens, keys, or small pistols.
  2. Image titled Open hands Step 2
    Open your hands and keep them in front of you in a pleading position when confronted by a potential attacker. Clenched fists give away your readiness to strike. Open hands present a non-threatening appearance that will cause an attacker to let his guard down, while still leaving you the options to suddenly strike or grab.
  3. Image titled Scream Step 3
    Scream. Screaming may draw attention and scare the attacker away.
  4. Image titled Block attacks Step 4
    Block or dodge an oncoming attack. What use is any other defense tactic if you get knocked out?
  5. Image titled Strike with the heel of hand Step 5
    Strike with the heel of your hand, or with the meaty little-finger side of your fist. To form the hand for a palm-heel strike, bend the wrist back at a 90 degree angle and spread and claw the fingers. For an edge of hand blow, straighten the fingers and press them together, and strike with the muscle in the side of the hand. When striking down into an assailant's face, clench the fist and strike with the little finger side. Closed fist punches rely on wrist strength and stability to deliver a proper strike, and the knuckles are easily broken in the confusion of a fight.
  6. Image titled Aim for sensitive areas Step 6
    Aim for sensitive areas such as face, stomach, groin, knee, shin and instep. These areas are easy to hit and will probably knock the enemy down for your chance to escape. Remember that a heavy strike to a person's face is highly effective at making them lose their senses. A broken nose or strike to the eyes will greatly hinder your opponent's ability to observe and react. Do not strike a person in the mouth--this will damage your hand.
  7. Image titled Job with elbows Step 7
    If you are in close proximity to your attacker, jabbing with your elbows and fingers can be an effective method of defense. So can headbutting.
  8. Image titled Poke attacker Step 8
    If necessary, use any hard item available to poke, jab or scratch your assailant's face: a stick, a brick, a pen, a piece of glass, etc. The eyes and throat are especially vulnerable areas.
  9. Image titled Never kick Step 9
    NEVER kick your attacker in the groin, this gives them a chance to grab hold of your leg. Instead, use your knee repeatedly.
  10. Image titled Heel of palm attack nose Step 10
    Using the heel of your palm, hit the attacker's nose upwards. Not only could this cause their nose to bleed, but it will cause their eyes to water, giving you a chance of escape.
  11. Image titled Squirm Step 11
    Squirm. If an attacker gets a hold of you and doesn't have a firearm pointed to your head or a knife to your neck, squirm. Squirming and pinching the attacker can help you get out of his or her clutches. If the attacker has a weapon, keep it away from you.
  12. Image titled Stop attacking Step 12
    Once you have taken your attacker down and they are no longer a threat, stop attacking. Kicking the jaw off of an unconscious person isn't self defense, it's a lack of self control.
  13. Image titled Call police Step 13
    Call police once your attacker is no longer a threat.


  • Do whatever you can to get yourself out of immediate danger, but use your judgment regarding whether or not to resort to a violent method of self-defense.
  • Avoid walking alone in strange, dark places.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Remember that anything and almost everything around you can be used as a weapon. If you are traveling alone in and area where you are likely to be attacked, take in your surroundings as you walk along. Even something as small as a pen in your purse can be an effective weapons against your attacker.
  • Scream loudly if someone attacks you. It may scare the person away.
  • If you are grabbed by the arms, kick back and aim for places like the groin, knees, and shins.
  • Know your surroundings and be prepared. Get your keys ready before you head for your car, that way you're not vulnerable as you look through your pockets/purse for them.
  • If you are being stuck up for your money, throw it low and behind the attacker. He/She is more worried about the money than you and will turn away to get it. This will give you a chance to run away or hurt them. Running away is better.
  • Consider carrying a knife or pepper spray for self defense, but only if you have proper training and are in compliance with the law.
  • If it is legal, you may want to carry a firearm for self defence--this will likely require a concealed weapon's permit.
  • A martial arts class will help develop techniques of self-defense and personal discipline.
  • If it is a bullying attack for the purpose of intimidation, not to commit another crime and a fight is not avoidable, remember that inflicting injury on the attacker will discourage repeat attacks. This is true even if you are injured or not "the winner" this time.
  • If an attacker demands your money or other personal possessions, it is often better to give them up than to attempt self-defense. Don't worry if he or she attempts to steal your purse, wallet, MP3 player, etc. Your life is the only important thing if you get attacked.
  • If threatened with lethal force, counter quickly while using your surroundings to your advantage and use it against the attacker, but make a quick strike, avoid the attacker's weapons (i. e. firearms or sharp weapons).
  • If you are attacked, it is very likely that you're going to get hurt whether you fight back or not. However, if you have a choice in the matter, try to avoid a fight if at all possible. No argument is worth getting hurt, or hurting someone else over.


  • Assume that your attacker has a gun, a knife, or other small weapon on their body.
  • If you attempt to use something from your surroundings as a weapon, take care that it cannot be used against you.
  • Don't threaten your attacker with your weapon (like the old lady on typical thriller movies), conceal it until your strike, then conceal it again until your strike.
  • Don't try to defend yourself against a gun unless you have been properly trained in disarming techniques by a qualified individual.
  • Never underestimate the abilities or intentions of your opponent, especially if you are attacked unprovoked.

Things You'll Need

  • A knack for self-preservation
  • Awareness
  • Discipline

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Home Security | Self Defense