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  Defend Yourself Against Common Holds  

Finding yourself facing an attacker is the last thing anyone wants, but knowing you are prepared for such an event can give you a self confidence. Ironically, when you are self confident you carry yourself differently and your chance of being attacked actually decreases. Let’s look at how you can defend yourself against common holds used by attackers.

The Wrist Hold

If your wrist is grabbed your reaction is to pull back – don’t! Instead, try to get yourself out of the hold – squat down firmly planting yourself, lean forward, bending your elbow towards him all the way towards the attacker’s forearm until your attacker is no longer able to hold onto your wrist.

The Bear Hug

When someone puts you into a bear hug, drop your weight, and attempt to hit your attacker’s head with your elbows, or you can stop on his feet with your feet. Another option is to pull the attacker’s fingers back – this will force him to release his hold on you, rotate around out of his hold, and use your knees to attack him and/or kick. 

Front/Back Choke Holds

Swing one arm across – this will break the attacker’s hold on you, then use your other elbow to hit the attacker or use your hand in the knife strike position. 

Mount Position

If you are pinned on the floor, you want to pivot so you are on top. Hook onto your attacker’s wrist with one hand, then use your other hand to gram him behind his elbow, which will trap his arm to your chest. Use your foot to trap his foot/leg, and lift your hips turning over onto your knees to get on top.

Sexual Assault

For women, sexual assault is a real threat. There are four separate phases to almost all sexual attacks.

  • First, the attacker identifies an unsuspecting woman as his target
  • Second, the attacker subdues the woman
  • Third, the attacker exhausts the woman
  • Fourth, the attacker executes his sexual assault

Our reaction is to fight with all our ability using all the moves we know. The problem is we will exhaust ourselves playing right into the attackers plan.

Many self defense programs for women say to first try to fight of your attacker, but if you know you aren’t gaining the upper hand, you’ll need to recognize when you are truly trapped and no longer in a defensive state. Now you need to pretend you are giving in and are going to be compliant. Think of it as playing dead for the bear. In that split second, your attacker will think you have given up and actually loosen the grip he has on you – this is your chance to get away.

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