Self-defense techniques have taken on an entirely new meaning in this day and age. Thanks to the existence of camera phones and digital technology, things can easily be taken out of context. 

Man in black outfit and athletic caucasian woman fighting on white studio background. Women’s self-defense, rights, equality concept. Confronting domestic violence or robbery on the street.

Here’s a scenario: you’re in a bar with your wife when a belligerent drunk suddenly decides to get handsy with her. They were harmless touches at first, but it quickly escalated to a level of harassment. 

Now, you’re in a bind. Doing nothing won’t make your lady feel good. But acting on it can also turn on you. Someone takes a video of you beating someone to a pulp and posts it online without proper context. Before you know it, you’ve been turned into an unwanted viral sensation. 

So are you in a lose-lose situation in a self-defense setting? Not if you play it smart. 

Smart Self-Defense Techniques to Remember

The keyword here is self-defense. The primary goal is to get out of there as quickly as possible and unscathed. You’re not there to engage in a mixed martial arts fight on concrete, so these techniques won’t involve any grappling. 

The Flicker Jab

In a street situation, most people who get in fights will likely throw looping haymakers with all their anger behind each shot. And in most cases, they don’t end well. 

Keeping your calm is key. So is the execution of minimal, efficient movements. That’s where the flicker jab comes in. It’s a quick shot you throw using your lead hand if you’re in a proper boxing stance. And it’s usually done using your non-dominant hand. 

To do the flicker jab correctly, start with your hands up. The movement begins from the shoulder, which rapidly extends the arm. The striking hand is left loose and open. That allows for a more relaxed and piston-like movement, unlike when it’s balled up into a fist where the hand is more rigid. 

The first flicker jab is meant to rattle, to make the other person wonder what hit him. The next two or three shots that shortly follow are usually more damaging in the form of a bloody nose.

Most people who instigate fights are the ones who likely have zero experience and are usually all bark and no bite. They are the ones who will usually fold upon seeing their own blood and ultimately de-escalating the situation. 


If you see an elbow strike in a self-defense setting, there’s a good chance that the person executing it is a trained individual. It’s an effective technique from close range that’s been popularized by Muay Thai fighters. 

What makes the elbow strike an effective tool for self-defense is that it inflicts more damage on the other person and less on you. Unlike a punch, where landing it wrong can lead to a broken hand. 

However, elbow strikes follow the same philosophy as boxing. Lead elbows should always go first. But if you want a one-hitter quitter, timing is key. You also want a proper measuring gauge to know if you’re in perfect distance. In this case, it could be an outstretched arm. 

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Ladies, many of you reading this likely have a full sense of confidence that you’ll be able to handle yourself in a sticky situation. ‘I’ll just knee him in the groin’ would be your initial thought. 

That’s all well and good. But when you’re actually placed in a situation where there is a threat of harm from a potential predator, will you be able to execute it? Will your body cooperate, or will you be frozen stiff? 

Let’s minimize the chances for the latter to happen by knowing what to do. And guess what? The power of a knee strike comes from the hips. It’s that forward thrusting motion that’ll draw more force toward the intended target. 

As you can see in the image above, the defender’s hand is placed on the other person’s shoulder for better leverage. The key is also striking without being telegraphed, so it is important to launch the strike the moment your hand touches their shoulder. Your objective is to hit THROUGH the target and not at it. 

Likewise, you can also place both hands on your assailant’s neck for better control. In the striking arts, this is called the clinch. 

Self-defense techniques derived from Muay Thai.

Do it right, and you land right smack onto the crown jewels. But at the very least, you take the wind out of them which allows you to run for safety. 

Foot Stomps

There’s a scene in the 2000 film Miss Congeniality where Sandra Bullock’s character, FBI special agent Gracie Hart, demonstrated what she called “SING.” It’s her method for self-defense that stands for Solar plexus, Instep, Nose, Groin. 

For this, we’ll focus on the Instep part. Stomping straight down a person’s foot with your heel with all your weight behind it can cause instant debilitating damage. Even without the shots to the solar plexus, nose, and groin, it’s excruciating enough to disable an assaulter. 

The move is pretty straightforward, but again, it’s all about timing. You pounce when they least expect it. 

Foot stomps are so effective that they’re even used at the highest level of MMA. They’re not fight-enders, but they will get your attention. 

Drill These Techniques For Self-Defense

As we mentioned, it’s one thing to know what to do in a self-defense scenario, and it’s another thing to be able to execute these techniques. How do you increase the chances of the latter? By drilling them in the gym. 

The practice room is the controlled environment that allows you to drill and hone these techniques and concepts. It gets your body and mind used to such movements so it becomes more natural to you when the situation arises. 

Self-defense techniques for women.

So go get yourself the proper gear, find reliable and knowledgeable training partners, and start training. Arm yourself with these valuable tools and do it the right way. The training may be rigorous, but you will thank yourself later.

** To learn more about self-defense, click here