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10 Self Defense Myths and Facts that Everyone Should Know

There is a lot of information about self-defense floating around the internet. Some of it can be good advice, but also a lot is unfounded. To counter the misinformation out there, we have compiled a list of self-defense myths and their relevant facts. 

  1. Scream if you are attacked. Screaming varies as far as its validity and effectiveness. The reality is that in most encounters, you will only have a few seconds to react. If you are in a crowded area, a scream could possibly be beneficial, but you still need to react to protect yourself.
  1. You need proper training to defend yourself. While proper training can be beneficial, it is not the only way to protect yourself. The most effective thing you can do in an attack is to cause an injury that leads your attacker to retreat. It does not matter if you cause the injury with technique or improvisation, only that you cause an injury. 
  1. Retreat from an attacker. Running away can work if you use it to create distance from an attacker with a blade or blunt weapon. But if you try to run from someone with a gun, you may just end up shot in the back. If you choose to run from a robbery, throw down your wallet or phone, etc. They may be appeased and take off. 
  1. Don’t grapple an attacker with a knife. In some cases, fighting back may be the right thing to do. A knife attacker will often go for a stabbing motion. If you can get inside that gap and eliminate their striking space, it can throw them off. 
  1. Back away from an attacker. While backing away can work, it also has a major disadvantage. The attacker can move forward a lot faster than you can back away. Grappling or injuring your attacker may be a better choice. 
  1. Block your attacker. Of course, block attacks if you can, but this should not be your sole focus. Instead, make them concerned about your attacks and this will give you the advantage. 
  1. Cause pain in an attack. Causing pain can be beneficial, but it is often not enough to dissuade an attacker. You need to cause an injury. If you are not actually injuring them, then they will likely keep attacking. 
  1. Don’t make eye contact. If the attacker is a predator type, then making eye contact may dissuade him by removing the element of surprise. Conversely, making eye contact with an alpha male attacker may antagonize him. Bottom line, there is no universal right answer for this one. 
  1. Use keys as a weapon. The idea of putting your keys between your knuckles has been around forever. Sure, it is better than nothing, but it is not the best self-defense strategy, either. It can cause pain, but as mentioned above, you need to cause an injury, rather than just pain. It may be better to just use your fists or an open palm and aim for the face in this scenario. 
  1. Keep your hands out of your pockets. The idea that you should never keep your hands in your pockets while walking around stems from the premise that if you are attacked, your hands will be stuck there. If you are in an unsafe area, then this may be a good idea, but if you are not in a high-risk area, then don’t worry about it. 

For more information on self-defense, reach out to the professionals at Security Pro USA. Our team is ready to help you learn how to help yourself.


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