Self-Defense: What Every Woman Needs to Know
Stay strong, confident, and safe with these expert tips
"Personal safety is about choices and circumstance," says Don Seiler, owner of Kodokan-Seiler Dojo in Minnesota and author of Karate Do: Traditional Training for All Styles. "And while you can't always control the latter, you certainly can control the former. You need to have a complete personal protection strategy and embed that into your lifestyle so it simply becomes habit."
Other self-defense experts agree. "Knowledge is power. You will have more confidence if you know where and how to strike if you need to defend yourself," says Robert Fletcher, MMA strength and conditioning coach and founder of America's Next Great Trainer.
To help you come up with a personal protection strategy of your own, our experts offer their best advice, complete with must-know moves to pull out of any threatening situation.
According to Seiler, one of the best, and most overlooked, self-defense strategies is to "stay close to people paid to protect you, like security guards, police officers, and bouncers. When you arrive somewhere, briefly engage them with a simple greeting and a smile to establish rapport."
Dan Blustin, a 15-year veteran bouncer, agrees. "Even a small interaction helps me remember you, and I'll be more likely to keep an eye out for you." The most common mistake he sees women make? Leaving their drink unattended or accepting a drink from someone they don't know, he says.