Personal Defense for Women: Do You Know How to Fight Off an Attacker?

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 8:34am


It happens every 46 seconds, a woman is attacked or sexually assaulted ...but would you know what to do if you were confronted?

'I’d call for help," says a woman on the street.

She's right....

"If you have the ability or if you're close to somewhere public, the best thing you can do is to actually yell out, scream out, get the attention of somebody else," says Brownsville Police Detective, JJ Trevino.

But what if no one's around to hear those cries? Would you know how to protect yourself in order to get away from your attacker? In this special report, we'll give you a quick look at a few simple tips for escaping from someone who's likely out to do you harm. Plain and simple....

"Engage your attacker and quickly disengage," says personal defense instructor, Gil Pineda.

But how do we do this? As women, in many cases we're often smaller than men, but according to Pineda, strength or size doesn't necessarily matter, it's all about targeting those key areas that'll bring an attacker to the ground.

So what's the most common way an attacker gets to his victim?

"By surprise! If you're not expecting it, you're more inept to become a greater victim," says Officer Trevino.

Scenario one...

"A kidnapping situation, someone comes from behind, want to grab their arm, drop down, step out to the side, step behind, groin strike one, two, three, hand comes under the nose, twist. Once you're here you have several options, if they have long hair, grab the hair, grab the eyes, grab the nose, reason i prefer the nose, is wherever the nose goes the head goes, where ever the head goes the body goes," explains Pineda.

Or what if someone is dragging you, maybe pulling you out of your car or into a room, for example. Here again, you'll want to initially engage your attacker..

Even those attacks with weapons have counter moves to free you from your attacker.

"The knife is the most dangerous weapon, more dangerous than the gun. Guns only go one direction. The knife, multiple directions," says Pineda.

While overall major crimes in Brownsville dropped last year, police report two crimes slightly increased, rape and sexual assault.

This personal defense technique is one to use if you find your attacker on top of you.

"You're going to bring your hands here, like you're praying, hook the legs, here, you're going to push out, again, nose, twist, head goes, come up and stomp," demonstrates Pineda.

I gave it a try to see just how easy or difficult the technique was. I can tell you first hand, the techniques don't come easy at first.

"Would you need to practice regularly to remember these moves?” I ask. “It helps because you want to develop muscle memory because in a real life situation, you're going to panic, "what do I do, what do I do?" and you're going to need to react fast. With muscle memory, you don't have to think, just react," explains Pineda.

But what if for some reason the personal defense technique is just not working?

"You got nails right? Just go to the eyes. What other weapon do you have on your body? Your teeth!” says Pineda.

Pineda says there are countless ways for a woman to engage and disengage her attacker he suggests women should take a personal defense class in order to better protect themselves out on the streets. And last but not least...

“Try to always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night time, the majority of attacks that occur are during the dark time,” says Officer Trevino.

For more information on Combat Fitness you can visit their location at 620 Paredes Line here in Brownsville or give them a call at 545-1407 or 504-5425.

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