Personal Safety Tips Part 2: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes 

In the first part of our Self-Defense Tips series, we explained that when forced to defend yourself using only your bodily features, there are some simple concepts to consider – such as using your voice, hands, and fingernails. In this second part, we’ll provide additional personal safety and self-defense tips, and explain some other basic self-defense moves with other parts of your body.


Elbows and Knees

Your elbow and knee can deliver a devastating blow from up close. When using your elbow, twist your body into the blow and try to use all your leg strength when raising your knee into your target. If possible, target the temple or side of the head for elbow strikes. Continue striking and if possible, jam your elbow into the nose or throat areas while continuing to deliver a flurry of follow-up punches. If you can grab the attacker by the head or neck, attempt to pull the head down while raising your knee up into the face.


If you are being attacked, a hard kick to the groin area can be very painful to the attacker. Remember that you can kick not only while standing up, but also when you’re lying on the ground. Usually your legs are your strongest muscle group, so you can kick as well as push a lot of weight off or away from you. If you’re held too close to the attacker to kick, try to stomp the feet of the attacker. A hard stomp to the top of the foot or the arch can cause serious injury and pain, especially if you’re wearing shoes with a stiletto-type of heel.

Head and Mouth

If you are being held or otherwise unable to use your arms and legs to fight, you may be able to use your head and teeth. Swinging your forehead or the back of your head into your assailant’s face and nose can be useful as a way to break free. It may also be painful or dangerous to you, so don’t trade forehead hits! Don’t hesitate to use your bite as a weapon. Bite the side of the neck, the face, even the groin area in an attempt to do as much damage as possible in order to get away from your attacker.

Fight Until You Can Escape

Continue hitting in a flurry of strikes rather than trying to make just one hit. Surprisingly, even in a fight, many untrained people will hold back and not use full strength when striking another person. If you are fighting for your life, hit your attacker as hard as you can. If you disable your attacker to the point where he is disoriented and no longer fighting, consider the situation for your next step. Think about almost every horror movie you’ve seen. Just when the monster was thought to be dead, it comes back to life.  In this type of event, you should ensure that you, as well as anyone you’re defending, have the ability to get away from danger successfully. This may mean that if your attacker is only temporarily dazed, you may need to put a final strike or two on a vital area in order to make sure the threat is effectively eliminated as you escape the situation.

All of this sounds really scary and in theory, this type of defensive action may open you up to future litigation. When you are in a life-threatening situation, I believe in the old saying that it’s better to be judged by twelve than carried by six. If you’re attacked and you believe you are going to be raped or murdered, or that your children are also in danger, you have a right and obligation to protect yourself by any means available. If you are not armed with a weapon and all your other personal safety measures have failed, fight with what you have and fight like a tiger. Your life will depend on it.  Stay safe.

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