January 21

Self-Defense: 37 Tactics & Techniques For Every Man, Woman and Child



I am sure you will agree. 

Defending yourself from another or multiple human beings is a terrifying reality.

In this post, we will provide you with self-defence techniques and tactics that work. 

Almost all of the suggestions require little or even zero skill.

So, you can implement them immediately.

And we have broken down the tips into subsections of common situations, so use the table of contents to jump to something that matters to you. 


Let's dive in.

What To Do If You Are Followed

what to do if you are being followed

If you have ever been followed on foot by a stranger, you know how scary this feels.

Fortunately, there is a wide range of practical tips you can follow.

1. Go To A Shop

Is there a shop you can walk to and wait for help to arrive, call for help or ask the shop or the police? Look for ones you can walk toward, and fast food shops are good examples because most are open late.

2. Cross The Road To Confirm Your Suspicions

People don't act to protect themselves because they aren't sure people are following them.

So, cross over the road and see if the person does the same.

If so, you need to take action.

3. Call The Police

The police do not mind being called if you think you are being followed. 

It is a 999 call and yes, tell them where you are and who you are very quickly. The police will treat this an emergency, offer advice and even stay with you while an officer comes.

4. Install What 3 Words on Your Phone 

What3words is a location app that allows you to provide people with the exact place you are.

Law enforcement agencies are already using this app, and as such, it can help them find you if you supply them with the 3 words that come up on the screen.

I suggest you do this after reading this article.

5. Look Into Car and Shop Windows at Reflections To See Where Your Follower is

You don't have eyes in the back of your head, so keep looking for ways to see the attacker and how close he or she is.

Reflections are a great way to do this. 

The reason why is that we need to be ready in case they speed up and rush towards us so that we can defend ourselves.

6. Pick Up Your Pace

Walking faster is another way to confirm your suspect is following you and gives greater distance, so if they suddenly run at you, you will have more reaction time.

7. Knock On A House Door

If things get too bad, look for a house to knock on.

This suggestion is one of those 'bad movie' ones because you could end up in another worse situation.

But the chances of that are slim, so if you see a house walk to the door and knock on. 

If the person answers, you could start an ordinary conversation until the suspect passes and then explain what is going on to the homeowner.

Or if they don't, just keep knocking and let your suspect pass. 

8. Carry A Personal Attack Alarm

There is no doubt that carrying a personal attack alarm is a sensible option. 

These alarms blast out high pitched noise that attracts attention.

Put one onto your house or car keys, and it will always be with you.

What To Do If You Are Physically Bullied

There is no doubt, being physically bullied is one of the worst things that can happen to a child.

So, we wanted to give you a range of tips that you can use to protect yourself.

9. Start Training In A Martial Art

self defense

Not only will training in a Martial Art gives you confidence and self-defence skills, but it will also send a signal to the bullies that you are training to fight back (if they are at your school they will no doubt hear about it).

This alone can stop people from physically bullying you.

10. Tell An Adult

Many people that are bullied will sadly keep it to themselves. Please don't.

An adult can help to offer solutions, speak to their parents and or the school. 

11. Buddy Up

Finding a friend can be tough when you are being bullied, but it is not impossible. 

Look around your school or neighbourhood to see if there is someone else, either struggling to make friends or a group of friends you can join. 

"Can I hang out with you?" is a simple question that most will say yes to.

This changes the dynamics of a situation and the bullies might stop because you are with others.

12. Tell The Bully To Stop

It is ok to tell the bully (and do it loudly) for them to leave you alone.

"Stop Bullying me".

"Leave me alone".

These are good things to say to the bully.

Firstly, they alert others to the situation, and secondly, it shows the bully you are not an easy target.

13. If You Are Being Hurt, Cover Up

It's easy to say 'fight back' against a bully.

But bullies often pick targets for the fact they are weaker and even younger. So fighting back might not be an option.

So if you are being attacked and you don't have the ability to fight back, cover-up.

My suggestion is to look at the shape system of covering by Defence Lab and this can be learned online.

What To Do When Someone Tries To Rob You

We are now looking at the situation where you are in the street and being robbed by someone with a weapon. Be that a knife or even a gun.

For the most part, a robbery will only last a short time and you are unlikely to come to harm if you give the attacker what they want, but we will also look at scenarios where the attacker wants something that you just can't give.

14. If The Attacker Wants Your Valuables, Give Them Over

self defence

Property can be replaced, people can't. So if the attacker wants your wallet, purse, bag or even your dearest Aunt Agatha's necklace that has been in the family for the last 150 years. Give it to them.

Don't argue, don't try and be clever and drop the item on the floor, just hand it over.

15. Take Notice Of What They Look Like

As you are handing the items over, take a look at what he is wearing.

Start from his head and move down, mentally take note of his hair, his hairstyle, his height and build.

What is his face like, is it round, fat, thin, gaunt?

What about his ears? Do they stick out, and his eyes, what colour are they?

Is his nose flat or pointy?

And their complexion. What is that like? Are they spotty? Red-faced, have stubble or a beard?

And do they have any tattoos or anything that makes them stand out?

You need to memorise as much detail as possible so that you can call the police straight away.

16. Never Go Anywhere With Them

If an attacker wants you to walk down a path, an alleyway or get in a car.

Don't do it.

This is where you might need to fight back and take a risk that could lead to serious harm or even fatality.

But the attacker is taking you to another location so they have both more time AND cannot be seen.

This means that they intend to do more than just rob you.

For that reason, I would advise anyone to refuse to go anywhere with an attacker.

Tell them "you can have my bag but I'm not going anywhere with you".

The chance of escape is never greater than when the attacker is making their initial attack/ demand or approach.

If you go with them, you are complying with their plan. That's not a robbery, it is a warning signal of something more sinister that could come.

17. After The Robbery Get Help Immediately

After they leave you, look for a shop or house that you can get access to a phone and call the police (assuming that they took your phone).

Scream and shout for help, shout for someone to call the police.

People will often do this, even if they don't go out to you.

When You Are Out Drinking 

Whether you are out at a friends house party (pre covid days) or at a bar or club. There are times when things go wrong for both men and women.

So, in this section, we will cover what happens when things go wrong.

18. Don't Accept Lifts From Strangers

Many times, people you meet out, even connected to a friend will offer you a ride home.

The reality is that you are getting into a vehicle with a stranger.

At any other time, you wouldn't do that, but due to alcohol, the social pressure of being 'nice' many people accept rides home from people they only just met.

This puts you in a very dangerous position. Politely decline and get a taxi home, ideally with a friend.

19. Keep Your Drink With You At All Times

Drinks can easily be spiked, and not necessarily by a drug. Someone can pour a few shots into your glass quickly without you seeing.

So always keep your drink with you at all times, and in your hand or on the table in front of you. 

20. Don't Get Separated From Your Friends

One of the tactics of men (or women) to increase their chances of a sexual encounter is to move you away from your friends.

This might be to take you to the dance floor, another area of the house (if at a house party) or to the bar.

I'm not saying that this isn't a natural part of flirting or meeting someone, because it is as well.

But be aware of it. And keep going back to your friends. 

I think we have all been out and a friend has said: "what happened to you last night?"

The reality is that being separated from your friends puts you at risk.

From walking home in the freezing cold while drunk (a situation that has killed many people).

To getting lifts in unlicensed taxis (more on this in a second) and of course, walking home with a stranger or on your own in the streets.

Being separated from your friends can result in a wide range of risks.

Avoid it at all costs.

21. Pre Book A Taxi Home

Pre-booking a taxi home is one of the best self-defence tips I can offer.

Why? Because it gives your night out a finish time.

And you ensure you get a safe ride home with a Taxi company you know. 

However, much more than this, you get a ride in a licenced taxi.

There have been numerous 'fake taxis' used in sex attacks and even murders over the years.

22. Get A Taxi Home With A Friend

When you book a taxi or get into one, make sure you get into the taxi with a friend, wherever possible.

John Worboys was the London Black Cab driver that sexually assaulted and estimated 100 women after he drugged them in his taxi.

While only convicted of a few crimes police believe he could have over 100 victims.

The way he did this was by telling his victim he was celebrating a big cash win on the lottery or at the casino, often showing his victims a bag of cash.

He would then offer them a drink of champagne to celebrate. This was loaded with drugs and as such, they became unaware of what was happening to them.

There is almost always safety in numbers.

23. There Are People At The Party That Want To Cause You Harm

An ever-growing issue, especially for younger men and women (at house parties) is the attendance of a group or individual who is there just to cause you harm.

If this happens, call someone to get a lift home or leave the party without them knowing.

What you shouldn't do is stay at the party, getting drunk.

Dealing With Road Rage Incidents

Road rage is one of the most common incidents that can happen that will bring violence into your life.

Regardless of if you are at fault or not.

So, here are some self-defence tips for road rage incidents.

24. Understand That They Are An Unknown Risk

When you engage in road rage incidents, the other person presents and unknown risk.

They might have weapons in their car, be deranged, dangerous, have convictions for violence, be a criminal or even extremely skilled.

So, just because someone cuts you up, by shouting and swearing at the driver you might be writing a cheque that your body can't cash.

25. Do Not Fight On The Road

Fighting on the road is a seriously bad idea.

Even if you have stopped the traffic on your side, it is unlikely that the other side of the road is free.

But regardless, if you are fighting in a road age incident, vehicles are all around you and it is easy to get hit.

26. If You Get Out Of Your Car You Are Sending Signals To Fight

If you get out of your car to deal with or speak to another road user, the fact is you are sending the signals that you want to fight or are up for it.

My advice is to stay in your car.

27. Keep Your Car Doors Locked

Keeping your doors locked is good advice for car owners anyway. Robberies/ carjacking can occur in stationary traffic.

However, if someone is approaching your car, make sure that the doors are locked. Most cars can do this with the click of a button these days anyway.

28. Defuse The Incident By Saying Sorry

Often we don't like to admit it, but our driving can be bad.

We all make mistakes, so if you have, and the other party is angry with you, say sorry.

The power of saying sorry is grossly underestimated.

How To Stop An Attacker With Words

Often an attacker starts to shout at use before they attack, well in these situations you can dissuade them from attacking you.

Here are my tips for stopping the attack with words.

29. Ask The Attacker An Open Question

If you ask someone a question, they will have to engage their brain.

Years ago, people would be taught to say things like "I don't want to fight you".

But these statements do not actually do anything for your situation.

Instead, ask an open question such as "Why would you want to attack me?"


"Why would you want to hurt me?"

These questions are not designed to stop an attacker in their tracks but to engage their brain, and so you can start to talk them down.

30. Get Them To Visualise The Consequences Of Their Actions

One of the best ways to get someone to stop being aggressive is to make them visualise what might happen.

I have said in the past something like this:

"Hey, you look like a tough guy, you know, I'm not a pushover, so all that's going to happen is we will both probably get hurt and we'll both end up in the hospital".

Another tactic is to say:

"Look, if you attack me, you are going to really hurt me, and the police are going to find you and put you in jail. I don't want to be hurt and I'm sure you don't want to go to jail". 

Of course, these are not designed to end the altercation there and then, but to get them thinking, you still need to talk further.

How To Deal With Being Punched 

Sometimes no matter what you do, you are going to get punched.

If this happens, you need to take action, regardless of if you have any skill or not.

So, here are my top tips.

31. Cover Your Head

If you get punched hard in the head, you will go to the floor and get knocked out. 

So, it is key here is to get that head of yours protected.

I don't care who you are or how skilled you are, there is someone out there that hits harder and or faster.

Also, you can always be caught off guard.

My personal favourite covers are the boxers standard cover and the shapes use by Defence Lab.

The Defence Lab cover offers a great level of protection.

32. Get Off-Line

No, I'm not talking about being on the internet, I mean that you need to move.

The human body is great moving forward in a straight line.

So, if you are being punched, the attacker will be moving in a straight line and into you.

Get off this straight line.

You don't need skill to do this (but good footwork helps), just move to the side, sidestep or heck, just run around them.

But move.

33. Wait For Them To Get Tired

If you have a good head cover and they aren't getting through, they will tire quickly.

Just wait for them to tire to either fight back (as their punches carry less power) or run away.

34. Learn To Slip A Punch

Hey, this is old footage but watch me teaching how to slip a punch in the video above.

How To Deal With An Attacker Who Has Put You On The Ground

So, there you are. You are on the floor and the attacker is on top of you, what are you going to do?

In this section, I am just going to give you some quick ideas.

35. Move Constantly

You don't need any skill on the ground to make life difficult if you move.

Most attackers have no skill either, so move your body constantly and try and get back to your feet.

36. Strike Them

Use your hands to claw at their face, gouge their eyes and punch them in the face and ears.

Use your elbows if you can to strike them in the face.

This will loosen their hold on you and allow you to escape.

37. If you are knocked down and they are standing, get up.


So, there you have it, 37 self defense techniques, strategies and tactics that you can use, regardless of your ability or skill.

What is your favourite suggestion on this list?

And please, share to a loved one or anyone that might benefit.




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