Women's Self Defense Guide for Real World Situations

Know somebody who needs to see this? I thought so.

I hate to say it, but almost every woman knows from experience that there’s plenty of creeps, predators and opportunists out there. We’re no strangers to keeping our wits about us in certain situations - and we understand that we may find ourselves outmatched in size and strength by an attacker in a physical altercation.

Have you ever felt uneasy while walking home at night, or caught an “off” vibe from someone you’ve just met? If so, you’re far from alone.

A study from 2018 surveying 1000 women in the United States showed that a devastating 81% have experienced some form of harassment, assault, or both at some point in their lives.

This reality is unavoidable, but fortunately there are some techniques we can employ to make ourselves better equipped to deal with scary situations in the future.

Not only can we become more cognizant to identify and avoid potentially risky situations, but also learn how to defend ourselves in worst case scenarios with some methods specially designed to give women a lifesaving upper hand.

Here’s my advice for staying safe and alert as a fellow woman out in the real world, plus some actionable self-defense skills to have in your back pocket in case push ever comes to shove:

Preventative Measures

It goes without saying... The very best way to protect yourself from a dangerous situation is to be proactive so they can’t materialize in the first place. It’s important to familiarize yourself with situations that pose a potential risk in your everyday life, and act accordingly. Here are some rules of thumb:

  • Lock your doors immediately upon entering your car 
  • Park in well-lit areas and near other cars if possible 
  • Stay alert walking on the streets and in the parking lot - put your phone away 
  • Consider not carrying a purse and leaving non-essential valuables behind 
  • Keep your phone charged and carry a back-up battery 
  • Carry pepper spray and keep on-hand when walking alone 
  • Never leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers 
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up and alert those around you if you suspect danger

Finally, don’t second-guess yourself if your gut is telling you something’s wrong. A woman's intuition is nothing to scoff at - but, unfortunately, our societal fear of being impolite often outweighs our natural instinct to flee the scene. Next time, take that cue to *kindly* GTFO. It could save your life.

Self-Defense Moves

Should you find yourself in a situation where the perpetrator is zoning in on you and you have no choice but to fight back, there are some key moves you can easily learn to intercept a perpetrator’s attack.

In addition to greatly increasing your chances of evading harm, having these tricks up your sleeve will empower you to feel and act like the badass you already are. ;)

4. Hammerfist Strike

Your car keys, a pen, or anything hard and relatively sharp could become your best friend in this simple and effective maneuver.


  1. Clench your dominant hand in a tight fist with the object sticking out the end of your grasp.   
  2. Raise your dominant hand up, bending at elbow (like you're preparing to throw a ball).  
  3. Strike your target, thrusting your fist downward and aiming for the perpetrator’s face, particularly the nose, jaw, or temple.

3. Groin Kick

When being approached from the front, a swift and nasty kick to the groin might just buy you enough time to make your escape.


  1. Adopt a wide stance, lowering your center of gravity and stabilizing yourself as much as possible.  
  2. Lift your dominant leg off the ground and drive your knee upward. 
  3. Extend your dominant leg and kick forcefully, striking the perpetrator’s groin area with your lower shin or the ball of your foot.

2. Heel Palm Strike

As a last-resort, a powerful and well-executed blow with the heel of your palm can do a number on the perpetrator’s nose and throat. 


  1. Flex your wrist of your dominant hand, using your other hand to shield your face. 
  2. Extend your dominant hand forcefully, aiming for either the perpetrator’s nose, jabbing upward from the nostrils, or underneath the attacker’s chin, jabbing upward at the throat.
  3. Recoil your strike. Pulling your arm back quickly will help thrust the perpetrator's head up and backwards.

1. Elbow Strike

When all else fails, you can use your elbow to hone in on the perpetrator’s weak points.


  1. Stabilize yourself as much as possible.   
  2. Bend your arm at the elbow and shift your weight forward.  
  3. Strike your elbow into the perpetrator’s neck, jawline, chin, or temple.

Please bookmark this page for future reference, and share it with your female friends & family whose lives could be safer after learning these techniques.

Learning and practicing these real-life self defense skills not only gives you more confidence as you move about in the world, but can leverage precious moments for your survival in life-threatening situations.

Memorize them well if you’re a fellow independent woman like me - and share them with all the important women in your life so you know your nearest and dearest will have the best chance of getting to safety if ever threatened.

From one unstoppable woman to another… Stay strong, feel empowered, and thrive.

Maggie Johnson | MME Lifestyle Contributor

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  • Thank you for those pointers.

    I greatly appreciate it and will keep those in mind since I live alone and get out of work late.

    Thank you again.

    Rosie Ramirez
  • Thank you for the suggestions.
    I live alone and get out of work late in the dark.

    I will keep those points of fighting back on my mind just in case.

    Thank you again.

    Rosie Ramirez

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