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Self-Defense Tips Every Woman Should Know


Questions and Answers Below are from the Portland, Oregon Police Bureau 

Women do not ask for, cause, invite, or deserve to be assaulted. Women and men sometimes exercise poor judgment about safety behavior, but that does not make them responsible for the attack. Attackers are responsible for their attacks and their use of violence to overpower, control, and abuse another human being.


Our women’s self-defense program does not "tell" you what you "should" or "should not" do. Our program offers options, techniques, and a way of analyzing situations. Our program may point out what USUALLY works best in MOST situations, but each situation is unique and the final decision rests with the person actually confronted by the situation.

Q: What is Women's Self-Defense?
Self-defense is a set of awareness, assertiveness, verbal confrontation skills, safety strategies, and physical techniques that enable someone to successfully escape, resist, and survive violent attacks. A good self-defense course provides psychological awareness and verbal skills, not just physical training.


Q: Does Self-Defense Work?
Yes. Self-defense training can increase your options and help you prepare responses to slow down, de-escalate, or interrupt an attack. Like any tool, the more you know about it, the more informed you are to make a decision and to use it.


Q: Is Self-Defense a Guarantee?
No. There are no guarantees when it comes to self-protection. However, self-defense training can increase your choices and your preparedness.

Q: If I Used Physical Self-Defense Could I Get Hurt Worse?
The question to answer first is what does "hurt worse" mean? Rape survivors speak eloquently about emotional hurts lasting long after physical hurts heal. Studies show a physical self-defense response does not increase the level of injury and sometimes decreases the likelihood. Also, women going along with the attacker have sometimes been brutally injured anyway. The point of using self-defense is to de-escalate a situation and get away as soon as possible. Knowing some physical techniques increases the range of possible self-defense options, but the decision to choose a physical option must remain with the person in the situation.

Q: What Does Realistic Training Mean?
Words like "most realistic," "best," "guaranteed success," etc. are all advertising gimmicks. Choosing a self-defense class is a serious decision and is preferably based on some research. No program or instructor can replicate a "real" assault since there are so many different scenarios, and because a real attack would require a no-holds-barred fight which would be irresponsible and extremely dangerous to enact. Responsible self-defense training requires control. It is important that each student in a class is able to control her own participation in the class and never feels forces to participate

Q: What is the Role of Mace or Other Aggressive "Devices" as Self-Defense Aids in Harming an Attacker?
Any device is useless to you unless you understand how to use it, and you have it in your hand ready to use at the time of the attempted assault. There is nothing "guaranteed" about any of these devices. None are foolproof. None of them can be counted on to work against all possible attackers (no matter what the labeling may state to the contrary). Realize that anything you can use against an attacker can also be taken away and used against you. While some of these devices have sometimes helped women to escape to safety, it is important to be aware of their limitations and liabilities.


Why Should Females Practice Hapkido Self-Defense?

A better question is “If our justice systems were better, would we have to resort to self- defense to ensure our safety?”


Sadly, in today’s complex & inadequate judicial systems there are so many technicalities in regards to sexual assault that offenders rarely ever get prosecuted or charged.


A terrifying statistic is that 70% of sexual assaults go unreported by the victim for fear of reprisal from the attacker or because of the social stigma attached. Why do most women know a woman would was raped but most men don’t know a man who is a rapist?


The many different views and variations of laws from country to country or even state to state often mean that the victim, even if they do press charges is fighting an uphill battle from the start even after they have mustered up the courage to report the incident


It appears that in today’s society, the law favors criminals. And to further the problem, the criminals are aware of this.


We live in a country so violent that every 2 minutes a woman is raped and one out of four women will be victims of violent crimes. We live in a country where on average, nearly 20 women per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, equating to more than 10 million women a year. The United States of America is currently ranked 128th safest country out of 167countries. What's worse is that Winston-Salem is the 21st most violent city out of 387 metropolitan areas in the US. This means it is safer to go out in public in 127 other countries than it is in the United States.  NorwaySwedenDenmark, Iceland, and Finland are all in the top 25 safest countries, which is why this region is considered to be the safest in the world.


National survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates 1 in every 5 women will be raped during their lifetime at some point. Despite the prevalence of rape and the fact that false rape allegations are rare, law enforcement officers often default to disbelief about an alleged rape. Most women thought they would never see the day when sexual assault and rape of women and minor girls would be justified by politicians and even respected religious leaders. Yet that day has come. We have all seen sexual assault and rape normalized by political leaders, religious leaders, and the courts. We have also seen how victims of sexual assault and rape have been treated when coming forward to report such crimes. In 1960 rape was publishable by the death penalty in NC. Today we see courts not even giving probation for sexual assault and simply probation for rape. There are thousands of rape kits untested in the United States, some as old as 30 years because it has never been a priority to do so. This is why it is important these days to not become a victim by learning to defend yourself and escape from an attacker.


That said, attacks happen when we least expect it or are able to deal with it and in a violent encounter there is no time to think, you must react instinctively, emphatically & without hesitation.

To that end think of Hapkido Self-Defense like a credit card:  "It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it” or as Bruce Lee once said, “It’s better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.”


That said, attacks happen when we least expect it or are able to deal with it and in a violent encounter there is no time to think, you must react instinctively, emphatically & without hesitation.

If we do not have the knowledge or autonomous response then it makes it a lot easier for the attacker to carry out their intentions.


There is a very good analogy that it is better to beg for forgiveness than asking for permission and in the case of defending your life by any means necessary, there is a never a truer word said


Do what you must to survive, deal with the consequences later.


As idealistic as it may seem to have the police or someone come to the rescue should we be attacked, the reality is that the responsibility of saving your life may well one day come down to you.

"Close Encounters of the Wrong Kind"

☯ Do not protect your attacker - Protect your family, those who love you, those whom you love.

☯ How will it affect your father, brother, mother, sister, husband, boyfriend girlfriend or children? If you are….

  • Maimed

  • Raped

  • Killed

☯ Open your mind to the necessity of applying pain and/or injury so that you can return safely to your loved ones. You are not responsible if someone else intends to rape or murder you, for their injuries.

☯ Co-operating with a Rapist means you will be Raped. Co-operating with a Rapist-Murderer means you will be Raped, then Killed. If you want to feel guilty afterward about hurting them, even though you have no reason to do so, that's OK, just be there to indulge yourself.

☯ Stun, Bite, Gouge, Blind, Disembowel, Maim, Cripple, Castrate, Kill Him/Them, so you stay alive and whole. Hit him with a shovel; drive your car over him You get the idea. Do what it takes to survive and escape!

☯ Set a Trigger = Any unwanted touch or an invasion of your personal space must be interpreted as an attack.

And that is why females should do Hapkido Self-Defense training because it can give you the training you need to successfully defend yourself and escape from an attacker because techniques can be done equally well by males and females because they don’t rely on strength but rather technique and leverage.….

Why Hapkido Self-Defense Training?

Hapkido is taught to the Korean Army Special Forces because Hapkido is the Ultimate Self Defense system. In Hapkido one uses his opponent's, weight, speed and power against him. Hapkido incorporates joint locks, pressure points, and joint manipulation. Sweeps, rolls, throws, and falling skills are also used. Classes are for mature teens and adults. Everything that is taught in our Hapkido program has a direct use in self-defense situations. Hapkido techniques can be done equally by men and women as they don’t rely on strength but rather technique and leverage. Hapkido incorporates the use of kicking, striking, joint locking, pressure point applications, as well as secure and maintain techniques, weapons defense. and balance disruption to give the student a full rounded curriculum of study and practice.


The Triangle Of Victimization

If we take a look at the diagram below we can see that 3 things need to be in place for any attack, sexual or otherwise, to take place.


These are:

(a) An attacker                         

(b) A victim

(c) A location/opportunity





If we remove just one of these elements then the sexual assault cannot start.


So, although we have no control over an attacker’s intention, we can influence their decision based on how we conduct/carry ourselves so as not to be a victim.


Most attackers have a plan of attack and look for a target that fits their plan. They don't have an alternate plan but rather look for an alternative victim.


Tips To Minimize Potential Attacks by Strangers

  • Mentally & Physically Prepare Yourself to fight with the determination and knowledge that your life is at stake. Mental self-defense is the ability to get into the proper mindset for executing a physical self-defense technique. There is a very real need to be able to enter the proper "mindset" for you to have a realistic chance of surviving a potentially deadly encounter.

  • We teach you to effectively attack his five weakest points: eyes, ears, throat, groin, and knees. We teach you how to escape when he grabs you whether he grabs your arms, wrists, shoulder or grabs you from behind.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to what is going on around you.  Awareness of and avoiding potentially dangerous situations is one useful technique of self-defense. Attackers will typically select victims they feel they have an advantage against, such as greater physical size, numerical superiority or sobriety versus intoxication. 

  •  Follow Your Intuition - it’s the best weapon you have to keep you safe. If you have a sense of foreboding, don’t second guess yourself. It is better to be safe than to ignore your instincts and become the victim of a violent crime.

    • If you are uncomfortable in a situation, leave

    • If someone is too close, create distance between yourself and that person. Keep your hands free.

    • Do not enter an elevator or closed environment with anyone who makes you uncomfortable

    • If you feel someone is following you, move to a heavily trafficked public area 

  •  Be Car Smart

    • Predators target parking lots and cars to plan their attacks. Have your keys in your hand before you leave the building. For extra protection hold a few of them in between your fingers to use as a weapon if needed. Wait until you are close to your car to unlock it. If you unlock it from across the lot, someone can easily hop in and hide without you noticing. If you have the gut feeling of fear, press the panic button on your key fob and try to get back into the building as quickly as you can to seek help. 

    • Once you’re in the car, lock the doors and start driving. Sitting in your car too long gives predators the opportunity to make their move. Also, if a van is parked on the driver’s side of your car, get in on the passenger’s side. The safest option would be to never walk to your car alone. If no one is leaving when you are, ask someone to walk you to your car with you. 

  • Avoid traveling alone at night or taking unknown shortcuts through densely populated areas

  • Be particularly vigilant in public restrooms, especially those with free access 

  • Avoid allowing anyone wishing to sell you something to approach you. If you do then beware of the controlling behaviors many men will ill intent us

  • Limit the amount of information and locations you display or register on social websites.

  • Do not provide any information to strangers, especially personal information

  • Should a vehicle approach, especially if the door is open, then stay away.

  • In a parking lot, keep your keys in your hand, and park your car facing out for rapid departure. Avoid parking next to a van with a sliding door

  • If someone attempts to grab you, scream and attract as much attention as possible. Do the opposite of whatever they tell you to do. DO NOT get into a vehicle with them.

  • When carrying a bag, place the shoulder strap over your chest. Try not to display money or expensive items in public.

  • Do not wear earphones in an unfamiliar environment or if you are jogging.  If you are jogging, then jog with a partner.

  • In a risky situation, it always good to have an open phone line so that someone can summon help or call the police

  • Note that alcohol and violence often go hand in hand together. Be aware of closing times to avoid placing yourself in harm’s way.

  • Ensure unknown visitors identify themselves. If you don't have a "peep-hole" in your door then maybe you should install one.

  • Techniques Used By Many Sexual Predators

  • ​Too Many Details – If someone is lying they add excessive details to make them seem more credible

  • Typecasting – An insult to get you to talk to someone you otherwise wouldn’t.

  • Loan Sharking – Giving unsolicited help and expecting favors in return.

  • Unsolicited Promise — A promise to do (or not to do) something when no such promise was asked for; this usually means the promise will be broken.

  • Discounting the word “NO” — Refusing to accept rejection.


By being vigilant about preventing a violent crime from happening, your home will continue to be your safe haven. Take a few precautions, such as keeping doors locked, even during the day. The one door most people forget is the door leading to the garage. If you forget to lock or close your garage, someone has open access to your home. Another deterrent is noise. Predators will avoid homes with alarm systems or dogs. If you don’t have a home alarm, keep your car remote beside your bed. If you hear someone breaking in, push the panic button on your key fob to set off your car alarm.


If you do not have an alarm system or a dog in your home, then put up a "Beware of Dog" sign and leave a dog food bowl where it can be seen.


  • Do The Opposite

Even if someone has a gun pointed at you, there is still a chance to get away. He isn’t going to shoot you with several witnesses around. Do whatever you have to do to prevent getting taken to a secondary location. Predators need to get you away from people and to a location with privacy so they can have complete control of you. For the predator’s plan to work, he needs you to comply when he tells you what to do. Instead, do the opposite of what he says. If he tells you “Don’t Scream” then “Scream”. If he tells you “Don’t move” then “Move”. If he tells you, “Get in the car” then don’t get in the car. If he had wanted to kill you he would have most likely shot you the first thing but his plan is to have a quiet, uninterrupted assault, not to go to jail. Your compliance is necessary for his plan to work so don’t comply. If he points a gun at you from a distance, run in a zigzag pattern. In the unlikely event that he does shoot, the chances of him hitting you are slim, and the chances of him hitting a vital organ are even less likely. Although you may run the risk of injury, if you are taken to a secondary location, you will probably be repeatedly raped, beaten and finally murdered.


  • Prevent Date Rape

Most women are assaulted by someone they know and 40 percent of the time the crime will happen in the victim's own home. Predators rely on women’s weakness to allow good manners to override their survival instincts. Most women are likely to watch out for drugs being slipped into their drinks and know to not be alone with someone they just met. However, the lines can get fuzzy when things become intimate. Do not be afraid to say “no” or stop at any point during an intimate encounter. You don’t need a reason. “No” is a complete sentence, and the man should stop immediately upon hearing it. If he doesn’t stop, he has crossed the line into sexual assault. If he has no ill-intent toward you, and the assault is more about him having no impulse control, you may be able to stop the assault by saying, “Don’t rape me”. Hearing the word “rape” may verbally shake him into reality. If, however, he continues, you must treat him as if he were a stranger on the street and fight with everything you have — because, at that point, there is no possibility of it being a “misunderstanding”.

Facing the possibility of being the target of a violent crime is frightening, but there’s no need for women to live a paranoid-filled life. Although you can’t control every situation, you can make smarter decisions, like avoiding unnecessary risks. Learn to trust your intuition and learn how to defend yourself. Instead of telling your daughter not to wear shorts when weird Uncle Eddie comes over, don’t let weird Uncle Eddie come over. Learn to trust your intuition and learn how to defend yourself


“Rape is not about sexual gratification, it is about punishing women.” Detective Lieutenant Joe Kenda


It is important to understand that men do not choose who they sleep with or who they marry. Men ASK women to marry them, not the other way around. Men try to impress women. Women try to impress men. The difference is women want to attract several men so she can have her choice; a real live version of the Bachelorette. As the saying goes, “Many are called but few are chosen”. Men really try to woo women, but it is the woman’s decision with whom she sleeps. This is why men try to control women and even punish them. Women control the sex and men hate that. There is a group of men called “incels” who are involuntarily celibate. These guys couldn’t buy sex in a brothel with $500.00 in their pocket. They are increasingly outspoken and dangerous to women.

What men fear the most is women will laugh at them. This fear is why some guys have so much trouble talking with women. They even try to have some other guy talk to the women they’re interested in to see if the women are interested in them. An example is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Courtship of Miles Standish. In the poem, Captain Miles Standish asks his friend John Alden to propose to Priscilla on his behalf. Priscilla’s response to the proposal is, “Speak for yourself, John”. My, my, my…


What women fear the most is men will kill them. This is why “Love Triangles” and breakups are too often so deadly.


A Case History

Colorado Spring 1992-The body of a naked woman is found in a small neighborhood park near downtown. She has her blouse stuffed down her throat, she had been punched in the face a couple of times, and she has been strangled. People are capable of doing horrific things. The more emotional they are the more horrific the crime. At first, it was assumed she had been raped but an autopsy showed she had not.


How did this happen? There are four realities in his case. 1-men don’t get to select whom they sleep with, 2-women decide whom they sleep with, 3-men’s number one fear is that women will laugh at them, 4-women’s number one fear is men will kill them.


The deceased woman was a nurse’s aide. The night of her murder she, her live-in boyfriend, and a male neighbor from across the hall went out to a bar together. While at the bar, the boyfriend went in another room to play pool. One thing led to another, the neighbor and the victim were seen kissing at their table. They made plans to meet up later back at the apartment. The victim was angry with her boyfriend because he left her to play pool so she said she would find another ride home. Then a car came by, she spoke to the driver, got in and the car drove away. The driver of the car was never identified.


When she returned to the Apartment building she met up with her neighbor and they went to the park across the street. As they became more intimate they found themselves on the ground naked. It turns out the neighbor was obsessed with the victim and this was his dream come true. To her, it was just casual sex. The neighbor was extremely intoxicated to the point that he could not perform sexually. The victim laughed at his predicament and ridiculed him for his failure to perform. The neighbor became enraged, picked up her blouse from the ground, stuffed it down her throat, punched her in the face a couple of times then manually strangled her. She didn’t realize that what she did would make her worse feal come true.

  • Home Invasion

In recent years, people bursting into unsuspecting people’s homes have become more frequent. In many case the home invaders will use duct tape to tie the residents of the home to a chair then go searching the house for valuables. After the Home Invaders had left you alone you can make your escape from the chair and get away from the house and call the police.  Generally, these invasions are not random but planned because someone heard you have valuable in your house. Never tell anyone if you have valuable in your home. 



Sometimes an assailant may grab a woman, duct tape her hands together, and maybe even her feet then put her in the trunk of a car, maybe her own car. We will teach the technique to escape duct-taped hands. With your hands free, you can probably unwrap the duct tape on your feet. Cars have had emergency trunk releases inside the trunk for over a decade. After you have freed yourself wait for the car to stop, maybe at a red light, then pop the trunk, jump out and run away.


This is how to escape if your hands are duct-taped together, even in the trunk of a car, and how to escape being duct-taped to a chair during a home invasion.


  • A Brief Note on Children

If your child gets separated from you while shopping or at a public event don’t teach him or her to find a policeman instead tell them to find a woman, one who looks like a mommy and ask her for help.


If you keep a firearm in your home, keep it locked up, unloaded in a gun safe, and away from children. This also applies if you don’t have children or grandchildren in the home. Maybe you have to have a plumber come out on a Saturday and he brings his kid with him. You don’t want the child finding a gun lying around.  Every day two children are killed by guns, 128 per month and 14,400 last year. Since 1999 26,000 children have been killed by firearms. That is more than twice the number of US soldiers killed in combat during the same period.

How does Domestic Violence happen?

I’m sure now you’re asking so who are these men, will I know that he is an abuser by looking at him, what makes them tick and what signs can I look for in my partner to determine if he is an abuser/batterer. I will tell you that no you can’t tell if someone is a batter/abuser by looking at them but there are some tell-tale signs and behaviors. So looking deeper into the mind of the abuser I want to now provide you with a few of the behaviors that are typical for batterers.


Profile of an Abuser/Batterer:

  • Jealousy: questioning her constantly about whereabouts, and jealous of the time she spends away from him

  • Controlling behavior: Not allowing the victim to get a job, leave the house or bathe without abusers permission (or behaviors such alike)

  • Isolation: Makes partner move away from family and friends so that she depends on him solely for support

  • Religion/Blackmail: Forces her to have sex against her will utilizing manipulated marriage verbalization or emotional blackmail

  • Sexist: Holds very rigid gender roles: Believes that her job is just to cater to him, he is the “king of the castle.”


Men that abuse are very clever, smart, and extremely charming. Most of these men have a personality that draws people in because of their level of charm this is part of their art to deceive and manipulate. This is why often times when a victim does report an assault she is not easily believed because people usually say “not him, he is so nice’ “you are so lucky”, All of this plays into his because if he gets people outside of the home to buy into his deceit the victim has little if no support. Most batterers are seen as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" because of the stark contrast in their public and private selves.

The Cycle Of Violence

Domestic Violence is when a partner physically, verbally, emotionally and sexually abuses their intimate partner by exerting power and control over them. Domestic violence occurs in all cultures, races, religions, classes and same-sex relationships. We find that domestic violence is perpetrated by men and women, 95% of reported domestic violence cases are men abusing women and 5% of reported domestic violence cases are women abusing men.

















The 6 Stages Of Domestic Abuse


Phase 1: Honeymoon period- This is when the abuser is at their most kind & caring as they try to atone for their previous actions of abuse & will do anything to compensate for their behavior & make the victim think that everything is ok. Or this is the beginning of a relationship when the abuser is presenting a false identity & establishing trust on the part of the victim.


Phase 2: Change in behavior- At some point, the abusers mask will slip slightly & there will be small changes in behavior such as irritability, unaffectionate, passiveness & unease


Phase 3: Tension building - In this phase, there is usually tension building from the batterer/abuser and there is usually signs of psychological manipulation such as blame, blackmail or insults


Phase 4: Event or Trigger – At this stage, the abuser is on a hair-trigger (a sensitive tipping point) & their own low self-esteem & inner dialogue is causing them to seek an unjustified outlet of behavior. Much like a piece of dynamite seeking out a flame


Phase 5: Violence – Through no fault of their own, the victim will unwittingly do or say something completely innocent or inadvertently trigger the explosion of violence from the abuser


Phase 6: Apologies & Regret: The abuser is full of temporary remorse & becomes upset at their actions & behavior seeking to justify their actions through blame on the partner & other invalid justifications that manipulate the mind of the victim into shouldering some of the blame for what has occurred


If a woman lives in a violent home she needs to leave and take her children with her because she will be hurt again and maybe killed. The first time it happens the woman is a victim, the next time she is a consenting participant because she chose to stay. She should move back home with Mama, go to a women’s shelter or seek help from her church.


A study of Restraining Orders in Los Angeles found that about half the women said it made things worse rather than better. Women should not get a restraining order against a man who threatened her life, says marriage is “till death do us part”, etc. because a good portion of the time it enrages the man and he may resort to violence he would not have if it hadn’t been for the restraining order.


*This cycle of violence will not end until one partner leaves, seeks treatment, or is dead*

  • You Have the Right to Fight Back

Don’t be afraid to fight if you feel threatened in any way. A decent man won’t approach a woman in a place that she would feel vulnerable, especially after she yells for him to stop. Statistics show that women who don’t resist are more likely to be assaulted and sustain more serious injuries than women who fight back. Fighting back is your last resort, how well you fight back may very well determine whether you live or die. This is why training in Hapkido Self-Defense may save your life.

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Areas of an Assailant’s body to attack that doesn’t require strength to execute.

Primary areas of attack: Always try to attack the head area including the neck FIRST.

  • Temple. The bones of the skull are weak at the temple, and an artery and large nerve lie close to the skin.

  • Eyes. A slight jab in the eyes causes uncontrollable watering and blurred vision. A forceful jab or poke can cause temporary blindness, or the eyes can be gouged out.

  • Ears. A strike to the ear with cupped hands can rupture the eardrum and may cause a concussion.

  • Nose. Any blow can easily break the thin bones of the nose, causing extreme pain and eye-watering.

  • Under the nose. A blow to the nerve center, which is close to the surface under the nose, can cause great pain and watery eyes.

  • Throat. A forceful blow causes extreme pain and gagging or vomiting.

  • Side of the neck and Low Cervical. A sharp blow to the side of the neck causes unconsciousness by shock to the carotid artery, jugular vein, and vagus nerve. For maximum effect, the blow should be focused below and slightly in front of the ear.

  • Suprasternal Notch-The notch at the center base of the neck, press in and dow

  • Collarbone. A blow to the collarbone can fracture it, causing intense pain and rendering the arm on the side of the fracture ineffective.

Secondary areas of the body to attack

  • Armpit. A large nerve lies close to the skin in each armpit. A blow to this nerve causes severe pain and partial paralysis.

  • Front of shoulder muscle. A large mass of nerves passes in front of the shoulder joint. A forceful blow causes extreme pain and can make the whole arm ineffective if the nerves are struck just right.

  • Nipples. A large network of nerves passes near the skin at the nipples. A blow or twist here can cause extreme pain and hemorrhage to the many blood vessels beneath.

  • Solar plexus. The solar plexus is a center for nerves that control the cardiorespiratory system. A blow to this location is painful and can take the breath from the assailant. A powerful blow causes unconsciousness by shock to the nerve center.

  • Groin. A moderate blow to the groin can incapacitate an opponent and cause intense pain. A powerful blow can result in unconsciousness and shock.

  • Outside of thigh. A large nerve passes near the surface on the outside of the thigh about four finger-widths above the knee. A powerful strike to this region can render the entire leg ineffective, causing an opponent to drop. This target is especially suitable for knee strikes and shin kicks.

  • Inside of thigh. A large nerve passes over the bone about in the middle of the inner thigh. A blow to this area also incapacitates the leg and can cause the opponent to drop. Knee strikes and heel kicks are the weapons of choice for this target.

  • Hamstring. A severe strike to the hamstring can cause muscle spasms and inhibit mobility. If the hamstring is cut, the leg is useless.

  • Knee. Because the knee is a major supporting structure of the body, damage to this joint is especially detrimental to an opponent. The knee is easily dislocated when struck at an opposing angle to the joint’s normal range of motion, especially when it is bearing the opponent’s weight. The knee can be dislocated or hyperextended by kicks and strikes with the entire body.

  • Shin. A moderate blow to the shin produces great pain, especially a blow with a hard object. A powerful blow can possibly fracture the bone that supports most of the body weight.

Note: Kicking and knee strikes require you to stand on one leg raising the risk of you losing your balance giving your assailant the opportunity to attack you when you are vulnerable. 

The Top 10 Most Common Attacks Against Women

1.Front Choke (Standing)

2.Rear Choke

3. Bear Hug

4 Hair Grab

5. Haymaker Slap

6. Wall Pin

7. Mounted Arm Pin

8. Rape Pin

9. Mounted Choke

10. Mounted Pin


What make the situation worse is the attacks happen quickly, in close quarters and sometimes involve a weapon.

Defending against these 10 attacks, using many of the techniques listed above, is taught in our Women’s Self-Defense seminar and in our regular Hapkido Self-Defense Classes. Please check our website,, for our next Women’s Self-Defense Seminar.


These Women’s Self-Defense Tips are based on material from Gavin de Becker’s NY Time Best Seller The Gift of Fear: survival signals that protect us from violence. (1997) and Jason’s Hanson’s NY Times bestselling book Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. De Becker has gathered information from thousands of interviews with women who were victims of violence and from convicted sexual predators. From this information he has come up with techniques that women can use to keep themselves safe. The physical techniques we will teach come from Hapkido and from material Jason Hanson has been allowed by the Central Intelligence Agency to teach the public. Since much of the other material has been shared over various sites on the Internet, it is difficult to acknowledge the original authors of the material.

Gavin de Becker's Career Gavin de Becker is the designer of the MOSAIC Threat Assessment Systems, which is used to screen threats to Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, members of the United States Congress, and senior officials of the Central Intelligence Agency. Along with the United States Marshals Service, he co-designed the MOSAIC Threat Assessment Systems, which is currently used for assessing all threats to federal judges and prosecutors. Los Angeles County Law enforcement agencies adopted MOSAIC in 1997 to help police manage and reduce spousal abuse cases that might escalate to homicide.

Jason Hanson’s Career  Jason Hanson is a bestselling author and specialist in security issues based on his training and experience as a CIA operative for nearly a decade where he was grateful to work with amazing men and women who protect our country. Jason won The CIA’s Exceptional Performance Award, not once, but twice (once in 2005 and again in 2008).


After leaving the CIA, Jason was focused. He knew exactly what he was meant to do. “We live in uncertain times, and I know better than most how dangerous the world can be.” Jason explains: “My mission is to help good, honest Americans learn critical survival tactics that can literally mean the difference between life and death for you or a member of your family.”

Many of the physical techniques presented are from Martial Arts and Self-Defense curriculums. Most Martial Arts in the US are sports training students for competitions not real world self-defense. Competitions must have rules to protect the competitors. Real world attacks have no rules so you need to learn the defenses that are "against the rules" to survive a real world attack. We teach those.

Self-Defense Tips Every Woman Should Know was aggregated by Joe Needham for the sole purpose of helping women protect themselves while living in the most violent country in the world. There is no copyright on this document meaning you may distribute it as freely as you like.

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