If I had a nickel for every time I heard it, I’d be a wealthy woman…
If that were me - I’d just kick em in the balls.
Since I was a teenager, I have heard this cookie cutter solution to a physical threat as though we were talking about walking across the room … just put one foot in front of the other. Sure, no sweat. And since the groin is definitely one of the priority targets in self-defense, I wish it were that easy. Just kick em in the balls.
But, in reality, it’s more like shooting a ball into a basket - full court away - using your foot. Yeah, actually striking the groin may not be as easy as one might want it to be. Just sayin.
So let’s kick it back a notch (pun intended).
When you face a physical attacker, there are a few things you can hope for, besides that your survival look was enough to send him running. (Taking Flight For Girls Going Places, page 94).
One, you hope that you were aware of the approaching danger from the get-go, and that this awareness did not begin with the touch of his hands around your body. Second, you hope you will be able to protect yourself from any incoming strikes. And third, you hope your defensive strategies will matter.
So, ladies, put down the smart phone and get smarter. Number one, know who and what is around you – 30 feet in all directions – at all times. Awareness matters!
Now numbers two and three: You need to know the vulnerable areas of the body.
The big question in self-defense is always the same: how can a 100 pound girl fight off a guy twice her size? Well, it’s true that the odds are not exactly in her favor and this is potentially an extremely dangerous situation. But it’s also true that with some self-defensive knowledge and training, she can minimize the threat and increase her odds of survival, particularly if she knows how and where to strike.
The teen safety book Taking Flight For Girls Going Places covers many defensive strategies in detail, including where to strike an attacker (pages 100 -102). This information is extremely important. It should be studied until it is second nature. Yes, if you are ever in the position where you need to strike an assailant, you want it to happen automatically, without much thought. Especially since your anxiety will probably affect your state of mind, you will want to go into automatic fighting pilot.
So you need to be armed with this information NOW: KNOW the vulnerable areas of the body.
“Throughout our body, there are many areas that are more likely to give way in the face of pressure. Whether a bone, joint, or nerve, these spots are great targets to aim for if you want to disable or harm a person.” (TFFGGP, page 100) These vulnerable areas are the spots where you should target on an attacker, and also areas on your body which need protecting.
So where will you strike?
The obvious answer is wherever you can. Right? Hit them wherever you can!
Well, that may be true but if you can make your strike count, you will be better off. If you can hit them in the face, why not aim for the eyes with a jab or a poke or spit. (Yeah, that’s right, SPIT!).
Or if you are in the position to hit them in their stomach, instead aim for their solar plexus with your very smart phone where you can knock the wind out of them.
Or rather than kick them on their thigh, you aim a little lower and disable their knee or a bit higher and…yes, kick em in the balls.
“No matter how hard you strike, if you don’t hit an assailant where it counts, you are wasting your time, your energy, and your chance of survival.” (TFFGGP, page 100)
Kathy Greene Lahey, LMSW, AC, is the author of Taking Flight For Girls Going Places, a preventive tool to help independence-bound girls stay safe, confident, and empowered.