When we think about womens empowerment, we usually connect the idea to womens behavior in society and business. We often forget that physical empowerment is also an important part of womens self-confidence and strength. Self-defense for women is an excellent way to cultivate self-awareness and explore the power of the body.

Origin of self-defense for women

self-defense for women
Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Womens Self-Defense Movement ($25.33)

Classes specializing in self-defense for women are seen as a recent phenomenon, but the movement has a much longer history. In her book, Her Own Hero, Wendy L. Rouse explains such history. The origin of self-defense for women started during the fight for the right to vote, in the early 20th century. Industrialization and urbanization led women to conduct a life in the public eye. As such, they started to take space in places previously dominated by men. This created a backlash and women faced violent attacks. For the first time, they realized that men werent their natural protectors. And so, self-defense offered them an opportunity to protect themselves. In recent years, self-defense is a lot more open among women, especially in the United States, in which most citizens have a concealed carry license. Self-defense is often at the forefront of people’s minds when gun laws are put in place, and it has been said that women are becoming more likely to be gun owners expanding on their knowledge of gun ownership. You can click here to learn more.

When it comes to self-defense, many people have suggested that it can be much easier to defend yourself when you have a firearm, such as a gun, on your person. Because of this, most gun owners prefer to carry a smaller gun, like the Boberg Arms XR series pistols, instead of a gun that is too large. If you decide to use a firearm such as this, you may want to read the Boberg Arms – Full Sized Performance review before deciding to proceed further with this particular route of self-defense, as you’ll need to make sure you’ve made the best decision for you. So, any research that you do will be paramount, especially when it concerns your own personal safety.

We live in a different timewomen are now an established part of societybut they still have to deal with gender bias and harassment. Most women may feel scared walking alone at night. But, the reality is that most of the times, they have to defend themselves from people they know: violent husbands or dates that might become nightmares. Its essential to know a couple of moves to be able to fight back when attacked. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Looking into something like Self Defense Classes Madison, WI would help you get a better understanding of scenarios where you may need to use self defense, along with showing you a number of useful tips to protest yourself. It also increases confidence which is the overall goal for any man or woman.

But one of the most important things to remember is to try to talk to the person that is attacking you before responding with violence. Sentences like: What do you want? or Why are you doing this? can still have an effect and bring the person back to his/her senses. Try to engage in a conversation and ask the person to stop what they are doing multiple timesits always worth trying.

Self-awareness is essential

self-defense for womenAwareness and self-awareness are essential in the practice of self-defense. You have to stay present. Pay attention to what is happening around you and be aware of your emotions and body at all times. When you fight you move fast. So, you have to learn how to coordinate different parts of your body and make sure your emotions dont take over.

If words dont stop your aggressor, take note of these key moves when you get attacked:


If someone is trying to punch you, immediately lower your chin and make sure you are facing the aggressor with your forehead. If you get hit, this is the most resistant part of the head. Then, move your arms and hands towards the eyes of the attacker. You might feel disgusted by the idea, but it’s a great way block the person. It is highly unlikely that you will gouge their eyes as the technique mostly focuses on forcing your attacker to protect themselves instead of attacking you.


The front kick is a powerful move that gives you an opportunity to escape. Work with your hips and knees before delivering the kick. Coordinate the different parts of your body to get ready to hit. Drive your hips forward with your knee bent and heel back. Then, extend your knee and leg with force, pointing towards the groin area with the top of your foot. Practice knee-bends and lunging to make sure you are prepared for this movement. If you have a key or tactical pen (see this article by Know Prepare Survive to find one that is good for self-defense), these can potentially be used if you are in a situation where the attacker is behind your or where kicking isn’t possible.


If you dont have enough space to go for the eyes or kick, you can still use your kneesthey are powerful allies. Drive your knee straight up to hit the groin. Use the bony tip of your knee, not your thigh to cause more pain. Before you throw the knee kick, grab his/her neck and shoulders, and hold on to as much skin or clothing as possible. Knees are also important when you are on the floor, and the aggressor is trying to get on top on you. Push him/her back using your knees but lift your lower back and hips. The knees by themselves cannot do the trick.


If he/she grabs you, drop toward the ground and squirm to wriggle out. Lowering your center of gravity makes you more stable and gives you a new angle. Once the attacker is close to your body, its harder to get away, and you have to switch your technique.

Before, you wanted to create space to be able to escape. Now you also want to try to block his/her body and get into a position of power by using all of your body. For example, if you are wrestling on the floor and you grab him/her from behind. Wrap your arm around his/her neck to choke him/her (yes, you can go for the kill if your life is at risk). You will have to wrap your legs around his/her waist and push your chin and neck against his neck. If you want to block your attacker, before delivering the final blow, you cannot leave space between your two bodies.

Note: Please contact a professional trainer for advice on proper technique.

Feature photo: Scott Webb / Unsplash


  1. Thank you for sharing these tips. I’ve been wanting to take a self defense class. I really need to sign up for one.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Abby! I took a couple of classes and it was an interesting experience.

  3. Thank you for sharing this! It’s really important that we have strategies in mind, because you don’t want to have to think too hard if something bad were to happen!

  4. Thanks for reading, Sheila! It’s always good to be prepared. Self-defense is also great for muscle strength!

  5. I love this post a lot of woman don’t know how to defend themselves! I have taken kickboxing and it’s a great relief and a good workout! Thank you for sharing!

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