Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How To Use Your Keys For Self Defense!

I’ve written in previous articles about having your keys in your hands before you leave a building to go to your car, or before you exit the car. This will prevent you from having to having to dig around in your pockets or purse to find them when you need them. Remember, professional criminals are waiting for these types of distractions to make their move. In this article I will discuss another great reason for having your keys in your hands: using your keys as a weapon for self defense.

In order to effectively use your keys for self defense requires them to be in your hand and to be held in such a way that you can deliver strikes to vulnerable parts of your attacker’s anatomy. There is a right way and a wrong way to hold your keys for this purpose.

Let’s go over the wrong way to hold your keys first so we can clear up some misconceptions. I’ve seen martial arts and self defense instructors teaching this method for decades and it needs to come to an end. The method most often taught is to place individual keys between each of your fingers turning your ring of keys into pseudo brass knuckles. The concept in itself is not bad: you’ve added range to your fist, and the keys should rip, tear and puncture the flesh of your would-be assailant. In fact, you will probably effectively do all these things and more. Once your strike hits bone, muscle or heavy clothing the keys are going to twist and turn between your fingers causing a blooding and painful mess of your hand. You may have slowed down your attacker but you’ve also created open wounds filled with your blood and his. You’ve greatly increased your chances of contracting blood-borne pathogens (diseases) from your assailant. In addition, your keys may damage nerves or break the bones in your fingers as the keys compress together. What might have seemed like a good idea at first glance now proves to be painfully wrong.

So, how do you effectively hold your keys for self defense while minimizing the risk of personal injury? First, go through your keys and select the one you deem to be the longest and strongest key you have. Now, hold that key firmly between your thumb and curled index finger. The key should be extended past your fist like an extension of your thumb. You can hold the remaining keys in your fist (see the picture below if you aren’t sure what I mean). Holding your keys in this manner will give you an effective poking and thrusting tool. Quite often, your largest key is also the key you use to open your car door so you will be that much more prepared to enter your vehicle without delay.

Now that you are armed with your handy self defense weapon (one that you can carry anywhere without a concealed weapons permit or license) you need to know what areas of the body are vulnerable to attack. You need to shut down the assault as quickly as possible and create an opportunity to escape. Strikes to the meaty areas of the body like the chest, stomach, arms and legs will cause minimal pain and damage. If these are the only areas exposed to you, use strikes to these areas only to create a reaction that will expose more vulnerable targets.

Your primary targets should be the eyes or the throat. These areas are soft and filled with nerves. We are born with automatic responses to protect our eyes, throat and face in general. Even if your attacker is wearing glasses, a strike to this area will cause a reaction and may create the opportunity you need to RUN!!!

In the event that you are grabbed from behind you may be able to attack the back or your attackers hands and cause him to let go. The back of the hand is covered in nerves. Use your key to strike these nerves or press hard and grind back of his hands with the end of your key.

The fact is, if your strike someone in the eyes you are going to cause damage, you may even blind the person. Ask yourself what damage your assailant may have caused you if you didn’t fight back? Does he care about your well being? If he gets you into the truck of his car, do you really think he’s going to let you go unharmed? You need to make the decision for yourself right now that your life is the most precious thing your have. FIGHT FOR IT!!!


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