13 Basic Self Defence Skills Everyone Should Develop

13 Basic Self Defence Skills Everyone Should Develop

Self defence is an essential life skill for everyone, regardless of age or gender. From preventing physical assault to defending yourself against verbal and emotional abuse, the ability to protect yourself is invaluable in a variety of situations. In this blog, we’ll explore some basic self defence skills everyone should develop to ensure their safety and well-being. With these skills, you’ll be able to better protect yourself in the face of danger and have peace of mind that you are equipped to handle any situation.


Awareness of your surroundings and potential threats is the first step in avoiding dangerous situations. Pay attention to people and objects around you, and be mindful of any unusual behaviour or suspicious activity. Awareness is the key to self-protection – if you can recognise when something is off, you can protect yourself and those around you.

Awareness doesn’t just mean being alert for potential threats. It also means knowing your capabilities and limitations. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is important so you can choose the best course of action if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation.

There are several ways to sharpen our awareness. Taking a self defence class can help us to focus on being aware of potential threats and become more alert to our surroundings. 


Good posture can be an effective deterrent against potential attackers. It can convey confidence and make it clear that you know your surroundings. 

In order to adopt good posture, you should first stand up straight and keep your shoulders back. This makes you appear taller and more confident and helps you keep your balance so you can react quickly. You should also maintain a neutral facial expression and keep your head high and your chin slightly tucked in. This gives off an impression of assurance and control, making it less likely for an attacker to take you on.

Eye contact

Establishing dominance with eye contact is a great way to ensure potential attackers think twice before attempting anything. By making and maintaining eye contact, you can show that you are not afraid and are willing to defend yourself if needed. This can be a great deterrent for potential assailants and help keep you safe.

It’s important to remember that eye contact can be interpreted differently in different cultures. In some cultures, maintaining eye contact can be seen as an act of aggression, while in others, it can be seen as a sign of respect and trust. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of different cultural norms when making eye contact with strangers.


Speaking confidently and firmly when necessary can demonstrate assertiveness and confidence. This can be especially helpful when you must stand up for yourself or de-escalate a situation.

You should project your voice and use clear and concise language when speaking. Speak in a loud and authoritative manner, don’t be afraid to use your words to make your point. Being assertive does not mean being aggressive, so avoid using provocative language and instead use language that conveys respect and authority.


Knowing how to escape from grabs, holds, and chokes is an invaluable skill that can help you escape dangerous situations quickly and safely. 

Wrist Grabs

If you’re ever in a situation where someone grabs your wrists, knowing how to break free is important. You aim to break the person’s grip on you to escape a wrist grab. There are several ways to do this.

For one, you can rotate your wrists in opposite directions while lightly pushing the person’s hands away. This can help break the person’s grip, allowing you to free your arms and create distance.

Alternatively, you can try to create an angular shape with your arms and elbows by pushing your elbows out and away from your body. This will make it difficult for the person to maintain a grip on you and can help you break free.


Chokeholds are especially dangerous because they can quickly lead to unconsciousness and death. 

The most important thing to remember is to remain calm and act quickly. You’ll need to break the person’s grip and create distance between you and the attacker.

The first and most effective technique is to drive the attacker’s head and upper body away from you by pushing up and outward with your elbows and forearms. This will create enough space to free your neck and create distance.

You can also try to place your hands on the attacker’s wrists and push outward. This should help to loosen their grip, allowing you to break free.

Finally, if you cannot break free through the above techniques, you can try to grab the attacker’s hair and pull their head away from you. This can effectively loosen the chokehold and allow you to escape.


Blocking is integral to martial arts and self defence and is used to protect yourself from punches and kicks.

High Block

Learning how to block punches and kicks is something that everyone should learn and practice. There are several types of blocking techniques, but the most basic blocks are the high and low blocks. 

The high block is a defensive move to protect your head and upper chest area. This block is typically used when an opponent tries to hit you in the face or upper body. To perform a high block, you must raise your hands before your face, and your arms should be slightly bent at the elbows. The palms of your hands should be facing outward to create a protective shield. This block is great for defending against punches and kicks coming at you from the front.

Low Block

The low block is a defensive move to protect your midsection and lower body. This block is usually used when an opponent tries to hit you in the stomach or lower body area. To perform a low block, bend your knees slightly and place your arms at your sides. Your palms should face outward, and your arms should be slightly bent at the elbows. This block is great for defending against punches and kicks coming at you from the side.


When it comes to strikes, there are several different types available. The most basic strikes include punches, elbows, and knees. Each of these strikes can effectively defend against an attack, but it’s important to learn proper technique and practice to ensure your safety.


Punches are one of the most common forms of strikes. When throwing a punch, keeping your fist tight and your knuckles facing the target is important. Extend your arm straight and deliver the punch to the target as quickly and powerfully as possible. This will help you generate maximum force and do the most damage quickly.


Elbows are another type of strike used in self defence. When throwing an elbow, focus on targeting the opponent’s body or head. Extending your elbow as far as possible and rotating your torso to generate maximum power is important.


Knees are a great way to defend yourself against a physical attack. When throwing a knee strike, make sure to keep your weight on your back leg and drive your knee forward. This will ensure that you generate maximum force and power.

Always remember the importance of proper technique and practice when using strikes for self defence. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at delivering strikes quickly and powerfully. 


Taking the time to identify vulnerable points on an attacker’s body can help maximise the effectiveness of your techniques and give you the upper hand in a self defence situation.


The eyes are an especially vulnerable area, as they are relatively easy to hit and have a high probability of causing pain or blurriness in the attacker’s vision. Striking the attacker’s eyes can work to your advantage as it can both startle and disorient them. Doing this can give you the upper hand and help you escape the situation. 


A strike to the nose can be quite painful, causing the attacker to become disoriented and also causing their eyes to water. This can give you enough time to escape the situation or defend yourself.


The throat is also a vulnerable area, as a strike to this area can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and gagging. This can be especially useful when an attacker is significantly larger than you, as a strike to the throat can even help the playing field. 


A strike to the groyne can be painful and cause the attacker to double over. This can also give you enough time to get away or defend yourself.


Footwork is the ability to move quickly and fluidly in any given direction. It’s a combination of proper footwork techniques and swift footwork, which is why it’s so important to practice it regularly.

One of the best ways to improve your footwork is to practise footwork drills that involve moving in circles. This will help you become familiar with “circling” around an opponent. You can also practise drills that involve changing directions quickly, such as pivoting, stepping, and sprinting.

You can improve your footwork is to practising stances, such as the fighting stance. This will help you to maintain your balance, which is important for making quick movements.

It would help if you practised drills that involve jumping, such as hopping from side to side or lunging. The key is to ensure you’re landing properly and your feet are always in the right position.

Ground Defence

Ground fighting is a complex and varied topic, with many techniques to learn. Three of the most important techniques are bridging, shrimping, and the guard position.


Bridging involves arching your back and pushing off the ground with your feet to create a bridge between your body and the ground, allowing you to propel yourself forward and away from the attacker. This technique allows you to escape and distance yourself from your attacker. 


Shrimping involves using your legs to “shrimp” your body away from your attacker and towards safety. This technique requires you to use your arms and legs in a scissor-like motion to move your body away from the attacker. 

Guard position

Guard position involves using your arms and legs to create a “guard” position that allows you to protect your body from the attacker’s punches and kicks. The guard position is also useful for blocking the attacker’s attempts to submit you with holds and locks. 

Joint Locks

Joint locks are an effective way to control an attacker and prevent them from causing further harm. 

Wrist Lock

This technique involves grabbing your attacker’s wrist with both hands and using your body weight to put pressure on the joint. This technique can control and prevent your attacker from making further aggressive movements.

Elbow Lock

Elbow lock involves gripping your attacker’s elbow with your hand and using your body weight to immobilise the elbow joint. This technique effectively controls your attacker and prevents them from making further aggressive movements.

Aside from wrist and elbow locks, there are a variety of other joint-lock techniques that can be used to control an attacker. These include neck locks, shoulder locks, and hip locks.

Pressure points

Pressure points are areas of the body that are particularly sensitive to pressure. When pressure is applied in the correct spot, it can cause a person to become disoriented, incapacitated, or even unconscious. The location of pressure points can vary depending on the person’s anatomy, but some of the most commonly used points are the temple, collarbone, and shoulder.


The temple is one of the most common pressure points on the head’s side near the eye. Applying pressure to this area can be a very effective way to stop an aggressor temporarily. The temple can be accessed by a thumb and forefinger or by using the edge of the hand.


The collarbone area can be accessed by using the index and middle fingers. Applying pressure to this area can lead to pain and discomfort, so using it as a last resort is best if other methods are not working.


The carotid artery is located on the side of the neck and can be accessed by using a finger. Applying pressure to this area can cause pain and discomfort, which can be used to subdue an attacker temporarily.

When it comes to learning how to use pressure points, it’s important to practise with another person. If you have access to self defence classes, they can demonstrate the points and teach you the proper techniques. 

Weapons defence

There are a variety of defensive tactics that you can use to protect yourself from attacks with knives or guns. These include disarming, blocking, and evading. 


Disarming is a technique that you can use to take away the weapon from the person trying to attack you. This can be done in various ways, depending on the particular weapon. You can use your hands, feet, or even a stick or object to remove the weapon from the attacker. 


This involves using your body to block the weapon from doing any damage. You can use the parts of your body, such as your arms, legs, or even your head, to protect yourself.


Evading is a technique you can use to move away from the attacker and the weapon. This can involve running, dodging, or even crawling away from the attacker.


In conclusion, self defence is an important life skill, and everyone should know some basic techniques to protect themselves and their loved ones. Joining self defence classes is a great way to learn more effective techniques and various strategies to use in dangerous situations. Krav Maga System is an excellent choice for people of all ages, as it is a comprehensive, efficient system designed to provide a safe and effective learning environment.



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