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About defending yourself:
Ok I’m not actually going to tell you here how and what are the best ways to defend yourself. I am not a street fighter and I hate all violence and don’t understand why anyone would seriously want to hurt another human being. But one thing is for certain, if you feel threatened and really want to learn how to defend yourself, it will always be an advantage to learn a proven combative system, as well as training to increase your strength, speed, fitness, and make those handful of techniques become second nature and assigned to muscle memory (again I must stress that, knowledge and confidence doesn’t always translate into effectiveness).
And remember no matter what fighting system you learn, the best option (if you get it) is to avoid the situation in the first place, second to that is to walk/run away. I will repeat, people have been and are killed in fights, even with just one punch being thrown!
The problem with defending yourself if you’re a ‘sensible person’ is firstly hesitation, which could be a part of not wanting to fight, being scared, not wanting to break your countries laws, not wanting to hurt someone or for other moral/ethical reasons, or you believe nothing is going to happen if the potential attacker hasn’t struck out yet or given you any reason to think they are yet.
Which brings me onto something called pre-emptive striking. This is exactly as it sounds and has been used very successfully by some well known door security staff and law enforcement officers. The idea behind this is to essentially get the first strike/move in. This obviously has legal implications, as you are now basically the attacker and must be able to prove that you were at risk or physically threatened (take this part seriously there can be serious consequences for a pre-emptive strike, despite what I said about hesitation above). As a side note look up palm strikes/slaps on the internet.
My advice is if you are serious about wanting to learn to defend yourself properly, then you need to join an appropriate club and not rely on reading about techniques on the internet.
As a side note, there are also a plethora of personal protection self defence products, which may or may not be legal in your country, but include things like, stun guns, maces, pepper sprays, gel/marker sprays, Kubotan keyrings, canes/walking sticks, personal alarms and alarms and surveillance camera’s for your home/property.