I’m passionate about quite a few things: making Australia as healthy and happyfit as possible, my family, and self-defense. This is why I included a library of self-defense classes with my fitness program TIFFXO, to ensure that Australian women, in particular, are covered and safe.
At uni, I was teaching self-defense programs in 8-10 schools a week! Personal safety is so important. I find it devastating that 1 in 3 Australian women have experienced physical violence. I don’t want to scare people, but self-defense, in essence, is preparation. So I have some fantastic practical concepts and tips to keep women alert and prepared. It’s better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener at war. Own your power, be confident in your own skin as well as on the streets.
Self-defence isn’t about throwing the first punch or yelling loudly, it’s about being prepared. If you can prevent or avoid a situation, that is an ideal outcome.
There are a few small clever things to ensure ultimate safety:
- Don’t open the door willy-nilly to just anyone. Check and ask “who’s there” before opening the door. Stranger danger is a real thing! If you don’t know them, continue the convo through a locked door or flywire. If they want to come in and use your phone, direct them to a public phone or offer to make the call on their behalf.
- Stick to well-lit roads at night and let someone know when you are venturing outside at night, especially alone.
- Don’t go running/walking around with both earphones in your ear. Always keep an ear free so you can hear anything suspicious or any danger near you.
When the situation gets a little hairy, try these for the most efficient strikes:
A – Attract attention. Your voice is an alarm.
S – Send a clear vocal message. Just screaming may allow people to think you’re already being helped, yell out “help!” to get instant attention.
A – Act, don’t freeze. Naturally, we are prone to a fight or flight response and we want to encourage the FIGHT bit. By screaming and bringing attention to yourself, you will stop the paralysis of fear and allow your brain to think. The worst thing you can do is freeze as you may have seconds to act.
P – Power. Breathe out so you are not winded as you strike and give yourself a chance to think. Create a spectacle. Make some noise! Show the attacker you are tough and brave, full of power and strength.
- Never put your hands up in guard position. This will show you could have martial arts training and can ruin the element of surprise and can provoke aggression. Always put your hands, open, in front of your face as you try to walk away.
- Use a hard weapon on your body such as an elbow, fist, heel, knee to a soft target on the attacker’s body groin, eyes, throat. A finger to the eye is a hard weapon soft target, just as effective as stomping your hard heel into the attacker’s soft toes.
- Never punch to the face, always punch to the throat. It is a softer target. Punching to the face will break your hand.
- A more effective way of kicking to the groin, is to kick up and under with your straight leg and to strike with your shin.
Article by Tiffany Hall
Tiffiny is one of the highest qualified female martial artists in the world for her age. She is a 6th Dan Taekwondo black belt and one of Australia’s most recognised female martial artists.
Tiffiny has practiced and studied self defense, mixed martial arts and Taekwondo for over 25 years. She is daughter to an Olympic Taekwondo coach and black belt mother.