Basic Self Defence for the Women on the Go

Sadly enough, this article is a need of the times – with more cases of harassment than you can count, occurring everyday. In an ideal world, we would tell the perpetrators to change and they would, because prevention is better than cure, but the epidemic of sexual predators has taken over this world and the only cure is a deep cleansing. Currently, the youngest member of the All India Mixed Martial Arts Association, at just 22, Tanvi Jhaveri was the World Champion in Eskrima Kali Arnis in 2008 and 2010. Eskrima Kali Arnis is a martial art and the national sport of the Philippines. Tanvi currently teaches in various schools across Mumbai and also teaches young children in the slum areas of the city. She tells us about what the best ways to defend yourself in a sticky situation are.


  1. Shout – “Fire! Fire”

The #1 way to get out of any situation that you think may turn uncomfortable, is to turn around towards any possible crowd or person to attract attention and shout as loud as you can. More importantly, you shout out “FIRE” instead of “HELP” because studies show that more people will come to help if you shout the prior instead of the latter which sucks but is true.


  1. Run

Make sure to remove your shoes and drop everything that is going to become an obstacle for you to run and save your life. Any opportunity you get, just run. This is basic. Hopefully, your reflexes will kick in and you will run away, but leave, and call the police or someone that can help you on the spot.


  1. Keep it handy

You can use things like your keys, a comb, a pen or pencil, and flashlights to seriously injure somebody that is trying to attack you. The sharper end of your keys or comb could be used to slash the person’s hand or if you’re closer, even his neck or face. A pen or pencil can be used to stab the person in the eye, when the situation has gotten out of hand. Use pepper sprays or any other kind of sprays only if you have trained in martial arts and know techniques of smartly using them – otherwise 90% of the time they can be and are used against you.  

In a scary moment, it’s reflex, a second of awareness or lack thereof to determine the rest of the story. Always, always be prepared for the worst.


  1. Attack when needed

In a situation where you are held up, your first attack against anybody should be straight to the eyes as that’s the weakest part of any human’s body. Stick all five of your fingers out and attack both the eyes in a forceful motion – this attack is called a Finger Jab.

If your attacker is charging towards you, hit their nose with the heel of your palm using all the strength you’ve got. This will cause immense pain and will temporarily disorient them.

Use your elbows or knees to attack the man’s groin which can be more powerful after your attack to the eyes.

If the man is holding your hand, one simple way of making him let go is shouting right to his face as loud as you can which will surprise him and then with your knuckles knock (multiple times) the veins on the top of his hand as hard as you can.

All these attacks combined can help you run away from the situation.


  1. More of the basics –
  • Don’t walk on empty streets alone – make sure you are walking down a busy road
  • Never walk with bad posture or with your face to the ground, it shows predators that you must be easy prey
  • Don’t get too involved in your phones while walking alone.
  • If you’re stuck on a busy street with too many people around, walk with your elbows out to protect your body from being brushed against.
  • If any guy does brush past you and you know that it was on purpose, shout and make sure to embarrass him, as that may stop him from repeating the same thing with somebody else. Trust your gut.

Stay alert and stay safe ladies. You have to remember to always have your own back!


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