9. Keep your defensive techniques basic
In a fight you may get tunnel vision, numbness in your extremities, a ringing in your ears, shakes from adrenaline, and more. Be wary of defensive techniques that involve fine motor skills or complicated moves that require your brain to solve complex problems or which rely on a specific course of actions that must occur to be effective.
Practice and get proficient in defensive techniques that use large muscle groups, simple moves, and effective attacks like hammer strikes, groin kicks, heel palm strikes, elbow strikes, and others which you will learn in your women’s self-defense training class. You ARE going to sign up for a class, right?
10. Don’t stop fighting until it’s safe to escape
If you’re in fear for your life, you need to do whatever is necessary to protect it, and keep fighting until the threat is neutralized or it’s safe for you to get away. Don’t pause after your initial response and allow your attacker to recover and regroup to attack again. Fight like your life depends on it, because it does.
Lethal vs. non-lethal self-defense weapons for women
The decision to use non-lethal (or less-lethal) self-defense tools rather than lethal weapons is a personal one, and it may be influenced by your individual morality, your local laws, the availability or cost of defensive weapons or tools, and more factors.
Lethal self-defense weapons generally comprise three groups: 1. Firearms; 2. Knives and other bladed weapons; and 3. Tactical batons, truncheons, or clubs. Each has its own pros and cons, and each is highly regulated in most locations in the world. You shouldn’t carry a gun, knife, or tactical baton (or any of the non-lethal or less-lethal defensive tools) without the full understanding of all applicable laws, and you should also receive professional training in the use of your weapon.
Non-lethal self-defense weapons (or tools) can be grouped into the following general categories. Let’s go over some pros, cons, and considerations:
Chemical, mace, or pepper sprays and gels
These self-defense compounds rely on severely irritating an attacker’s eyes, nose, skin, and respiratory system in order to temporarily incapacitate them so you can escape. There are multiple types of compounds and delivery methods and some are better than others, so be sure to do your research and ideally test out a couple of your top choices in both an indoor and outdoor environment so you know a little more about what to expect when you use one of these sprays or gels.
Some disadvantages are that on windy days, clothing or other objects in the way may disperse a defensive spray and make it ineffective, or worse, deflect it back into your own face. Additionally, some hardcore thugs don’t seem to be bothered much by chemical or pepper sprays, so ideally, you may want to also carry a legally concealed firearm or other lethal weapon if you need to escalate.
Stun guns, Tasers, and “energy weapons”
The Taser is the most famous brand of this type of electric defensive tool, but there are dozens of varieties, styles, voltages, and delivery systems. The basic premise is these devices deliver an incapacitating amount of electrical voltage to the attacker, theoretically causing “full lockup” of their muscles and rendering them unable to continue their attack.
Many stun guns must be pressed against the attacker when “firing” the device, but some models fire barbs and wires that can take down a threat from up to 15 feet away (for non-law-enforcement models). The downsides are that thick clothing may prevent full effective completion of the circuit, particularly for the “contact” type stun guns. Both types may arc through clothing and deliver a partial shock, though.
Additionally, it’s rare but possible to be partially shocked yourself by contact with the wires, barbs, or if you complete an incomplete circuit by contact with the tased attacker between the barb locations.
Taser Self Defense says they are legal in 49 states, but obviously, it’s up to you to comply with local regulations. Like all lethal, less-lethal, and non-lethal defensive tools, they should not be used unless you are in fear for your life.
Safety tips for lethal weapons
The main safety tip for all lethal weapons is for you to learn their proper function, read all manuals and relevant information, get proper training, and keep them securely stored on your person or locked away when not in use. And it should go without saying, but if you own a gun you need to learn and follow the four rules of firearm safety at all times.
Knives and other bladed/sharp weapons should be sheathed or ensure that any folding blades can’t accidentally come open inside a pocket or handbag. This can be very bad. Kydex knife sheaths are awesome and can provide retention in addition to protecting you from the sharp and pointy bits.
You absolutely must be in control of your handgun at all times. We don’t recommend “off the body carry” for most people, i.e., carrying your gun in a purse or handbag, backpack, briefcase, desk drawer, car glove box, etc. You should carry your defensive firearm on your person in a quality holster.
You may be deemed liable if you lose track of your gun, it falls out of your pocket, you leave your handbag, briefcase, or backpack somewhere and forget your firearm is inside.
Again we must stress the absolute necessity of regular practice and training with your defensive firearm. As we said earlier, just buying and carrying a gun isn’t a magic bullet (pun intended) that deters bad guys. In a nasty situation, it has the potential of making things worse if you’re not prepared.
How to store your gun safely
Whenever your gun is out of your immediate control, it should be unloaded and securely stored. Let’s briefly go over the three main categories of safe gun storage.
Handgun safes and vaults
A quality handgun vault is a great way to help prevent unauthorized access or theft of your self-defense firearm, while still allowing quick and easy access for you when you need your gun. These handy devices are available in multiple sizes and configurations, and can be securely bolted to heavier objects, walls, furniture, etc. to help prevent them from being stolen. Check out Liberty’s offerings and choose the type that fits your needs as well as your budget.
Gun safes and vault doors
Handgun safes are great but they have their limitations. The best way to protect your gun (as well as other valuables) is to purchase a quality, fire-rated USA-made gun safe or install a vault door. A good safe protects your guns not only from unwanted access or theft, but also from humidity, fire damage, and determined attacks by thieves. A quality gun safe can be pricey and heavy depending on the size and security rating you choose, though, so be sure to look at the full line of Liberty safes and you’ll find the perfect match for your living situation and your pocketbook. Check out Liberty’s gun storage accessories, also.
Trigger locks, cable locks
This is the bare minimum for safe handgun storage, and we don’t recommend trigger locks or cable locks as an effective, primary firearms storage method. However, if this is all you have, or if such a device is required in your local jurisdiction, be sure to use one from a reputable manufacturer, and ideally, purchase a handgun vault or fire-rated gun safe as soon as you can. Note: Never install a trigger lock or cable lock on a loaded firearm.
Get the best gun safes at Liberty Safe
Whatever self defense tools or weapons you decide to employ, you can keep them secure when not in use by locking them in a fire-rated, USA-made safe. Liberty offers a full-line of gun safes for every taste and budget. Check out our line of gun safes or visit a showroom near you.