Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



January 2010

Self Defense

by Staff, on actions, armed, attack, attacker, defend, defense, defense mechanism, effect, harm, legal, personal, protect, risk, self defense, situations, technique

There are situations where one needs to protect him or herself from getting physically harmed. These include when the presence, intentions and actions of another person or other persons put you in danger of having your body harmed or your property or even another person for whom you take responsibility. This protection is called self defense.

In the law, there is a provision for self defense since the authorities charged with protection of the citizens can actually not be able to defend or protect you in all circumstances.

Self defense can also be said to be the actions of a group of people, community or country that offer up a spirited fight or resistance against external forces or invasion. Even animals exhibit self defense when protecting their territories while plants may produce thorns, resins and odors as self defense mechanisms against predators. Similarly fascinating is the production of chemicals called antibiotics by bacteria against competitive bacteria.

Looking at personal self defense, there are many situations that offer a provocative stance on the safety of our bodies physically or our property. We need to defend ourselves against animals, crooks, bullies and generally our enemies. You need to know several techniques of defending yourself.

First of all, be sure that all your actions in the name of self defense are legal so that they don’t land you in trouble. offers a clear differentiation of when self defense actions are legally acceptable.

The simplest self defense mechanism is through use of your mouth and body language to deter occurrence of bodily harm. For instance, a stern unworried expression on your face or confidently spoken dare words can actually ward off attackers that were to harm you if they sensed fear and helplessness in you.

Secondly, raising the alarm almost always works because the attacker is terrified of not only facing you but also having to contend with those who answer your distress. Screaming or use of personal whistles act fine.

In some situations one may fore know an ill intention of an attacker for instance one can get word of some crook planning to attack him or her. Such fore knowledge can be acted on in different ways that are all meant to bring self defense but the best possible would be to have the authorities informed.

Women are especially prone to attacks by malefactors especially muggers on the streets and carjackers. As a defense method, they can carry with them self defense products such as pepper sprays or stun guns if legal which repel attackers before they have caused harm.

An effective method to effect self defense without use of arms would be to learn and practice martial art techniques such as karate, tae kwon do and judo. These are especially good for young and strong people but involve the risk of great injury if your attacker is armed or is a better match in the technique.

Some self defense entails a matter of life and death and therefore one should not hesitate to save their life by all means possible even if it means inflicting fatal injury on the attacker.

Finally, if it is legal and possible in your state to possess a personal firearm, the better your chances at self defense. You should however check the federal firearms requirements at

More information on personal self defense skills is available at the National Self Defense Institute site Staff