Knock Em Down, Knock Em Out

Last night, I hosted a free self-defense course at Athleta Atlantic Station. I had a few friends in law enforcement come out and speak a bit about attitude, preparation, and defensive techniques. My friend, Kristin, also helped demonstrate a few simple maneuvers that would help you take down an attacker, giving you that small window to try and get away. 

I know this isn't a warm and fuzzy topic but it's so important. There is nothing more important than your safety and well-being, particularly if you're like me and tend to do things solo. Traveling and running and experiencing life on your own is awesome, but it also leaves you more vulnerable, no matter of your size or stature. At 5'10" and pretty built, I still opt out of situations that could leave me in a vulnerable spot. 

So for those of you who missed the course, I'm going to touch on a few tips on safety and self defense here. PLEASE read and take this seriously-you never know when you'll need to know some of this information.

  • This is Lieutenant Jason Deyette. Cannot tell you enough about how awesome he is. He's a SWAT officer and trainer-basically an all around badass, keeper of the peace. Last night he talked a lot about attitude. You should never think, "Oh I'm just going to die tonight. This is it..." He said that once you're there, you've given up and you very well might die. You have to be prepared to go out fighting. Nobody has the right to hurt you or take your life so you make sure you protect yourself and your family (or your Frenchie) until the very end. ATTITUDE, ladies! If and/or when someone tries to attack you, you fight with everything you've got and make them wish they were never born. BRING. THE. HEAT. Hell hath no fury like you, you empowered, wonderful, goddess, you.

  • Never expect people to step in and help you. Lieutenant Deyette talked about this also. Yes, call for help, call for the police, but do not rely on others to save you. Sometimes the cavalry isn't coming or they're far away. Sometimes, you'll call for help in public and nobody will help because everybody's too afraid to step in. Be your own hero.
  • If someone is attacking you, yell: "STOP! NO! LET GO!"-all of those typical imperative statements at your attacker. Then start screaming for help. If you can, obviously, call for the police on your phone or just scream. Bottomline, be as loud and as crazy and you could ever possibly be and when you get any chance to run, RUN. Yes, you may be like me and want to stay and stomp their throat and snap their spine because how dare they mess with you and your fine goddess life, but for everybody's sake, especially yours, take off running and let somebody like Lt. Deyette handle it from there when they show. 

  • If something makes you feel uncomfortable or seems shady, it's probably because it's creepy and shady! Walk away from anything or anyone who gives you creep vibes! I've not gotten on the elevator before with people that looked shady-it's totally fine! It's better than thinking you got this and then you're in a closed metal box, going into a dark and empty garage with someone who could be the next Leatherface wanting to wear your skin! Creep vibes! Beware!
  • If someone grabs you by the ponytail, you're going to twist down and around to throw them off, have them loosen their grip and then start kicking the sensitive areas. In general, these places are the best places to attack, in this order, when someone is trying to harm you: 
    • Eyes
    • Nose
    • Throat
    • Downstairs/Nether regions
    • Knee caps
    • Sides of the knees
    • Shins

  • Bottomline is the person who is up in your space trying to get rowdy wasn't trying to sell you cookies. They mean to harm you. This doesn't have to be a fair fight-shred them, ladies! Gouge their eyes, hammer fist them in the nose, punch them in the throat, do whatever it takes to give yourself a window to get away from them. Knock 'em down, knock 'em out! This is the the time you're allowed to hit as hard and as much as you need to.

  • If somebody grabs you by the hair, trap their hand firmly on your head with both your hands. Then do the same maneuver twisting down and around to get their wrist to go the opposite way it would naturally want to go, keeping their hand on your head. At that point you have the chance to kick and slam them in those areas I mentioned before, giving you time to get away.


Remember that your body doesn't respond exactly as you'd hope in stressful situations. Visualizing bad scenarios and how you should react to them can help condition you so if a situation happens, you can handle yourself better. Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Trust your gut. Carry pepper spray. And remember, the best accessory is an attitude of a strong and capable woman. Your body and your life are precious, protect them at all costs.

Additionally, here are some helpful videos.

  • This one is tips for staying in hotels because sometimes the locks are not enough. 
  • This is for getting out of zip ties, duct tape, etc.

If you have any questions, let me know and I'll try to get them answered! Much love, you epic power chicks!

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