Urban Survival Tips 26, 27, & 28

Posted: March 21, 2013 in Survival/Self Defense
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These three tips go hand in hand.  I thought about posting one each day like I usually do but that would simply be excessive.  Last tip we learned how to make a proper fist, but today we learn how to improve our self defense even more.

26)  Master Basic Fighting Techniques

“The best way to protect yourself from injury (and take out your assailant) is to disable him or her”.  In one of my favorite books of all time, Ender’s Game, Ender fights other children on several occasions   He normally avoided fighting but when he had no choice, he fought to win permanently.  “Knocking him down won the first fight. I wanted to win all the next ones, too”.  He wanted to disable his attacker in a way that they would never be able to hurt him again.  That’s the goal of self defense after all, right?

If you really want to learn self defense, you should take a class.  Most gyms in my area offer some type of personal protection class.  Just check around and see what you find.  Here are some basic fighting moves to help you learn to be better prepared until then.

  • Parry:  A “parry” is a defensive move that is used to block an incoming punch or kick.  This is performed by moving your arm or leg in a circular motion in order to force the attack off to the side.  This is not an easy technique to describe in writing so I’ve added the picture to help illustrate the move.
  • Punch:  This is fairly straightforward, but proper technique can improve your strength and effectiveness greatly.  The books says, “Bring your fist to waist level, with your elbow pulled back.  Step forward with the opposite foot as you punch, landing the blow as your foot hits the ground”.
  • Kick:  Again, fairly basic.  Never underestimate the power of a kick though.  Our legs are extremely strong and can inflict a lot of damage if used properly.  To perform a basic kick, lift your foot to about knee level and thrust your foot toward your attacker.  Aim for areas like the stomach, groin, or knees.  Use the momentum you create during the kick to propel you forward so you can get in a quick punch or two before the attacker can recover.


27)  Clutch a Roll of Quarters

You might be thinking, “Okay, I understand the point of this suggestion, but who walks around with a roll of quarters in their pocket?”  Well, to be quite honest, I’ve done it on several occasions   Not for self defense reasons though.  I go through lots of quarters at work in the soda machine so when I go to the bank each week I sometimes buy $10 worth of quarters.

Carrying them around is rather cumbersome because they weigh quite a bit.  But that is in fact the best reason to use them for self defense.  Punching someone in the face, or other vital area, is painful enough as it is.  I don’t know a whole lot about physics but I know that adding a pound or two to that punch gives you a good bit more impact.

If you’re headed to an area you aren’t so sure about, swing by the bank and grab some quarters.  If you end up not needing your “weapon”, at least you’ve wasted no money on it.  You can simply turn it back in for $10.

28)  Defend Yourself With Your Keys

I would imagine that every one of my readers keep a set of keys on them every day.  Many people never consider keys as weapons but they can certainly fill the position if need be.  They’re not as sharp as a knife, but they don’t need to be.  Most keys are jagged and at least somewhat pointed.  Punching or slashing (pretend you’re Wolverine) with a set of keys can really hurt someone.

To properly take advantage of this you need to hold your keys in a way that provides maximum effectiveness.  Try holding your keys with one between each finger, extending the points away from you, toward your attacker. Or, if you only have one key, you can hold it like a knife.  Keep the point toward your attacker and slash with the jagged edge toward their body.

Your keys wont do nearly as much damage as some weapons, so don’t rely on them as your main method of personal protection.  But don’t ever feel defenseless with only your keys.  Take a couple practice swings right now, get the feel of it.  As with anything, you’ll want to practice before you need to use the skill.  Trying to learn the best method while being attacked probably wont end with the best results.


The information in this post is a combination of my own opinions and the information provided in the book, Urban Survival Guide, by Rich Johnson.  Always try to avoid confrontations when possible.  Only resort to using the methods above if there is absolutely no other option.

  1. […] it provides a long reach and a heavy base with sharp, pointed corners.  And as we learned in our tip from day 28 you can always defend yourself with a set of keys.  I keep two sets (home and work) on me most of […]

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