12 Self-Defense Moves That May Save Your Life

For as long as life has existed there have been predators vs prey and evolution pushed what is now prey to evolve to defend themselves. Humans are no exception, and just like that, the first spear was born.

groin kick self-defense move

They say humans invented war and fighting, however, animals fight and create war, monkeys have been documented destroying one troop over females and resources, humans have carried this touch and we invented martial arts and self-defense.

We have a need to defend ourselves and defend our loved ones, so we battled with weapons, and soon fighting forms were born with fists, elbows, knees, feet, holds, and throws, as well as weapons.

These allowed humans to defend themselves from attacks from humans and predators.

That’s the basics of self defense and we have a good list of moves to employ in this article.

When it comes to combat or self-defense they must work with you, you will know when one works for you. You enjoy it!

The aim of all martial arts is to avoid fights, but when one is unavoidable you can defend yourself and have a good chance of winning.

How to Choose the Right Martial Art Style for You?

What Self-Defense Martial Art Should I Study?

There are hundreds of martial arts and self-defense classes to join if you are the type of person that prefers being taught rather than self taught.

It is about choosing one or more that will be highly useful when you need to use your training and is also right for you.

The moves in this list are basic enough to practice with a partner or on your own as you can pick up instructional books and there are YouTube videos on this subject as well for you to slow down and watch their technique, especially if you are a self-taught person.

It might take some time, but you will find one that is right for you and you will enjoy studying it.

Some will not find what I study to their liking, but for me, these three listed below are right for me.

The three self-defense arts I have studied above all else for a long time now are:

  • Boxing
  • Krav Maga
  • Pro-wrestling

The Self-Defense Move List

In this article, we will be listing the best self-defense moves to use to survive.

You’ve had your prepper call to survive and you’re preparing to bug-out, however, you’ve been caught out by a group of the unprepared, so what can you do?

Well, here are your options:

1. Use Your Brain

If you have the knowledge you can quickly assess the situation before they make a move, so ask yourself some quick questions:

  • How many can you see?
  • How many could remain unseen?
  • How are they armed?
  • If armed, with what?
  • Can you fight them and win?

Using your brain increases your survival chances, asking these questions and finding the answers is a great self-defense move as you’ve lived to survive another day.

If you’ve been flanked and lost your weapon, what do you do next?

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2. Talk To Them

I’m serious, if you can engage in a dialogue you can prologue your chances of survival.

You might be able to come to an agreement as your training and preparation are highly valuable commodities when the apocalypse happens.

Talking might also allow time for your allies to hear your dialogue and engage in a successful attack of some kind.

3. The Groin Kick

For a male, this is one of many weak spots. A hard kick or punch here will do a lot of damage and stop their next attack via striking the groin nerve endings. This is from the Krav Maga playbook.

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4. The Eye Poke

For anyone, this is a weak point. Another move from the Krav Ma Ga playbook.

If you can finger poke the eyes it will hurt, do it hard enough and you will damage the eyes, thus stopping future attacks as the opponent is going to hold their eyes and produce tears.

Ear Slaps for Self Defense

5. The Ear Slaps

For anyone, this is going to hurt. A cupped hand slap to both ear canals will do serious damage and stops an attacker, this is another nasty Krav Maga move that could rupture eardrums.

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6. The Chin Punch

It’s not always guaranteed, but for some, a punch or even knee to the chin, preferably the centre of the jaw, could be an instant knockout or could break the jaw, which we know from boxing.

This is where weight training and striking practice come into play to gain a powerful punch.

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7. Solar Plexus Punch

A punch or even a knee here will cause the attacker to get winded and stop their attack, boxers might have experienced this.

A nasty move that can take minutes to recover from, allowing you time to come up with a plan.

How to throw uppercut to body

8. Body Uppercut

By upper cutting just below the ribs and up into the rib cage cavity you can impede the opponent from another attack, it works like the solar plexus strike, however, this targets the diaphragm. Remember knuckles facing into the body to protect your hand.


9. Throat Chop

Another effective move that will immobilise an attacker, especially a male. It will cause the receiver to feel like they are choking.

A nasty move, usually done with the edge of the hand with a hard chop.

How to hit and RUN | Self defence

10. Run

Sometimes you have to know when to run and come back stronger with better tactics to regain your preps. Or this will be the response of being chased, so plan for that as well.

Can you separate them? Can the apocalypse help you? So good cardiovascular and endurance work will help here.

These are considered non-lethal but good moves for being attacked by a group, but when you win you can use something to restrain them.

If you have one attacker then you can use more moves than the ones listed above.

The 7 Deadly Wrist Locks

11. Standing Arm/Wrist Locks

An effective way of controlling an opponent, especially if they have a weapon, like a knife.

From here you can go into other grappling moves to aid in control and victory. Mostly used in Pro-wrestling usually after the lock-up.

The wrist is an easy thing to manipulate when the wrist lock hold is used properly, the hold can break it too when enough pressure and angle are employed.

How to do a One arm Shoulder Throw - Judo Lessons

12. Judo One Arm Shoulder Throw

This can be done by anyone to anyone bigger or smaller than themselves with enough practice of the technique and timing.

You can throw your opponent over you with their arm to the floor and go into something else to take control, like a knee to the face, or a ground armbar.

Pro-wrestlers are also taught this, but you might see them in pro-wrestling matches or in Olympic Judo matches.

Both are easy to understand and master with some guidance, like a slowed-down video or a book with step-by-step diagrams or pictures.

When timed right and with speed you could instantly win the fight as you’ve stopped them from continuing the attack which is the aim of any combat, self-defense, or martial arts if a fight is unavoidable.

Final Thoughts

These are some basic moves that when practised and mastered could be the difference in how long you survive.

By no means is this list definitive and you will find other moves or techniques you may like more or want to add to your unarmed combat arsenal and either is fine.

The one thing you need to remember about any technique is whether are they suitable for self-defense and is it suitable for me?

self-defense moves that may save your life pinterest

2 thoughts on “12 Self-Defense Moves That May Save Your Life”

  1. I’m all for learning self-defense especially with the what now seems a rise in violence but what about the more vulnerable? disabled, or elders or those with limited mobility due to disease? With ‘by-stander’ syndrome going on, reactions to help are slow. These are great tips though. 🙂

  2. Yep. Target eyes, ears, throat, groin, knees, ankles, toes and fingers. Disassemble them, and keep it direct and simple.


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