Best Self-defense Tactics for a Woman

Spread the love

Written by Kyt Lyn Walken

Among the most remarkable skills for a female prepper, self-defense tactics surely maintain a special seat. In a SHTF scenario, in fact, we may be required to ramp up from a state of vigilant alert to a combative one in a matter of few seconds. For this reason, Self Defense Tactics require the very maximum of us: attention, commitment, and physical/mental preparation.

They require commitment and dedication, but being prepared for the worse starts just outside our doors. And, sad but true, sometimes even inside the home.

Preparedness is a state of mind, way before our body. But physical features such as being tiny, slender, and skinny are a pure matter of fact. As I do personally correspond to these traits, I can honestly tell you I exactly know what I am talking about.

This article does not aim to be a motivational one, but instead provide valuable considerations and suggestions on how to face a potentially dangerous situation by improving your self-defense skills.

Surely no one likes to be a victim or to be considered one. For this reason, we need to understand how to reason, train, and react in correspondence to our bodies, skills, and the weapons we could use. Let’s take a look at self-defense tips for a woman.

Violence against women – some statistics

The more numerous cases of violence are related to psychological aggression (47,1%), followed by physical violence (31.5%), other sex violence (15.8%), stalking (9.2%), and rape (8.8%).

Crime’s high concentration mainly occurs in extended metropolitan areas, where the likelihood of being a victim of any kind of assault is much more critical.

Urban and suburban places, in fact, offer the proper features to make this happen, in terms of:
scenario (remote, low-security streets and especially alleys, run-down areas, dark spots, abandoned buildings)
intentions (presence of ill-intentioned people moved by different purposes).

Being unprepared and harmless is what aggressors look for. They identify the target and they contrive to accomplish their purposes, taking advantage of an evident gap in terms of physical deficits, performances, and the probability the victim wouldn’t oppose.

No doubt we all are pretty much aware of it and no one of us is so much naive to consider it a remote possibility.
But what if the situation is going to exacerbate, thinking about a possible SHTF scenario?

What could happen when a SHTF scenario strikes?

Some well-known movies and TV series quite paved the way to make us ponder the idea that things could get even worse. Political/social/economical instability, paired with behavioral anarchy designated to achieve personal goals connected to survival and self-sufficiency may create the ideal substrate for a worsening of aggression and assaults.

Several historical records proved that this already happened, like during the Soviet occupation of Germany (1944-1945), or hundreds of Italian women raped by Goumiers (French Colonial Soldiers) in 1945. Just to mention a few.

A state of war is, in itself, a SHTF scenario. Facing some massively critical facts like these, women have few weapons to resort to. The first one, to conceal themselves somewhere, can be surely put into action.

Nonetheless, to get it, it is necessary to have a minimum of knowledge (and mastered knowledge) of the place we are in and to have a set-up plan which should really work.

In absence of that, we actually need to understand how, when, and why we can react to any aggression, undergoing some universal guidelines, attending to our common sense, and obviously… being prepared for the worst to happen.


To forecast a possible attack, observation, and intuition play an essential role. By gaining intelligence of a place (either indoor or outdoor) you are crossing in, is, simply to collect pieces of information on the features of a situation.

By observing people with accuracy and, at the very same time, discretion, you can understand if there is any suspicious individual who could represent a threat to yourself and others.

Some details related to clothes, gestures, and looks may indicate a lot. In the very same manner, by scanning the entire area you can gain data on possible exits, windows, doors, and, in general, any escape routes.
Even if something may look like a minor inconvenience, just feel your guts: maybe one small thing could be out of your control and cause serious damage to your safety.

Furthermore, if you feel don’t feel comfortable entering a specific place, then.. just don’t go. Probably your instinct is telling you not to. And it is probably right.

Understanding and applying Cooper’s code

According to the famous Cooper’s colors code, there are different levels of preparedness and mental awareness.
You can mirror yourself in them to better assess the situation you are in, face it in the best way you are prepared for.

White color identifies the level of “UNAWARE – potential victim”.
Yellow color stands for “SITUATIONALLY AWARE”
Orange underlines an individual who RECOGNIZES a potential threat.
Red color is associated with an individual who is READY TO FIGHT.
Black color goes for a state of BREAKDOWN OF PHYSICAL and MENTAL PERFORMANCE. Black was not originally part of Cooper’s code but was later added by the U.S. Marine Corps.

As every scene is fluid- and this is especially true when SHTF strikes – you may find yourself in a status of transition from one color/level to another.

For this reason, keeping a constantly high level of alert is mandatory: things could actually change in a matter of seconds, and you are required to take control of them.

Knowing and taking advantage of the weapons at your own disposal

Your body

If you find yourself in the color red, you may need to resort to your own body and skills.

The obvious, initial consideration is that either attacking or defending ourselves is far from being easy to put into action, especially when anguish, fear, and panic take over.

Nonetheless, no matter how massive your attacker may be, everyone have vulnerable spots.
The common ones are the throat, eyes, nose, chest, groin, and knees.

The starting point is to create room between you and the aggressor to gain space to move and, hopefully, to wriggle out and escape.

By saying that, the most effective moves should be aimed at these areas:
pushing into the Adam’s apple
dropping the assaulter pointing at his/her knees
grabbing his little finger and his ring finger with one hand, and his middle and index finger with the other, then bending the wrist forward
attacking the groin
hitting his pelvis with your knee while slapping his face

These are, obviously, just a quick list of the most notorious ones.
On the web, you can find a lot of videos you can relate to understand the moves, even if there is nothing like attending a real course to engage a professional to teach you to do things right.

Other weapons

Pepper sprays and tasers require not only to have them at very easy reach but also dexterity, alacrity and a mind perfectly focused on calibrating every single movement. Do not underestimate that.
A good way to achieve this is constant practice, in particular when physical and mental fatigue may take over you.
Last but not least: never change the place you assigned to these items in your bag. A common carelessness could cost a lot.


Knives are considered “White Weapons” or “Cold Weapons,” meaning they don’t rely on combustion or explosion from ammunition. Using a blade is never as easy as it seems in movies. Penetrating the flesh is a traumatic experience even for the aggressor.

Plus, in some U.S. states ( and especially in Europe), the personal carry of a knife is illegal.

With all that said, if a blade is your choice, be sure to become consistent and solid with its use, practicing in complete safety, and becoming familiar with the blade. Being paired with a good Instructor is the best way to go.

The phase of pulling out the knife, in fact, is one of the most critical ones, along with the capability of not letting anyone take it away from you.


According to the laws of the State you live in, firearms could be your weapon of choice. A lot has been already said on this topic, and I just personally would like to stress the importance of proper training along with proper mental preparedness and mechanical movement acquisition.

A pistol could be an obvious selection, but I personally feel more comfortable with a shotgun due to the training I received as an Antipoaching Ranger.

Blunt objects

When you meet big and violent people, sometimes the technique is not enough to make up for lack of strength: therefore you should also equip yourself with effective blunt tools.

Besides that, any blunt object requires the presence of it as well, and, again, of your dexterity. Reaction times dictate the core of this Self Defense tactic, as well as your attitude of taking advantage of any item you can grab to defend yourself.


If your preparedness starts from your home, you can focus on equipping your places with anything you think is suitable to face any home invasion.

Personally speaking, I equipped my home entrance with an umbrella stand that contains a big and long axe. At the very sight, it can look like an extravagant piece of furniture, but obviously, it has a specific purpose.
A heavy book-stand could be another good solution!

There’s certainly nothing like attending real courses and mastering, through constant practice, the skills you are gaining.

Ask a member of your family to help you sort it out, share knowledge and invite them to overstress, you simulating potential aggression. Being prepared has a lot to do with reps you can do at home!

About the author

Kyt Lyn Walken is Official Representative and Instructor for Hull’s Tracking School (Virginia) and Antipoaching Certified Ranger for Conservation Rangers Operations Worldwide Inc. (Colorado).

She’s a long time Prepper and Survivalist and she wrote several articles and essays on this topic.   

If you found this article interesting or helpful, please consider helping us out (without costing you anything)! We are an affiliate of, which means we received a small commission if you click through one of our Amazon links when you shop, at totally no cost to you. This helps keep the lights on at the blog. Thanks!

Spread the love


  1. As an elderly woman who uses a cane part of the time and takes public transportation, I can’t agree enough about the value of awareness. It’s rather easy to get me off balance and take me down, yet I’ve been in some sketchy areas (including a couple of riots at the transit station) and come out unscathed, thank God.

    During one riot, it started as a group of young people shouting at each other and shoving. People were pulling out their phones and recording rather than moving away. A lady with a baby in a stroller and a young child by the hand looked at me and said in Spanish “Not good. Let’s go, okay?” She got the stroller, I got the child by the hand and we began moving away even though there was no place close to get into. As we reached the edge of the transit bay, a driver who just pulled in opened his doors and said “Get in, quick!” He loaded all the people waiting for his bus quickly and pulled away even though it wasn’t time.

    We watched from the parking lot as the violence escalated. There were a lot of people hurt, who all said “It just happened so fast, they came out of nowhere.” No, they were fighting right there in front of everyone, but people were on their phones and talking with each other and disregarded what was going on, or stayed to watch as if recording something gave them distance from what was actually happening.

    Being aware of your situation gives you the few seconds it takes to get into a store, get away from the problem, behind a car or something safer than just standing there. Some kids from the same school as the ones fighting were the first to start moving away and urging older people and people with kids to move, helping them get out of the way. Because they deal with this at school all the time, they knew they’d rather miss a bus than stay where there was a potential for things to become more dangerous. Being willing to change plans and be inconvenienced could literally save your life. Unless you’re a professionally trained fighter, as in military or law enforcement, you do more good by getting out of the way and directing others/helping than by becoming part of the problem. Then if you do get caught up in something, know how to fight back to gain distance and escape, not to get back at or take down the person(s) attacking you. As we age we need to realize our limitations and not add to the difficulties of others who can be more effective.

    1. Hi Mme Homebody, That was quite an experience you described. Situational awareness is key. It’s also true that we need to be realistic about age and strength limitations. Thanks for the comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *