Editor’s Note:
Mamiverse first published Mugger Whooped by MMA Expert: Self Defense Tips that Can Save You Too last December. With summer right around the corner we thought it deserved a rerun to inspire you to tone up for the beach with a martial arts class or two—and as a reminder to always stay safe!

A foiled mugging in Chicago played itself out as inspiration for victims everywhere recently, when the alleged mugger attacked the wrong person—a trained Mixed Martial Arts or MMA expert. The alleged mugger might as well have attacked Batman himself. The outcome would have been exactly the same. Beaten and humiliated, what happened on that Chicago street is proof positive that when a person is trained correctly, potential tragedy can result in triumph—and most important, survival.

In another scenario that could have ended terribly, and thankfully did not, 80-year old Josefa Lopez of Hialeah, Florida, scared off her 61-year-old daughter’s assailant by aggressively swinging her aluminum cane at him. Though the attacker shot at the enraged Lopez as she tugged at his shirt, he missed and fled the scene.

But not everyone is as fortunate as Lopez. Recently in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, a 64-year old woman was burned alive in the elevator of her own building, and a serial rapist has been attacking women in Park Slope, New York, for months—hideous crimes that beg the question: as women, how can we prepare ourselves to effectively fight back?

The unfortunate reality is that one never knows when danger will strike and being ready to face any hazardous situation, monumentally increases one’s chances of escape and survival.

Stay-at-home and work-from-home moms may be particularly susceptible. If a crazed cable guy or pervert plumber end up in your home when you’re alone, you better know how to channel your inner Uma-Thurman-in-Kill-Bill—and break heads if you must. And to do so, just like Uma’s character, you must train. Self defense training has double the benefits: You can learn how to handle a marauding thug and get into some (literally) kick-ass shape.

The key is to explore how various forms of martial arts can sculpt your body, while building confidence. Here are some suggestions to get you fired up:

  • Kickboxing: This fast-paced approach focuses on punches, knees and kicks at all available openings, which is effective in distracting the attacker.
  • Aikido: This fighting style is based on joint locks, which do not require much speed, and are great for immobilizing and incapacitating an attacker.
  • Jiu Jitsu: This style incorporates elements of grappling, hard striking, eye gouging, chokeholds, biting, joint locks, and the awareness of the defender’s center of gravity, as opposed to the attacker’s.
  • Krav Maga: Israel’s national martial art incorporates Western boxing punches, Karate kicks and knees, Greco-Roman wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ground fighting, Jiu Jitsu throws and grappling, and most critically, “bursting,” which is an adaptation from Wing Chun, the fight method of the infamous Bruce Lee.
  • Keysi Fighting Method: This approach does not feature any kicks, and instead thrives on extreme close-quarter combat using every weapon the body can quickly wield in such a small space: fists, heads, knees, and especially the elbows.

Empowered Women: Self Defense Tips to Bring Out Your Inner Warrior

We checked in with Garrett Macrine, a former soldier and leader in Israel’s elite SWAT forces turned Miami fitness expert, who offered the following self-defense hit list:

  1. Avoid the Stairwell: Forget about losing calories. Safety is more important. Never take the stairwell when you are alone or at night. Criminals like stairwells because they are isolated and therefore easily controlled. Always use the elevator when you are alone.
  2. Light Up the Night: Install bright lights (high pressure sodium) throughout your home’s exterior, front and rear entrances and exits. Darkness is a criminal’s best friend.
  3. Walk with Confidence: Keep a steady pace and walk with your head up, showing that you are alert and prepared to respond to any threat. Look like the tiger and not the lamb.
  4. Face the Traffic: Always walk facing the flow of traffic so that you can always see who is approaching you. Never walk with your back to traffic because assailants can pull up behind you and surprise attack.
  5. Get in Your Car and Close the Door: Many drivers have the bad habit of getting in their car, putting the key in the ignition and then closing the door. That is a prime opportunity for someone to approach the open door and attack. You are very vulnerable sitting in your vehicle with the seat belt on because your movements are restricted. You are basically trapped. Close the door and lock it, then put your key in the ignition. Also, remember to pull your keys out before you walk out to your car, carry a key sticking out from between your fingers, as it could serve as a weapon in the event of an attack.
  6. Choose Your Parking Space Wisely: Always park in a well lighted space. Be careful parking next to large vans especially if the sliding door is next to your driver’s door. Pay special attention if a large van parked next to your car while you were away from it. Serial killers who abduct children and women will use large vans and park next to your car and wait for you to exit the store or shopping mall. The van door will not be closed all the way and you will be able to see the sliding door cracked just enough for the killer to see you. At the last minute, the kidnapper will throw back the door and grab you as you’re opening your car door with your back to the van.
  7. You Will Fight Like You Practice: As you train, that is how you will fight. Train hard and often and when the time comes you will be ready.
  8. Distance is Your Friend: The closer you are to the attacker the less skill he needs to attack you. Create space and try to get away. Distance is your best friend in almost every attack.
  9. Tint Your Windows: Attackers like to see who is in the vehicle. Tints help to prevent potential attacks, as the criminal cannot see into the car, which is a problem for them. They need to know how many people are in the car.
  10. Make Your House Identifiable: In an emergency every second counts. Make sure that your house number is clearly identifiable from the street. Go out and buy large numbers for your house address to make it easy to find by police and fire rescue. Place the house address numbers on the front of your house and also in the rear.