Top 10 Self-Defense Myths

Self-defense is an essential part of being ready and prepared for any situation that may be foolish enough to face you! There are so many self defense myths floating around the Internet about self-defense, that we decided to create this graphic about some common self-defense myths! Take a look and comment so let us know what you think!

self defense myths

So what else? Share your knowledge below!

18 thoughts on “Top 10 Self-Defense Myths”

  • Rebecca

    Elbows and knees!!! WAY better than a fist or kick and WAY harder!! If you have to get physical, SCREAM while you elbow them in the face, nose, neck, etc.

    Claw out their eyes with your nails. Still scream.

    Jab them in their throat, right at their Adam's apple.

    Keep screaming.

    As soon as you get the chance, RUN LIKE CRAZY while still screaming "call 911! call 911"

    But let's hope that you don't have to get physical.

    And if you carry a gun, know how to use it, and USE IT if necessary!

    :) But follow the advice in the graphic and don't put yourself into situations where this might be required.

  • Will

    For all women...

    It doesnt matter how much training you have, you ARE smaller and weaker than your attacker.

    Carry a gun in your purse. Use it FIRST, use it completely, shoot to kill, then keep shooting, then throw your gun at your dead attackers corpse.

    Im a big, strong guy, and have been trained in martial arts for 35 years. I carry a handgun. Think about it.

    • Court Ellis

      Same here brother!! 20 years of Martial Arts training and one thing I know for sure is that violence is never pretty!!

    • P

      Why in the world would you ever "throw your gun". Is it so someone else can take it... or maybe you just emptied all your rounds and the attacker isn't finished attacking and now has a bludgeoning weapon that you just gave him?

      Also, I get where you are coming from in saying "shoot to kill", but that type of language will get you throw in jail or at least a large civil suit against you.

      If it's a justified shooting, keep in your mind to shoot until the there is no more threat. One should never have the mind set of I'm going to shoot to kill that person. Shoot to stop the threat.

      If the attacker is no longer a threat and you continue emptying rounds into him, you have just used excessive force and will be charged.

  • Jas

    God created man.....Sam Colt made us all equal....

  • Tom

    Howdy Ya'll: I totally agree with this fine article! After 44 years in Law Enforcement, both public and private, including a FireArms Instructor; I do tend to teach and tell everyone I know...Increase your Observational Skills, and follow your own innate gut feeling! If your feelings telegraph "Avoid walking here; Stay away from this area; Don't Go...etc!

    Self Defense skills are in deed good to know, ie. how to break free of a choke hold, etc. However if you move to create and maintain a defensive space of say 10 feet around yourself, you are then in a much better position to challenge the bad guy, telling him to stop the attack. This positive confident attitude may indeed cause him to rethink his intend. You then can run; fight; draw your weapon and take command of the threat.

    However get trained, learn your state's Concealed Weapon Laws, and when you can use deadly force to protect yourself, family or another

    Finally, don't ever throw away you weapon at the bad guy, if you had to shoot him down. That kind of thinking will put You in the slammer. Wil, you should be ashamed of yourself, even thinking about such Stupid Advice. Go sit in a courtroom and watch what sleazy Attorneys do to defendants who used a gun on a bad guy! Now go stand in the corner! :-0 The rest of you, Stay Safe, Alert & Alive...Tom

  • Pete

    Better to be judged by twelve than carried (to your grave) by six. I agree with Will.

  • Brian

    If you can't run faster than your attacker, fight. Even if he's twice your size, fight. If you don't fight, you can't win. Being aware doesn't always work. Being prepared does. The best hyper-aware Marines can be ambushed. The difference is preparation. And any Marine will tell you "fast and furious can make up for a lack of training, but training is better". Get a gun, learn to use it, be prepared to use it, and decide to take action (even if you don't have your gun).

    I have been trained, sprayed with military grade mace, and shot twice. Leave your mace on the shelf, most men will feed it to you. Getting shot hurts like h**l and I have sparred with women who could hand you your a**. Get into some form of training, martial arts or handgun, but mostly decide ahead of time what your going to do. If you don't fight, you can't win.

  • Nathan B


    I can't speak for Will, but I think what he was meaning was you fire, fire, fire some more, and when you run out of ammo you fire some more. It was a more tongue in cheek humor thing as I read it. However, in the spirit of safety, Tom is absolutely 100% right. Never relinquish your weapon, regardless of whether it's a gun, mace, your car keys, or a stick you grabbed.

    Also, be smart. If the robber has a gun on you and is demanding your wallet, and there's no way you can draw/fire on him before he can fire on you, just give him your wallet. It's contents are much easier for you and your family to replace than trying to replace you.

  • Ken B

    Most people disregard their innate sense of danger--the hair standing up on the back of the neck or the feeling that something just isn't right. When this happens, run don't walk away. Also, watch "The Professional" as Jean Reno trains Natalie Portman in the use of arms. The basic principle is to keep people as far away as possible and deal with them at a distance. As the distance closes you must be more and more skilled to deal with the situation. Face to face is the most difficult and dangerous situation and should be avoided. Distance is your friend, use it.

  • Darrell T

    Put as much distance between you and an attacker as possible. Do what you have to - bite, kick, scratch and run, don't walk, run. And, never, ever, go with an attacker, anywhere. They are seeking a safer place for themselves. More safety for them means a whole lot less for you.

  • Robert

    It seems to me that no one ever addresses the idea that we are in America and to give ground to criminals is ceding our rights and space to them. To do that will eventually require you to live in a gated and patrolled community. In effect, the idea of staying out of 'bad areas' increases the danger of those bad areas and likely increases the extent of such. To retreat to a gated community where the streets are 'patrolled' is in fact self-incarceration. Stand your ground laws work to stop the increase of 'bad areas' and denies space to people who would take advantage of fear and intimidation. Stand your ground! Refuse to be a victim! Refuse to let liberals and thugs control your freedoms!

  • Lucky

    Robert, I agree with your comments until the last. I am a liberal, well-armed, woman who supports stand your ground and has made that my own policy when people have tried to attack me and been sent crying home to mama. Let's not make it partisan and divisive when we all have homes and bodies to protect.

  • Trishanna

    Just a quick note (and I see this is old discussion) ... and probably something most of us have heard but ... yes, distance is your friend. AND SO ... if someone asks for your wallet, purse, whatever ... don't HAND it to them - THROW it as far as you can - opposite the safest direction for you to go. If that's what they want, they will go after it, giving you the chance to run (hopefully to safety) behind their backs. But it's true - don't ever try to protect your stuff.

  • Tom

    I am also a big guy, and I've trained in and taught martial arts for ~33 years. Like Will, I own, am trained on, and carry guns.

    I agree with the article and (almost) all of the comments. Awareness, distance, and those hairs on the back of your neck are your friends. Use them. Also, get some training. This last one doesn't necessarily mean many hours per week for years (though it could). There are many free or very cheap self-defense classes taught by reputable Martial Arts Schools (Dojos) in nearly every area I've ever visited, including the one I teach at.

    Sadly, enrollment in these courses is going down. I recently helped teach a free two-hour class aimed specificly at helping teachers fight back against an attacker in a school situation shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings hit the news. Per FBI statistics, fighting back MAY get you injured or even killed - as will doing nothing - but it WILL cut the TOTAL number of injured or killed by 60% - 75%. The course was well advertised, well taught, and well covered by the local news media. In an area with thousands of teachers, we got 8 attendees the first week, and 6 the next. It was cancelled after nobody signed up for the next two weeks in a row.

    BTW - Robert, your slam on liberals was near-sighted, at best. Our Founding Fathers here in the USA were considered radical liberals - and THEY were the ones who WROTE the 2nd Ammmendment. *I* am considered a liberal, but I am tough on criminals, carry weapons, and train. Don't put people into groups so quickly and then judge them on what you THINK are the characteristics of that group (or worse, what people with their own agendas tell you are their characteristics.) Think for yourself. This includes matters of politics and religion, as well as every other subject that is important to you.


  • Mr. Bear

    #10 is good advice. The groin is not the only vulnerable area. The throat and eyes are also very vulnerable.

    I think that the best thing someone can do is not read a top ten list, though. Go find a self defense instructor. Take some classes. Practice. Be smart.

    If you are attacked then go to the police. Immediately. It's not your fault. You did not make someone attack you. There's no shame in being attacked - the shame lies with the attacker.

  • RKM

    two pieces of advice I have been given.
    1 from a Dallas Texas cop as well as a Dallas Texas detective.
    if you have to shoot do one of two things.
    drop them with the first shot or empty the weapon into them. the first is a self defense firing, the second was a panic situation. anything else can be twisted into excessive use of deadly force.

    the second was from my fire arms instructor.
    always shoot for center mass. with a center mass shot you have left a chance for the target to maybe live where as a head shot was done with the intent to kill.

    I would say that depending on the situation 1 possibly 2 to the chest would do the job nicely.

    I carry a 15 round mag and while 2 rounds could be needed to put someone down (not necessarily to kill them, )firing all 15 would sound ridiculous when had to tell the cop I panicked and fired 15 times (my shooting scores have never been less than 49 out of 50 center hits. and believe me that info will be pulled if you have to fire on someone).

  • Collin

    I appreciate the article and agree with most of it. I do, however, have major issues with numbers 7 and 8.
    As an experienced self defense instructor that has taught several hundred people (civilian, law enforcement, and military), I have had many of my students share their stories and the stories of their friends about attack situations. Most began with something like "I/She/He was doing XYZ and then was tackled or grabbed and thrown to the ground." Then the real horror story began because none of the victims knew how to fight from the ground. Police and FBI statistics agree that over 90% of fights end up on the ground. Do you really want to tell the readers to avoid preparing for something with over a 90% possibility? The best situation, of course, is to get distance and pull out a gun that you have trained yourself thoroughly to use. How do you expect to do that if he hit/grabbed/pushed/tackled you to the floor and you took the advice in this article and were helpless? Brazilian/Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was created by very small and weak people designed in order to fight the largest and strongest fighting champions in the world, and the little ones consistently won.
    For number 8, the police academy I attended/taught at did a lot of work with gun disarming. It is disturbingly easy to take a gun away if it is anywhere close to arms' distance. Know how to use it, decide you will use it, and, just as importantly, know how to maintain it. Question: How do you maintain your gun from an attacker that is bigger and stronger than you if you have not had a chance to get your distance? Answer: See the previous paragraph.
    In the future, please do more research before making available advice that can get people killed. In your defense, the other items are great advice and I thank you for posting them.

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