Quick Tips for Protesters

Considering the political climate surrounding the recent presidential race, and with the #WomensMarch on DC, we wanted to drop some quick tips for you protesters out there who may have to physically defend yourselves. This is meant as advice which can be absorbed extremely fast at a protest or on your way. It is not representative of our normal curriculum.


Just as in all our classes we first recommend that you try to escape. You are less likely to be injured by trying to leave first, and it puts you on the right side of most self-defense laws.

In a dense crowd however it can be extremely difficult to move depending on how tightly packed you are. Escape may be impossible and so…

The Clinch

This is the main point we want you to get. It’s an easy way to keep from being punched in the face when fists start flying (it’s what boxers do when they are losing). Not sure what to do in a fistfight? Just “clinch”.

Simply grab them around the torso, locking your hands and squeezing tight. Duck your face under your own arm to protect it from punches, and keep  the left side of your face against their chest, like you are listening to their heart.

From this position, you are free to knee them in the groin continually until they drop.

(Head to chest is important, if you go to the side of their body they can headlock you. Left side of your face to their chest turns your face away from their strong right hand.)

…and stay down!

Again we advocate running away when your attacker goes down, but In a dense crowd it might not be possible, so you are justified in kicking or stomping someone while they are down to make sure you are safe from them getting back up and continuing the assault. It might be a while before anyone can reach you to help. They might not even realize you are in trouble.

Other areas you should target

You can reach an excellent target from almost any position. Here are some areas you can target from some of the most common ways someone in a crowd might grab you. If you can reach any of these go for it hard and fast without hesitating, do your worst!

Note: If crushing with your hands ever seems to be working, don’t release your grip. Follow him to the ground and sustain until you are sure he’s not getting back up.

General Tips

Bring bail/emergency cash. Dress comfortably. Bring documentation about any medical conditions you have and 3-5 days worth of any prescriptions you need. Set a lock on your phone. Memorize or write emergency contact info on your body (lawyer, friends, parents). Permanent Magic Marker lasts a long time, especially under a clear coat of nail polish. Bring Milk/Maalox/Decontaminate in case you get maced. Stick with your group. Buddy up. Help each other out.

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Disclaimer: The attacker is always to blame, never the victim. To gain proficiency at women's self defense you should also seek training at a live class, such as the free class offered by SASS. The owners of this website are not responsible for injuries you inflict or sustain during the practice or application of these techniques. It is impossible for owners of this website to absolutely guarantee your safety. The views and opinions here do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the website owners. Physical techniques are dangerous and painful, they should only be used in self defense.