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Friday, August 17, 2012

6 Ways to Use Your Voice to Protect Yourself

Self defense classes instructors devote many hours teaching you to strike properly, deflect, block, escape...  Such exercises help you to understand how to use you body to protect yourself.  Training should also develop your mental skills - identifying and assessing danger, adapting to various situations......

One aspect of self defense that is often overlooked is your voice.

Teachers, coaches, presenters, actors and other professionals know that effective use voice to is essential to reaching their audience.

Voice is also an important tool to reach another audience - the assailant(s).  Here are 5 ways to use your voice to protect yourself.

  1. Stay Away!  Tell a person directly and firmly that their actions are not welcome.
  2. Help  Using your voice to call for help.  Be prepared. Help might not be forthcoming so you might have to defend yourself - physically.
  3. Alarm Bells  Assailants usually don't want attention drawn to them.  Too bad. Yell!
  4. Calming.  Use a steady voice to calm someone (after you mistakenly cut in front of them in a Starbucks lineup, or are the brunt of their road rage).
  5. Alerting Help.  If you sense danger or suspicious behaviour alert someone - a police officer, transit employee, security guard....
  6. Inflicting Pain  At close range(e.g. a bear hug) a scream can be painful for the attacker.

Of course, some very determined attackers won't be deterred by voice alone. This is where your other skills are needed.   Using your use can be an effective tool to send a strong message to stay away, calmly resolve a conflict, or attract help. 

Not all of these techniques come naturally so they should be included in your training.


Stay safe,


Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor and Owner
International Krav Maga Federation(IKMF), Toronto
416-657-1028