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Self-defense Tip: Strategies for Female College Students

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

College life is full of opportunities, but it's crucial to prioritize safety, especially for female students. Pictured above is a nursing student Nashali Alma who successfully defended herself against an assailant earlier this year. Unfortunately not all women are so lucky.

The following are some practical self-defense tips that focus on using your environment, resourcefulness, and staying aware to enhance your personal safety on campus.

Personally, I believe all young adults should learn how to defend themselves, especially if they are going away to college, but even without martial arts training, you can boost your personal safety with the following tactics.

Environmental Awareness:
  • Buddy System: Whenever possible, go out with a friend or in a group, especially at night. There's safety in numbers, and having someone you trust by your side can deter potential threats.

  • Well-Lit Paths: Choose well-lit paths when walking alone at night. Avoid shortcuts through dark alleys or poorly lit areas. Use designated pathways and stay near campus security stations or emergency phones.

  • Digital Safety: Share your whereabouts with a trusted friend or family member when going out, especially for evening activities. Download safety apps that allow you to share your location in real-time.

  • Personal Alarm: Carry a personal alarm that emits a loud sound when activated. These devices can startle potential attackers and attract attention to your situation.

  • Self-Defense Tools: Consider carrying a whistle, pepper spray, or a safety keychain with a sharp point (i.e. pen knife if your school allows it). These tools can be used to create distance or deter an assailant.

  • Improvised weapons: Train with common objects in controlled settings. Examples of improvised weapons for a student include laptop (with and without the bag), pen/pencil, book bag, and books. Learn how to grip and strike with them, enhancing your confidence in using them if needed.

  • Escape Techniques: Learn simple escape techniques, such as how to break free from a wrist grab or a bear hug. These basic maneuvers can be effective even without formal training (I have videos of these in the self-defense section of my blog).

Escape Routes and Vocalization:
  • Safe Zones: Familiarize yourself with safe zones on campus, such as the library, student center, or a friend's dormitory. These places can provide refuge in case you feel threatened.

  • Communication: In confrontational situations, assert yourself verbally and confidently. Use strong language to set boundaries and deter potential attackers. Don't hesitate to shout for help; drawing attention to your situation can be a powerful deterrent.

Self-defense is about protecting yourself and getting to safety, not fighting:
  • Prioritize your personal safety by staying vigilant, trusting your instincts, and following self-defense tactics tailored to your situation.

  • Your safety is a priority, and these tactics can help you feel more secure and empowered in any situation.

  • Consider taking a self-defense class designed specifically for beginners to gain confidence and further enhance your safety skills on campus.

If you're a college student, contact me to receive a complimentary self-defense workshop.

To learn simple, effective self defense techniques and tactics, get my book The Short Fight,

Purchase includes free lifetime access to all my self-defense and exercise instructional videos.

Can you help me by leaving a review for my book on Amazon? This will help me to continue providing free training for you.

Thanks so much!

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Until next time, Stay Safe!

Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight


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