‘Operation Safe Summer:’ Self-defense expert teaches how to protect yourself when you’re unarmed

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EVERETT — If someone attacked you while you walked down the street would you know how to protect yourself?

In WMW’s latest ‘Operation Safe Summer,’ a safety expert shows self-defense tactics that could save your life — even if you’re unarmed.

Ben Olmsted is an instructor for Insights Training Center and teaches their unarmed self-defense course. “If we don’t have the luxury of having a pocket knife or pepper spray with us or even a hand gun for that matter it’s always good to have just open hand skills.”

Olmsted demonstrates, “I’m going to set my hands up here. I’m telling this person I don’t want any trouble, if I really believe that this person needs to be hit, that they’re about to attack me, I’m going to throw my first strike using the heel of my palm and I’m striking to the face.”

And if someone comes at you from behind, Olmsted says the key is to protect your throat. “Once you feel the choke come around you’ve got to drop your center of gravity, get low and then grab the elbow and pull that elbow into your chest. Pull down on it this way into your chest and you’re going to be fighting to get your chin down so that I don’t start collapsing your chordates,” Olmsted explains. Tucking your chin under the attackers arm is key, but pulling down on their elbow can send pain into the bad guys nerve bundle beneath his arm. Olmsted continues, “And then you’re going to pull that elbow hard into your chest and put pressure so you have to start fighting to get that down.” You can then take one of your arms and start hitting the groin area to cause more pain and if the attacker comes at you from the side, Olmsted says, “On our target here, you’ll see there’s a stripe going around the entire base of the skull and neck and really when it comes to striking, that is our strike point.” The top of the skull is less vulnerable so you want to hit lower if you can.

Of course, the overall goal is to never have to hit anyone. Olmsted is quick to say, “The number one thing is being aware of my surroundings. The more I’m aware the more I can avoid that.” But, if you do have to go hands on, Olmsted says do not hesitate. “It’s about where you strike, but it’s also being dedicated. When the fight’s on there’s no more decision making. You’re fighting to end the fight. You don’t want to stick around and find out what’s going to happen next.”

These are skills you can take with you wherever you go and enjoy a safer summer.

CLICK HERE for more information on InSights Training Center.