Self-defense for Seniors: 8 Skills to Practice

Over the past few years, attacks on senior citizens have become far more common than society would like. This has left a lot of people feeling unsafe as elderly citizens become easier targets for criminals.

senior throwing a punch

Why? Well, they may not have the strength and endurance that they had in their teens and twenties. Now, this means that your approach to self-defense must be adapted to fit your changing physical condition.

So, let’s look at self-defense skills for the elderly!

1. Situational Awareness

I can’t stress this enough; you must constantly be aware of your environment if you want to avoid trouble! So many people nowadays have their heads down either looking at their phones, or they’re looking through their pockets to find their car keys.

Once they’re in the car, what do they do? They check their phones for any missed calls or messages. The bottom line is that they’re not paying attention to what’s going on around them.

This makes them incredibly vulnerable to muggings, smash & grabs, and other violent crimes which could’ve been avoided.

2. Staying Calm

One of the first things that happen in a violent encounter is that you experience an adrenaline rush. You lose the ability to think and rationally analyze the situation and, as a result, you lose the ability to adequately defend yourself.

If, however, you can keep your wits about you and keep calm under pressure you’ll be able to better handle the situation.

3. Talk, Talk, and Talk Some More!

De-escalation skills are crucial for self-defense. The ability to talk your way out of trouble is great because it means you can avoid injuries and your would-be attacker can avoid damage and possible legal headaches (depending on the laws in your area).

4. Keep Fit

Keeping yourself in good physical condition is going to make dealing with a physical confrontation just a little bit easier. Running, crunches, push-ups, star jumps, and chin-ups can help develop your body and improve your overall health.

If you need another reason to keep fit, check this out:

'He picked the wrong house': Bodybuilder, 82, fights break-in suspect

My favorite part about this particular story is how the one who needed medical attention was the wannabe burglar.

5. Personal Alarms and Whistles

Noise is a great deterrent for bad guys, and you can use it to let people know you’re in trouble and scare off your attackers.

Having heard a few of these used over the years, I can tell you these are ridiculously loud; they’re also readily available at most security-related retailers.

Whistles can be used for the same purpose and can be found at any sporting goods store. They’re lightweight and easily concealed.

6. The K.I.S.S. Principle

This is probably the best advice for if you have to get physical in a confrontation. KISS stands for keep it simple stupid.

The KISS principle is exactly what it sounds like; you abandon any flashy cool-looking gear, and focus on the simplest things that work. This is especially true when you’re a senior citizen and don’t have the speed and/or strength to do anything crazy.

7. Carry Yourself with Confidence

This one may sound a little… odd because when you think of self-defense you don’t typically consider how you present yourself as a skill.

Think of a wolf pack for a moment, which animals do they target while they’re hunting? They’ll typically go for the easiest meal, the weakest link, and the stragglers.

Bad guys are the same, they’re predators, and they’re looking for prey – people who won’t or can’t put up much of a fight.

How do you get around this? You walk upright with your head on a constant swivel so that you can see everything going on around you.

If you look like someone who isn’t to be messed with, there’s a fairly good chance that the bad guys may decide to go looking for someone else.

  1. Use Whatever You Can as a Weapon

I’ve carried knives for many years, but I don’t always have a knife on me – especially if I’m at home. This means that if something happens, I’ll have to just grab whatever I’ve got on hand.

Improvisation and the ability to think on the fly are crucial especially if you don’t have easy access to weapons. Weapons can be adapted from literally anything you can get your hands on.

Stay Safe

Self-defense situations are frightening and, to quote one of my favorite paranormal series:

“If you’re living in fear, you’re not living.”

Keep your wits about you and please stay safe out there, these situations are no joke and should be treated with all due respect and caution.

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