Here’s Exactly What To Do When Someone Grabs You

We all like to imagine what we would do if we were grabbed by some thug on the street. Unfortunately, the reality is very different and all that planning and imagining goes out the window.

Being grabbed or attacked on the street is a nerve-wrecking experience, and these situations can easily spiral out of control and become very dangerous. This is especially true if you make a mistake.

So what’s the worst self-defense mistake you can make when someone grabs you?

The biggest mistake you can make when you’re grabbed by someone – apart from panicking – is not bringing your hands up.

Of course, an even more fundamental mistake that you can make in any self-defense situation is to get into that situation to begin with.

This happens mostly because you were either not paying attention and/or trying to avoid the situation or you thought you could handle it and tried to muscle through it with brute strength.

Mistakes can be Dangerous

Nobody’s perfect, I understand that and so do most people; we all make mistakes. This is especially true when it comes to self-defense situations and we’re under a lot of stress.

Sometimes, we make a mistake by accident because we’re not thinking clearly; this is completely normal, but it doesn’t change the fact that these mistakes can be very dangerous.

Apart from the obvious dangers to yourself, there is always a chance that others can get hurt trying to help you or get out of the way.

More Mistakes you can Make

This is an interesting topic because the answer changes depending on who you ask.

  • Training for self-defense incorrectly/inadequately.
  • Responding to a situation inappropriately (i.e. reacting aggressively to another aggressive person/behavior).
  • Believing you’re getting a fair fight from the bad guys.
  • Overestimating your skills and trying to play the hero.
  • Letting your ego get the better of you.

These are all valid answers, but the most mentioned things when it comes to mistakes and self-defense are awareness, avoidance, and de-escalation. Of these three, avoidance got the most attention.

The biggest mistake is not trying to avoid the situation. To put it bluntly: if you’re in a situation where you’ve been grabbed, it was probably because you weren’t paying attention and/or didn’t try to avoid it.

Too many people nowadays have their noses in their phones while walking around in public. They’re not paying attention to what’s going on around them and it leaves them very vulnerable. They also have little, if any de-escalation skills and don’t know how to deal with these types of situations.

Additionally, everyone likes to think they can handle these types of situations and consequently don’t bother trying to avoid them, preferring instead to just muscle through them.

A Common Misconception

When it comes to self-defense, there’s this idea that it’s a purely physical thing. This couldn’t be further from the truth, it’s as much a mental thing as it is a physical thing. You have to be both willing and able to defend yourself from an attack.

This idea leads to people focusing more on their physical attributes; strength, speed, endurance, and so on, and neglecting their mental attributes (i.e. mindset, awareness, etc.)

Something to remember is that the end goal of any self-defense situation is to get home safely – ideally without a fight taking place.

The Most Important Self-Defense Tactics

Situational Awareness

There are many skills needed for self-defense situations but the biggest one is situational awareness. So many people are walking around with their noses buried in their phones or tablets almost completely ignorant of the world around them.

What does this do? It makes them easy prey for bad guys. They’re not watching their surroundings and even when they check, it’s not usually a serious ‘are there any bad guys around’ type of check.

De-escalation and Avoidance Skills

The other tool is de-escalation/avoidance skills. You need to be able to de-escalate a situation before it gets out of hand.

Unfortunately, de-escalation is sometimes ignored – to the detriment of all involved. Your ego is something that can get you into a lot of trouble in these situations; you must learn to back off and shove your ego out of the way.

“With great power comes great responsibility” – Ben Parker

Yes, I just quoted a comic book movie but it’s true. So many people (usually rookies or people in their first ever self-defense situation), make the mistake of fighting simply because they can.

Being able to fight doesn’t give you the right to beat the daylights out of somebody!

What if you’re Grabbed by a Bad Guy?

Okay, so let’s say you’ve got the situational awareness and de-escalation skills down and, for whatever reason, they fail. The bad guy grabs you, now what? Well…now you have a serious problem.

Grabbing is heavily reliant on physicality – not really a surprise, is it? It’s going to be much easier dealing with a smaller, weaker person who grabs you than it would be if you were grabbed by a 400-pound bodybuilder. It also depends on how you are grabbed.

There are so many ways to grab someone that it’s not even funny. Everything from your wrist to your waist and beyond can be grabbed in some way, shape, or form.

One of the most common grabs that you’ll see is someone grabbing an opponent’s shirt. The important things to do in this situation are demonstrated nicely in the video below.

How to Defend against a Shirt Grab - Self Defense

You get your hands up to allow for an easier offense/defense. You isolate the hand(s) or wrist(s), and then you strike.

This brings us to the question: what is the biggest mistake you can make when you’re grabbed by a thug/attacker? The answer is simple: the biggest mistake you can make – apart from panicking – is not bringing your hands up.

Prevention is Always Better

At the end of the day, prevention is always the best choice, rather than face the actual situation.

If you see or suspect that a possible situation is developing, the best thing is to walk away – avoid the situation entirely as much as possible. You’re not Superman, don’t do anything that might injure yourself and/or others.

Self-defense situations aren’t a joke, and should never be treated like one. The world has always been a somewhat dangerous place and as technology advances it gives the bad guys more ways to get to their victims

Don’t make yourself vulnerable, keep an eye on your surroundings and off of your phone; your text messages can wait.

As always, I hope you guys enjoyed the article and found it informative. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you for the next one. Stay safe out there!

2 thoughts on “Here’s Exactly What To Do When Someone Grabs You”

  1. One must understand that studio sparring and ring competition are nice, but in no way meet the standards of fighting. Fighting is an entirely different venue. No rules, no referees, no forms, while being vicious, severely unpredictable, and potentially deadly … and it must be addressed as such.

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