Most people don't give good hard thinking to their capabilities in a physical assault situation. You need not be built like an MMA fighter to know effective self-defense.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of safety.
Attackers look for unsuspecting targets. Walk and park only in well-lit areas. Never park right beside a van. In the parking lot, always keep your biggest key poking out between two fingers; it makes a great weapon.
If a thug demands your wallet or purse, hand it over. Your life isn't worth that designer handbag. But what if it's a situation where you must fight for your life?
The second he touches you or you can't get away, holler in your most primal, pissed-off voice, "Get the F--- Out of Here!" Sound like thug, not a lady. Push at the offender. The vocal noise alerts nearby people, and it, and the shoving, tell the offender you're not easy game.
You have only a few seconds to scare off the attacker. You must inflict pain on the attacker, or be hurt by him or her. So go for the eyes, ears, nose, neck, knee, leg and of course, groin.
Strike a vulnerable body part from where you're at, rather than moving in closer; kick a knee rather then stepping in to pull the ears. Upper body strikes are done with the hand: its outer edge, a palm, a knuckle hit or a tightly clenched fist. Don't think for a single second that scratching the attacker's cheeks will scare him off, use those fingers to poke an eye.
- Poke, gouge, stab or dig long nails into. Ever got accidentally hit in the eye? It's disabling for several moments. Imagine what full-out, angry poking or gouging would do.
- Drive a palm upward into their nose. Put all your body weight into it.
- Do the same with your elbow if the attacker is behind you; go for the nasal bones.
- Aim for the sides, where major blood vessels are. A knife-hand (outside ridge) at the side of the neck will stun him long enough to let you escape. An elbow strike, with body weight behind it, to the neck can knock him out cold.
- Even the biggest guy can be brought tumbling down with a strong kick to the knee. Drive your foot into the side of the knee, which is more vulnerable as far as losing balance.
- Hit it with your hand open or closed. Use your knew or elbow. Kick it with your feet or even your head. Just hit it hard and often.