The Basic 5 Self-Defense Moves Every Runner Needs to Know

Do you know how to defend yourself physically in case you get attacked?  Or would you freeze up in an utter panic?

This is a question a lot of people, especially runners, don’t want to consider, but violence is, sadly, a part of everyday life—and a reality we can’t afford to ignore.

Runners Under Attack

If you run a lot, just like I do, then chances are you’ve experienced a nervous sinking feeling when running down an unfamiliar area of town or a dark trail in the woods.

It’s a feeling we are all familiar with—even if you’re a martial artist who is very capable of defending yourself. The gut instinct never goes away.

While the risks of getting attacked are quite low, it pays off to be prepared—both to prevent a bad situation and to defend yourself if you have to.

Today I got the low down on some of the best kick-ass and super effective moves every runner (and human being) should know for basic self-defense.

Get ready to kick butt…

Note: You don’t need to become a martial arts expert to keep yourself from harm. However, I’d still advise you to take a real martial arts class and enough time to practice these moves under the guidance of a certified professional. That way, the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.

Prevention is The Best Road

The most important thing you can do when running on city streets or anywhere is to be mindful of your surroundings. Pay attention to what’s happening around you, especially if you’re running in a not-so-safe area.

Understand that criminals never want to be seen before committing a rime. They look for the right moments to attack a gullible and heedless victim.

Luckily, I’ve already shared plenty of advice on running safety, whether when hitting the trails or urban areas.

Check out these three articles :

Once you spot the danger, evade it ASAP. You always have the option to run away, especially if you believe that you can outrun the attacker. This leads me to the golden rule of self-defense, DO NOT FIGHT.

Fighting a stranger should really be your last option. And truth be told, there are no winners in a street fight, only losers.

For whatever reason, if things escalate and you’re about to get assaulted, then it’s time to defend yourself. Here are five surprisingly simple yet very effective self-defense moves that help you stay out there.

Move 1 – Shout And Push

The first self-defense move is to be a loud victim.

Bad guys don’t want an audience. They’re not looking to cause a scene. They’re instead hunting for easy prey.

Don’t let them.

Getting out loud can surprise your attacker while simultaneously alerting others that you need help.

Whenever somebody approaches you in a way that makes you feel unsafe or uneasy, or it’s clear that escape is not an option, instead of asking ‘what you want?’ Shout ‘Stay Back,’  ‘Don’t get near me’ or ‘Don’t touch me.’

Yelling these phrases can help grab attention and gather witness who can interfere, call 911, or assist with any police report that’s being filed. 

Move 2  – Kick the Groin

If the situation escalates, then the first area you should attack is the groin.  This is a well-known weak point, not just for men, but for women too, so if you have the opportunity, use it.

Thanks to the nerve endings in the groin area, a good kick will paralyze the attacker, and that will give you enough space and time to escape to safety.

Just make sure to execute it the right way.

Using the force of your entire body, kick hard or bring your knee sharply into the groin of the assailant. Make sure the hit is straightforward, sharp, and as strong as possible.

To keep your balance and not fall backward, grab the attacker’s shoulders. This also helps you generate more force.

You can also smash your knee into their nose once the attacker is doubled up. This makes sure they’ll be done for the count for long.

Sounds brutal for, but that’s what’s gonna get you to safety as quick as possible.

Move 3 – Open Hand Strike

Another simple self-defense move that works very well in many situations is a spear hand with a palm strike to the nose.

This simple technique is more effective to prevent hurting yourself as in breaking your wrist, hand, etc. The move also targets one of the most vulnerable areas around a person’s head—the nose.

Again, proper execution is key. The open hand strike is best delivered when you’re roughly arm-distance away from your attacker.

To complete it, you’ll want to strike your opponent with an open palm, pushing up on the nose with the bottom of your dominant hand, and driving from the ground with your feet.

Remember. You’ll need a lot of force behind the hit to break the nose and do serious damage. Use your whole body to generate maximum power when sending palm heel strikes, while rotating your hips and shoulders for more momentum.

Move 4 – Knee Strike

Although the knee is a less sensitive area than the ones mentioned above, this joint is vulnerable from every angle and easily kicked without risking getting your foot grabbed.

Not only that, a good kick in the knee will incapacitate an attacker—especially when they’re not expecting it. This is especially useful if the attacker has their hands up your face or you’re being choked.

Hitting the knees will give you the opportunity to escape or open up to more attacks. It might also stop the attacker from running after you.

Kick soccer style with the instep of your foot, using your entire body weight.  Remember, large forces are needed to fracture the knee joint and cause serious damage. Don’t hold back.

Move 5 – Elbow Strike

The signature move of Muay Thai, the elbow strike is a powerful strike to add to your self-defense arsenal.

The elbows are some of the hard parts of your body that not only can cause real damage but also stand up to impact well.

The elbow is one of the parts of the body used most effectively to inflict serious damage. Put it to your advantage.

When executed the right way, elbow strikes can be painful enough to ward off any offender.

Elbow strikes are especially efficient for close-range self-defense. These also work very well if you were to be grabbed from behind while running.

You can hit the assailant in the ribs, groin, sternum, or the face using the front of the forearm and upper and full body force.

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Regardless of your gender, age, size, or fitness ability, learning basic self-defense moves like these is crucial. Developing this skill set cannot only help you protect yourself but also possibly allow to protect your family as well as strangers in the event of an attack.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime thank you for reading my post.

Keep Running Strong

David D.