Self-defense strategies ensure you don’t need to react on instinct when an attacker or an aggressive animal comes your way.

If you know what to do in each potential situation, you can react quickly and purposefully. Those traits make it much easier for you to get away safely.

Here are the best options to use, whether you have pepper spray, a stun gun, or another tool to use to protect yourself.

Go for the Eyes

The eyes of an animal or an attacker are vulnerable to an attack of any kind. Sharp objects, including pens, become practical tools for defense. If you don’t want to wait until someone is close, consider having some pepper spray. Most products deploy streams up to 12 feet away.

Hit the Nose

Use your palm heel to strike at an attacker’s face right under the nose. Lean your body weight into the attack to maximize the impact. The force often stuns the assailant, loosening their grip enough for you to escape.

If you are attacked from behind, use your elbow to strike the nose. You can place one hand on the fist connected to the impact joint for added force. If you hit with the right elbow, place your left hand on your right fist and forcefully push backward.

Smash the Groin

Men are especially vulnerable to this attack site when self-defense is a priority. Pain occurs instantly, often causing the individual to bend over because it is sharp, severe, and takes the breath away.

If your attacker leans forward, continue the attack with a knee strike to the nose. Bring their head down into your joint for added force.

Punch at the Neck

With the jugular vein and the carotid artery present in the neck, you have two strike areas to target when it is time to defend yourself. The best way to maximize your impact is to keep your fingers straight and close, with the thumb tucked into the palm and bent at the knuckle.

Thrust at the throat forcefully. You can either hit the windpipe or the circulatory system, creating disorientation that allows for an escape.

This method also works on canines and other animals that attack. It shouldn’t be tried with bears, which is why it helps to carry bear repellent in situations where you might encounter one.

Invest in High-Quality Self-Defense Tools

Although your hands and feet can be effective self-defense tools, you need the training to use them correctly. People break hands when punching attackers frequently, and that causes more harm than good.

That’s why a high-quality stun gun, high-potency pepper spray, and similar items are helpful to have when traveling. Many things are small, easily concealable, and 100% legal to use. Since self-defense should be non-lethal whenever possible, these tools aim to allow for an escape attempt to be successful. Height and weight aren’t factors when defending yourself. Leverage what you have, target critical areas, and quickly move away from dangerous situations. Those principles will help you get away.