Women get a lot of bad advice when it comes to self-defense. I don’t know where the idea originated that putting keys between your fingers (as pictured here) is a reliable strategy— but it has become quite popular because, like many popular pieces of self-defense advice, it is easy to implement... or is it??? Read on to learn 3 reasons I advise women NOT to do this, and what you should do instead.
1) You are almost guaranteed to hurt yourself! Using a fist as an untrained person, even without the keys, will likely lead to injury to the fingers and knuckles. If you strike with keys in this configuration, the keys will cut into your hand. You are more likely to sustain injury than inflict it using this strategy.
2) While it is easy to carry your keys this way, it is not actually easy to use them effectively in a struggle. It requires precise technique and the right opportunity, and even then I’m skeptical about the advantages of key runs over fingers and nails.
3) This strategy limits your options compared with an open hand. An open hand can be used to strike, grab, claw, gouge and more!
Weapons, whether improvised or designed for that purpose, are only as effective as your training to use them. They simply cannot replace the awareness, confidence and skill acquisition that come from empowerment self-defense training.
What other common "safety tips" have you heard of? Please share your comments and questions below.