Top Self-Defence Tips Women can Learn from ‘Atomic Blonde’

Anna Surowiec, an expert on women self-defence noted that women can learn essential lessons about self-protection from actress Charlize Theron in her new movie, ‘Atomic Blond.’ Building on what the actress portrayed in her role, Anna has released her Top Tips for women’s self-defence.

The phrase ‘like a girl’ has a negative connotation. ‘Run like a girl’ brings to mind a girl tripping and flailing her arms about and to ‘fight like a girl’ is an insult especially used among men and boys. No one who has seen Theron in her ‘Atomic Blonde’ role would deny that she fights like a girl and yet she’s well-able to protect herself.

Theron’s character Lorraine doesn’t pretend that a woman of her size would be able to defeat large, similarly trained men with brute force alone. Theron’s example is helping girls and women to become more empowered and embrace their strengths.

Anna is a self-defence expert and owner of the largest Krav Maga school in Gloucestershire. To help girls and women of all ages, she’s elaborating on the valuable self-defence tips that can be taken away from ‘Atomic Blonde’.

  1. Don’t play by his rules

An average man has much more upper body strength than a woman. You will definitely lose if you try to fight on the attacker’s terms. Utilize techniques that he’s not expecting. A swift kick to the groin can incapacitate long enough for you to run away. If you can’t run, follow the kick with a blow by a strong knee and an elbow. That will improve your chances of winning.

Any situation that requires a woman to defend herself against a man isn’t a fair fight. It’s more like a lion attacking the weakest calf in a herd. To outsmart the lion, unconventional tactics are required for an unexpected attack.

2. Use the strongest, natural weapons

If you try to use your fists you will only succeed in injuring yourself and run the risk of breaking the knuckles or wrists. Use the heels of the hands and elbows to strike, the legs to kick, and knees to deliver strong attacks.

3. Be aggressive

Women are taught that to be a lady they must be non-aggressive, but science has proven that from anger comes power – or even superpower. Thoughts directly influence production of hormones in the body, one of which is adrenaline that prepares the body for an emergency.

It increases strength; protects the body from pain by temporary blocking the receptors; increases the heart rate; raises energy levels by releasing sugar into the bloodstream; and sharpens the senses.

‘During our ‘Fight like the Atomic Blonde’ self-defence workshop, we teach ladies how to tap into the power of adrenaline,’ said Anna.

‘Learning to control your emotional state and using the adrenaline rush to your advantage is incredibly empowering.’

4. Hit where it hurts

When you experience the shock of an assault, there’s no time to think about pressure points. Under stress, people can even forget their own name, not to mention some detailed points, which are very hard to find even when they’re calm. Think – ‘face and groin’ and attack these two with the strongest weapons.

5. Learn to generate power

Learning to punch perfectly requires two things: interest and lots of time. Most women have none of these, but they have the tools to generate that power. Think about a punch in terms of a fast push. Just use the heel of the hand to quickly push the opponent – ideally in the nose – and use the entire weight of the body to deliver the blow.

6. Be ready to hit the ground

Women don’t realise that the ground is where they’re most likely to end up when facing an attacker. Many women will lose their balance and fall to the ground when trying to defend themselves or they’ll be pulled, tackled or thrown by the bad guy. Expect this to happen and if it does, be ready to kick again and again as fast and as strongly as possible.

7. Trust the sixth sense – intuition

Women constantly receive visual and audio information from their sixth sense that warns them that something isn’t right. Sometimes it’s just a weird feeling in the gut that makes them feel uncomfortable. Just as every animal is born with survival instincts, humans also have the ability to add judgment and everyday experience to their base intuition.

The problem is that if the feeling can’t be explained or rationalized in a logical way, we tend to chalk it up to paranoia. By trusting our intuition, we will be able to learn the difference between real fear and worry. Don’t try to second guess. It’s better to be safe than ignore natural instincts and become the victim of a violent crime.

8. Use the environment

The way a person sees an object determines how they can use it. A handbag makes an excellent shield that can stop or deflect a strong blow and keys can be used to stab and jab. Unfortunately, under stress people aren’t able to think in a creative way so consider options before something happens. Women need to ask themselves how they can use the environment to their advantage.

Lessons from the ‘Atomic Blond’

At one point in a long fight scene, the Atomic Blonde struggles to push herself off the ground, and then reaches for the closest household object in her vicinity to bash a bad guy’s head in. If using common objects is good for a trained MI6 agent, it’s an excellent solution for every other woman.

In a perfect world, women wouldn’t have to protect themselves from robberies or sexual assaults, but until that world materializes each woman must do what they must to prevent themselves from becoming a victim or another statistic. Learning self-defence is a wise move for women and girls of all ages. The examples demonstrated by the ‘Atomic Blonde’ are practical lessons for all women and those self-defence techniques are taught at Active Krav Maga.

Want to learn more?


To find the venue set Google maps to ‘Active Krav Maga Prestbury’
The entry to the car park is from ‘Bouncers Lane’.

Full address:
Prestbury Women’s Institute Hall
335 Prestbury Road

(postcode leads to the wrong place! hence I’m skipping it)

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