A Woman’s Guide to Self-Defense: Overview with Fred Sams


Women are generally easier targets than men. Assault and rape are two of the most common crimes women are subjected to and sickeningly, the majority of these crimes are committed by men the woman already knows. Law Enforcement Professional Fred Sams agrees the reason women are more at risk than men is the common assumption that women will be more passive and submissive.

If you are a woman, the best way to avoid these frightful occurrences is to stay away from poorly lit areas and avoid walking alone whenever possible. Make sure to park your car in well-lit areas. Darkness gives the attacker the element of surprise and ability to hide before making his or her move. This will greatly increase your safety measures. Tragically, however, according to the Bureau of Justice, almost 40% of rapes happen in the victims home.

In this case, the best way to prevent your chances of harm is to fight back. Statistics show that women are good candidates for becoming a victim at some point in their lives, making the importance of learning self-defense paramount.


Fred Sams believes you should limit the time spent in areas where crimes can easily happen. As previously stated, well-lit areas are much safer than dark allies. Stay with larger groups and carry yourself assertively. Also, some people feel a lot safer walking around with a big dog, others carry a whistle or pepper spray at all times. Ineffective communication and the use of drugs and alcohol also factors repeatedly noted in rape and assault altercations, so be careful to be aware of your surroundings, especially when drugs and alcohol are in play.

In your home, deadbolt locks are the best for the outside doors. A one-way peephole will also help you keep a secret eye on your surroundings. Additionally, all landscaping should be neatly trimmed to reduce areas of concealment. When talking to someone on the phone or at the door, never reveal you are home alone or when others will return. Other family members should be told to do the same.

Tools and Techniques

Women should listen to their instincts and form the correct attitude determined to stay alive. Your body will tell you how to react, whether it’s a fight or flight situation. Once you come up with the proper defense mechanism, some empty-handed and unarmed fighting techniques may be used to defend yourself. Martial arts is also helpful, but may take a while to master. So for those who don’t have the time to master Martial arts, the following tips will help.

  • Use your head. The human skull is the perfect weapon. Stay calm and collect yourself. Knocking your head into the nose of your attacker will leave a much bigger impression and blow than using your tiny fists. If you are bear-hugged, instead of squirming to hit his groin, ribs or feet; your most useful tool is to try to hit his face with your head or collarbone.
  • Use a tool. Always be sure to have any kind of tool handy. Virtually anything can be a tool – a set of keys, pen, umbrella and so on.
  • Leverage your weight. No matter how big your attacker is, you can effectively defend yourself by strategically using your body and a little physics. Don’t be a standing target. Maximize your hits by aiming for the attackers head, knees and elbows, making sure to push your weight forward to add strength to your hits.



Fred Sams is a law enforcement professional, with over 50 years of law and criminal justice experience. Through his career, he gained a passion for self-defense and has a deep appreciation for the maintenance of personal security.

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