You’ve probably heard it before — put your keys between your fingers to better arm yourself against an attacker during a self defense situation. Those wickedly jagged keys poking out from your hand do look menacing, but will they really help?
It’s an automatic plus if you have the quickness of mind to take any kind of action when confronted or scared. Putting the keys between your fingers demonstrates to the attacker, “I’m ready sucka.” And quite frankly, looking down at those jagged points coming out of your fist is rather empowering.
(Need some simple self defense moves? Check out my article here.)
One problem is many people who haven’t trained in boxing, combat, or martial arts don’t have powerhouse punches. If this is so, any punch delivered with or without the keys could be ineffective — except for collecting the attacker’s DNA.
Secondly, the keys have to be held correctly, or they will deflect away from the target. Try this — hold most of the keys and key ring inside your hand and put two keys on either side of your middle finger (top photo). Now go up to a hard surface and apply (gently!) the points of the keys to the surface. Slowly push harder.
Do the keys stay in place, driving forward into the surface or do they move around?
I gave a set of keys to my octogenarian mother and asked her to do the same. As she put the keys on the flat surface, one key went off to the side and the other started to dig a little into her skin. Unhurt, she looked at me as if I had played a joke on her, “Well this doesn’t work.” I smiled and said, “I know.” She threw a pillow at me. (My mom’s feisty.)
If you are in danger and decide to fight back in an attack, these will be better choices if you want to use your keys:
1) Stable key
Place the two outwardly pointing keys’ heads deeper into your fist, heads flat against your palm (middle photo). Use the fold of your palm at the crease as a back stop and stabilizing area. Now try slowly applying pressure to the same surface, adjusting the keys to find the most secure placement so they don’t move.
2) Prying key
Use the thumb and finger placement for prying something open. The bulk of the keys are stabilized inside the fist while a single key blade points out (bottom photo). The thumb pushes downward on the key so it is stable for slashing, raking, or gouging.
3) Hammering key
In the last photo, a second key extends out of the bottom of the hand. By letting go of the prying key and more firmly gripping the fist, this second key can also stab and slash.
Targets for the keys include the eyes, groin, scalp, throat, or backs of hands.
Play around with the three ways of holding the keys (bottom two photos) and decide which you prefer. Then practice how fast you can load up your fist with them. You want to get comfortable doing this now, so grab up your keys and give it a go!
If you liked this article, you’ll appreciate this one, too: Simple Self Defense Moves Anyone Can Do
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