Avoid This Common Women’s Self Defense Suggestion (it will break YOUR fingers).

wrongwaytoholdkeysI do my share of women’s self defense seminars and I always take a survey of the audience about if they have been told, have heard or have seen on TV,  that in a self defense situation your supposed to put your keys BETWEEN??? your fingers and strike the attacker. An overwhelming majority of women say “yes I know that” and that is exactly the problem, let me explain… I go on to ask if anyone has ever tried to strike a hard object with their keys like that, or perhaps would be willing to punch a solid floor like that at full speed, the response, no one had either tried it or thus far has been willing to take my challenge.  It seems that we know inherently that this is a bad idea and are unwilling to take “the concrete challenge” because when we are forced to really think about the outcome, it ends with injury to us. If this is the case, then why would anyone ever even think about doing this sort of thing to defend themselves. If your not willing to test it in safe controlled conditions how would you ever be able to do it under stress?  I could go on, but lets just look at a few reasons why keys between fingers are a bad idea and then we will give you the RIGHT way to use your keys if you want to implement them as a tool for self defense. Sound like a plan? Good let’s get to it.

Reasons you should NOT put keys between my fingers:

1) It takes time – You have milliseconds and under stress  the adrenal dump makes it very hard to do fine motor skill movements like putting things between fingers.

2) If you hit something it will likely break your fingers – Do this simple test put two keys between your fingers and then grab the sharp ends and try to touch them together. Do you see how this makes for a virtual vice grip on your finger. This is what happens when you punch or strike a solid object and often the result is that you actually break your own fingers in the process. For the amount of damage keys do to the attacker, its just not worth breaking your own fingers for.  The keys held this matter just don’t impact with enough force, sure they rake if you get a shot in, but that’s seldom enough to dissuade a determined assault.

What you should do….use a hammer grippropperkeyuse

If your going to use your keys in a self defense situation, use the hammer grip. Hold your keys so that the keys and key fob stick out top and bottom and no keys are between your fingers.  Just grab the keys and hammer away at the bad guy relentlessly without fear of breaking your own fingers in the process….in confidence comes power. The green circle here shows what TO DO, note I have a hard object on one end, this can be anything. I have a knife, but it’s closed so it’s just a hunk of metal, but honestly this can be anything at all you like, from a wood cross to some ornamental car emblem fob, just something that’s a bit more linear than round so it fits in the hand and your good to go.

Reasons you should hold keys in a hammer grip for self defense:

1) It’s FAST – Using a hammer grip is fast and is know as a “Gross Motor” skill. These skills do not break down under stress, its just how you would grab your keys. Also something to note here is that I can lock or unlock the card by remote or hit the panic button in this orientation (makes a hell of a lot of noise that way) so they are ready if they are needed, no prep time required.

2) It’s safe  – In a hammer grip with keys and key chain/fob on top and bottom, there are no qualms about smashing either side into the floor. This method passes my “concrete challenge” as since it’s in a hammer fist grip there won’t be any damage to the fist or fingers.

3) It has more power – When you use this grip your able to strike with your entire body as well as use gravity to help you out.  Hammering in this motion is fast, hard to stop and brings to bear all your power in the strike. We are hitting with “all of us” + gravity,  not just with the arms here.  In fact the power is actually concentrated into succinct impact points.


Ok, well that’s it for me for now,

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share this with EVERYONE you know, forward it to a friend, post it to Twitter or Facebook, email it to the world, but lets kill the “between fingers” idea off once and for all.

Stay safe,
Justin J. Everman



Founder, A.C.W.A.

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