Self Defence Tips with SAS Personal Trainer Valusska

SAS Gym have recently had a number of queries from those looking to get out and exercise in the fresh air who have concerns about their safety. SAS Personal Trainer Valusska has offered some martial arts related advice to empower people and give them confidence to react if they feel unsafe.

Valusska has been a fully dedicated martial artist for 16+ years. She is now an accredited 2nd Dan Black belt in full contact freestyle karate and traditional Shotokan karate. Valusska has a number of achievements under her belt, winning best Hall of fame karate student of the year for Cambridgeshire 2 years running, 3 gold medals, 4 silver and 1 bronze for freestyle full contact fighting, 4 trophies for best Shotokan kata, and a specialist trophy for best karate student of the year for the club Valusska attended and taught at.




As the nights get lighter and we encourage you as personal trainers to walk outside more, we feel that your safety is also of key importance to us. After having over 16 years of Martial Arts and Hand to Hand Combat training including self -defence, I would like to share some key points to keep your safety as the main priority when enjoying your enjoying morning , day, evening walks or runs.

  • Trust Your Gut- If it feels wrong, it most always is wrong, we have instinct as a survival mechanism for a reason. Do not be afraid to trust your own judgement.
  • Attacks happen when the target is an easy option- How many times when walking are you unaware because you are on your phone or have headphones in and possibly a hood up where you can’t see 360 degrees? Most attacks happen from the back or side because the target is unaware.
  • Fight- Flight-Freeze– This is your bodies natural response to danger which can come in 3 stages- alarm, resistance, and exhaustion. For some people, adrenaline kicks in they will fight. For others, the surge of cortisol will make them flee but there are a few who will freeze as the mind is searching for the tools that are not available to deal with the scenario that they have been put in.

 How to deal with danger safely

  • Open hand/palm of your hand strike- Keeping your hands open gives you the ability to strike the face using the heel part of your hand (aim for the eye nose area) or to slap the ear as hard as you can all of which will disorientate your attacker to give you the best opportunity to run. It also prevents you from injuring your hands or wrists if you must use this technique.
  • Elbow Strike – The elbow is the hardest and sharpest bone in the human body which means an elbow will cause maximum effect when hitting a target area at close range and is more effective and safer than trying to throw a punch given it has a larger surface area, it is also not going to miss and will have the desired effect where a punch would not be as reliable or strong. Elbow strikes are only to be used in extreme circumstances and the best areas of the body to land a strike are to the side of the face, under the chin or to the ribs if able. Do not be afraid to use the attackers force as momentum to land the strike as the velocity will make it more effective.
  • Knee/shin Strike– A primary self-defence kick if there is enough distance is to raise your hands up in front of the attackers face (this stops them from seeing what you plan to do as they automatically focus on your hands and scream at the same time as they will not want attention drawn to them) while you then strike/kick with your shin with the top part of your foot (never use the lower part of your foot or toes you will injure yourself) to the outside of the attackers knee or you can stomp down on the inner fleshy part of the kneecap in the centre which would cause them to buckle if you miss for any reason as your foot lands it sets you up perfectly to use your knee to strike the inside of the thigh/groin area again having the same desired effect giving you the chance to get away.
  • Give them you bag/phone- In some instances people do not intend to hurt you they just want your belongings. Throw your bag, phone, or wallet as far as you can away from you and when they turn to go after it run in the opposite direction cards can be cancelled phones can be replaced lives cannot.