How To Defend Yourself From An Unexpected Attack

A self-defence expert offers advice on protecting yourself in close-quarters

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You've seen the footage. In the lift of the Standard Hotel, during an after-party for the Met Gala, Beyonce's younger sister Solange can be seen, smacking, kicking and even throwing a couple of punches in the direction of her brother-in-law Jay Z.

As well as raising unanswered questions as to what led to the attack and why Beyonce herself stood and watched, it also sparks the question how to protect yourself in the event of a surprise close-quarters attack. We asked John Aldcroft, Chief Instructor of the British Academy of Krav Maga (martial arts self defence), for his advice on how to handle a Beyonce-related bust-up. 

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What did Jay Z do well during the attack?

Jay Z appears to have adopted a neutral stance throughout this altercation. Nothing within his body language appears to say he wants this to happen or for it to escalate any further.

What did he do wrong?

Hard to tell at this stage, there may have been a verbal exchange between the two with Solange appearing to overreact to whatever was said or implied.

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By continuing with a heated verbal exchange with Solange, who is obviously angry, Jay Z could have possibly made her more angry and hence her continued response.

How might he have defused the situation?

Verbal dissuasion and (even if he was in the right) a subdued apology may have worked. Facing down or away from her could also work especially as both the body guard and Beyonce were presenting a buffer between them.

Once things were calmer Solange & Jay Z could have possibly resolved this more amicably.
 
What are the key considerations for defending yourself in close-quarters, such as a lift?

If you cannot get out then you definitely need to use the walls of the lift to at least reduce any attacks from the back or blind side, so get your back against a wall quickly.

Use anything to hand to block (a suitcase, briefcase, umbrella or rucksack) or counter if necessary.

Some lifts even have fire extinguishers or tools to open emergency exits which could be used. Basically, any weapon that is available – use it  – a rolled up newspaper or magazine, a pen, anything! Not necessarily to attack the assailant but at least to dissuade their course of action.

If you sense an impending attack by thinking of possible counters and strategies before the attack occurs then your action in defense will also be that much greater too.

When you know you have to take a beating, are there any technical moves or techniques specific to Krav Maga you can use to defend yourself?

If you know you have to take a beating then attack (using any object or weapon available) and defend simultaneously whilst protecting the head and vital organs and if necessary focus on the target's sensitive points (groin, eyes, throat, knee joint, neck, fingers, hair).

There are over 250 techniques in Krav Maga, so choosing the right one would simply come down to the type of attack that is being delivered.

Any particular considerations if the attacker is a relative?

Difficult question. When relatives come to blows the emotional rather than logical part of the brain is definitely in control and all reason has just gone out of the window – best defence if at all possible, would be to get the hell out of there, let them calm down and only then come back. Even if that means a week later.

 

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SEE ALSO:

Empire State Of Mind: A Look Into Jay-Z's Unusual Business Ventures
Beyonce and Jay-Z's Comic Caper
Jay Z and Daft Punk Track Surfaces Online
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