Defence expert reveals the best way to escape an attack from behind

How to escape in one move if you’re grabbed from behind: Expert reveals why you should drop your hips and push into the perpetrator to avoid being thrown to the ground

  • EXCLUSIVE: Self defence expert James Griffiths told FEMAIL how to flee attack
  • Said women should not carry their keys for protection but instead use their hips 
  • Comes amid fears of random attacks on lone women across the UK following death of Sarah Everard 

A self defence expert has revealed the best move to stop someone from attacking you from behind, saying that squatting and pushing your hips into the perpetrator is the most effective way to escape.

James Griffiths, a self defence expert and personal trainer, who owns the Wild Training gym in High Wycombe told FEMAIL that a person who is attacked from behind should drop hips into a low squat and then find an easy point to hit their aggressor before getting away.

He added that women shouldn’t use the well known ‘key trick’ of holding keys between their fists to stab the assailant in the leg following a viral video which instructed people to do so.   

James explained that an attacker who grabs someone from behind can easily pick them up and then throw them to the floor and that in the heat of the moment, a jab from a key is unlikely to be effective. 

To prevent this, the victim should squat and push their hips back. Doing so will also throw back their attacker’s hips which will take away their control.

The PT suggests then striking the perpetrator with an elbow or their nearest weapon before trying to get away.  

In a TikTok video, which had racked up more than 2.6million views, a make-up artist who goes by Fae says that holding  keys between fingers and then punching an attacker could leave the victim with an injured hand and wrist,

Instead she suggest holding the longest key and stabbing an attacker in the leg, but James has dismissed this as ‘unhelpful.

Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, he said: ‘This is a dangerous thing to talk about and frankly the video and the key concept in general just won’t work.  

‘These scenarios are too sterile and simply don’t translate to real attacks in any way. 


James Griffiths, a self defence expert and personal trainer, who owns the Wild Training gym in High Wycombe told FEMAIL that a person who is attacked from behind should drop hips into a low squat and then find an easy point to hit their aggressor before getting away. He is pictured showing how punching the attacker in the leg doesn’t work as they can still throw you to the ground

‘If I grab you from behind I’m going to lift you up and throw you on the floor, unless you drop your hips. 

‘You pushing a blunt key one inch into my leg is going to be like shooting a BB gun at a train, especially when adrenalin is running high.

‘It terrifies me that someone could be influenced by this sort of thing. 

‘Fights last 12 seconds before you are gassed out at an extreme level and lots of attacks take 2-8 seconds and can be life threatening. 


James is pictured showing the best way to escape an attack, by pushing your hips into the attacker you are using the largest and strongest part of your body to get away

‘No one should think a weak punch or slash of a key is a realistic option. 

‘An open palm strike will hurt more and be more likely to stop an attack. 

‘Teaching a key jab or anything that doesn’t initially deal with the real threat when grabbed from behind, which is the threat of being lifted and thrown to the floor is dangerous’,

In a video shared with FEMAIL, James explained how being stabbed in the leg with keys ‘doesn’t deal with the real threat’ as the attacker can still lift you up and throw you on the ground. 

He adds that using keys as a weapon is ‘ridiculous’. 

It comes amid fears of attacks on lone women in the UK following the death of Sarah Everard earlier this month which has lead to women sharing safety tips online and male allies asking how they can help to make women feel safer on the streets.

 Madiha Adil, self-defence practitioner of Get Licenced added to FEMAIL that learning self defence and ‘using your voice’ when being attacked is the best way forward.

‘Self-defence is something you practice regularly, so it becomes your second nature. Otherwise, you go in a flight, fight or freeze mode depending on the situation,’ she said.

‘We can talk about the key trick or any other tricks, but a person under stress in any given situation will likely do what they have practiced.’ 

‘If in a situation like that, use reasonable force to get out of the situation; the best weapon can be the voice, so scream and shout or run, because you may not want to engage if under threat by a predator. However, if you do not have the opportunity to run, weaponise anything you have about your person – a key, phone, bank card.’ 

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