Self-Defense In Winter Wear

In Minnesota, we spend 6 months in winter gear. Learn how to defend yourself in it.
Valley Self-Defense
June 15, 2023
Self-Defense In Winter Wear

As the weather gets colder and we start to pull on our boots and winter coats, it can become harder to move, let alone defend yourself. Certain parts of your attire also become more vulnerable to attack - scarves can be grabbed, hats can be pulled down over faces.

With Minnesota winters though, it's impossible for us to compromise on warmth, especially in the face of polar vortexes. So here are a few tips for if you have to use hand-to-hand combat during the six months of Minnesota winters.

Coat length makes a difference

The length of your coat can hinder or help you when it comes to an attack. Krav Maga utilizes kicks fairly often. But can you perform a kick if your coat is past your knees?

Now, for those of us who have to take the bus in negative temperatures, it's a much harder choice between safe coat length and warmth. If you do choose to wear something longer, be prepared to hike the coat up high enough that you can use your legs without constriction.

When wearing a scarf, tuck it into your coat

Because a scarf is something that can be easily grabbed and used to either choke you or lead you in a way you don't want to go. An easy way to prevent this is by tucking your scarf into your jacket. Plus, you get some extra warmth out of the deal.

Know that your weapons might not work the same way

If you carry a personal self-defense weapon, know that our winter wear could have an effect on what happens. If an opponent attacks you and you use a personal self-defense weapon like a knife, there's a possibility that their winter coat could protect them. This is also true about smaller firearms like a .22. The puffier a person's winter coat, the more protection they have against weapons.

Can you see around your winter gear?

If you have a hat pulled down to your eyes and a scarf pulled over your nose, how much can you see around you? If you're walking outside for an extended period of time, make sure that you can see as much of your surroundings as possible.

Wear gloves and keep your hands out of your pockets

If someone attacks you when your hands are in your pockets, you lose precious seconds when it comes to your defense - and self-defense is a game of seconds, not minutes. Invest in a solid pair of gloves that will keep you warm no matter the weather to give yourself extra time when in a sticky situation.

Keep your cool, no matter the ground underneath you

On ice, you may not always be able to keep your footing. Krav Maga and Valley Self-Defense can help you fight no matter if you're on your feet or on the ground. Krav Maga teaches how to fall without injuring yourself and what to do if you find yourself on the ground.

No matter the weather and your surroundings, Valley Self-Defense can help you feel confident on the streets. Your first class is always free - join us today!

Krav Maga near me? There is! If you're looking for a Krav Maga class near you, Valley Self-Defense is a proud member of the International Krav Maga Federation with schools located across the United States. To find a school near you, visit the IKMF USA website.

Interested in a self-defense weapon? There are plenty of options on the market, but before you buy, make sure you know the legal status in your state.

All Valley Self-Defense instructors have been trained in trauma-informed care and how to help those handling trauma in a Krav Maga class. For anyone with anxiety about trying Krav Maga, we are happy to meet with you in person or speak with you over the phone. To connect with us, email us at

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