Prepare to Defend Yourself
Hopefully you will never have to use force against another human in self-defense. However, there is a chance that someday you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to protect yourself or those you love. If that day ever comes, be prepared. You want to maximize your chances of getting out of that situation safely.
When it comes down to either you or them getting hurt, make sure it’s them. Here are some of the best basic self-defense moves.
Palm Strike to the Nose
According to urban legend, a palm strike to the nose can be lethal. While you shouldn’t expect such a dramatic result in the real world, this technique can certainly be effective against even the toughest assailant.
Palm strikes are used in a wide array of martial arts disciplines, and with good reason. The soft tissue of the palm makes an excellent striking surface. It’s capable of delivering a high-impact attack with little risk of injuring yourself.
Delivered to the underside of the nose, the palm strike can cause breakage, disorientation, and a lot of pain.
How to do it: This attack works best if your attacker is standing in front of you at a close distance. Slam the heel of your palm into their nose as hard as you can, putting your whole body into it. This strike is delivered at an upwards angle, so aim for the nostrils.
Kick to the Groin
You shouldn’t use this move unless you absolutely have to. In fact, groin shots are illegal in most sport martial arts, due to the sheer amount of crippling pain they can inflict. In a life-or-death situation, normal rules don’t apply. If someone is threatening you, you have the right to defend yourself with every strike in your martial arts arsenal.
This technique is especially effective against male attackers, but can incapacitate female assailants as well. A well-aimed front kick to the groin is enough to drop most would-be aggressors to the ground nearly instantly, giving you time to flee to safety.
How to do it: On men in particular, almost any way you land a groin strike will have an immediate, painful effect. If you are facing your attacker, a hinge kick with the top of your foot is a great method. Bend your leg at the knee, point your toes, and snap your leg straight out to execute the hinge kick. Make sure to follow through with your kick for maximum damage. If the assailant is too close for a kick, you can go for a knee strike by bringing your knee up and into their groin.
If they are behind you, perhaps grabbing you, do a back kick. Act like you’re kicking yourself in the butt, but aim your heel at their groin. Depending on how tall your assailant is and how they’re holding you, you can also use a back fist strike or an elbow to the groin.
Gouge the Eyes
We’ve all had the unpleasant experience of getting dust or debris in our eyes. That can sting for hours! If a tiny spec can be that intrusive, imagine what effect a thumb jabbed nail-first into an eye would have on an attacker.
This may sound like a horrible thing to do to someone, but remember, in a self-defense situation, you do what is necessary. For muggers, kidnappers, and attackers, picking the wrong mark is an occupational hazard.
How to do it: One type of eye gouge is more of a poke. Take your pointer and middle finger on one hand and make a ‘V’ shape, or peace sign, folding the other fingers down. Jab the attacker in the eyes as hard as you can, one finger in each eye.
A true eye gouge, done correctly, will be much more painful. If you have the opportunity, grab your attacker’s head or face with both hands and push your thumbs into their eyeballs. It isn’t enough to just push on the eyelids. That’s merely annoying. You want to be devastating. Gouge hard.
Stay Safe Out There and Be Prepared
Wherever you go, carry yourself with confidence. Keep clear of sketchy situations whenever possible, and trust your instincts. Practice ‘situational awareness,’ a key principle of self-defense. Situational awareness means staying alert, knowing the mood of people around you, and realizing when things are going bad. The best defense is to keep yourself out harm’s way, and avoid dangers before they become an imminent threat.
As always, stay safe out there, and be prepared!
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