By Sifu Lawrence Hochobeb
MANY of us are concerned about our safety when we are out on the street or even when we are at our homes. Obtaining basic unarmed self-defence skills is a necessary element of street survival.
Unlike various self-defence devices that might not be available at that crucial moment, unarmed self-defence techniques usually work and give you real confidence in your ability to succeed in defending yourself and others.
Unarmed self-defence involves the use of “natural weapons” of your body, including the hands, elbows, feet and knees – these are hard body surfaces that, when used properly, can cause an attacker severe pain and inflict serious damage.
However, the term “unarmed self-defence” isn’t confined to only martial arts. It involves various skills (mental and physical) used for survival and not only fighting techniques, but abilities to evade dangerous violent confrontations and situations.
In contrast to sport-oriented martial arts, the goal of self-defence is survival and not winning. Knocking someone out of the way and escaping can achieve a survival goal, however, it will never allow you to win in a competition. Your primary goal should be not to get hurt/injured or should be to minimise your injuries.
Even if you’re facing a single unarmed attacker who doesn’t obviously exceed you in physique and fighting skills, there’s no reason to prove to anybody in the street that you’re a good fighter. In a confrontation with multiple attackers, escape is victory.
The only hope of escape from an overwhelming number of opponents is continual movement. By the use of blows and by pushing one attacker against the other, it will often be possible to create more room in which to keep moving and ultimately escaping. It should be remembered that the objective is to get away, not to stay and fight it out against hopeless odds.
Now let’s look at the basic physical aspects of unarmed self-defence. There can be no doubt that punching is popular and effective. In fact, we can safely say that the number one technique used in fighting is punching! Punching is the weapon of natural choice.
People seem to instinctively ball up their fists and let it fly. Punches can be delivered quickly and with powerful combinations. The best blows using the hands are delivered with the fist or the heel of the hand or the edge of the hand. Blows struck with the fist (uppercut, jab) are effective.
The solar plexus [upper abdomen just below the rib cage], lower abdomen and testicles all make good targets for solid punching attacks. Punching an attacker in the forehead or the back of the skull is likely to do as much damage to your own hand as to your assailant’s head, perhaps even more. Generally speaking, open hand strikes are preferred over the closed fist strikes or punches in unarmed self-defence.
The targets normally attacked by open hand strikes are the solar plexus, liver, kidneys, chin, groin, throat and the eyes. Such strikes cause a very sharp and distracting pain. The type of pain that makes people want to pull away and that’s what you are counting on.
A quick jabbing action into the lower ribs or side of the neck can cause a person to quickly release his grip upon you. A quick spear hand to the throat can be easily be followed by gouging the eyes. Elbow strikes are also good and equally effective in causing serious damage.
A good thing is that the elbow won’t get broken so easily like a fist. Elbow techniques are very efficient for breaking attackers’ grips. The use of kicking techniques in self-defence is an essential feature and possesses crucial advantages.
Undoubtedly, leg techniques enrich your self-defence arsenal. They do a lot of damage and keep your attacker out of arms reach. You should learn simple kicking techniques that are street practical. Leave fancy spectacular high kicks for shows and martial arts tournaments.
Never use a kick higher than waist-high in a street fight because when you kick higher than stomach level, you risk losing your balance – the higher the kick, the higher probability of failure.
Legs, groin and kneecaps are the primary targets of your kicks in self-defence situations. Front kicks/side kicks to kneecaps or shin are quite painful and can give you an advantage in time over the attacker, discourage him in first few seconds of the battle.
Stamping kicks are usually employed for attacking the knee from the front or the side. They can be used at long range before an assailant gets close enough to land a punch or grab hold of you. The knee can also be stamped on from behind.
The front snap kick to the groin is an extremely effective tool, but it’s also usually highly expected by the opponent. By using deceptive movements, you can succeed in a groin attack.
The shoe of the user is one of the external factors that can apply influence on the effectiveness of kicks. Knee strikes are also used in unarmed combat. Knee strikes are very powerful, easy to learn and considered to be an important element of close-range unarmed self-defence techniques.
Be Prepared At All Times!