Another defense against hooks

Say your opponent is coming in with a hook; pretty common. Of course, the first step is always going to be to get out of the way as soon as possible. If your opponent is taller than you, or if roughly the same height, this could work.

When someone throws a hook, which is one of the most common attacks you will get if you’re ever attacked…God forbid you are…martial artists will always instruct you to clear the path one way or another. That means moving to the side then striking back, or in this case: ducking. Ducking is an undervalued skill that anyone can do, even people who don’t have a lot of weight or strength. And if you’re clever with it, you’re going to find out that you can strike your opponent wherever he or she is vulnerable.

In this case, the opponent throws a high upper hook to the head, the most common you find in the streets or in unfriendly parts of town. The first step is to actively come in and close the gap while you duck (that is, step in and lower yourself significantly). Have both your hands ready. Your opponent is going to miss his or her hook, and that’s expected. However, your opponent is also going to try and strike you with their other hand. Using your right elbow, block that hand as the strike comes in, or press that hand against his or her body to prevent movement for a brief second. This way, both of the person’s hands are out of range to damage you. The high hook is probably passing over what would have been your head. Your right, or left, hand is going to be the blocking hand. But this naturally means you have on hand open. You can punch your opponent’s side with this as you’re aiming for a sideshot with these things. By doing so, in the case illustrated, I actively blocked while I punched the armpit of my opponent, raising his attacking swing in the process.

That gets you out of the clearing, and you can finish your opponent off using a kick, some more punches, etc. But at this point he or she is probably not going to pose a problem anymore.

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Hand Grab, Side Punch Combo

This is a fairly intermediate Chinese martial art technique that you might benefit from. This technique relies on fast reflexes in which you literally have to be quicker than your opponent. The key to this technique is not in strength but in how fast you execute it.

This can be used in the case of the normal jab or straight punch. Whenever you feel like your opponent is getting ready to strike, you always want to have your eyes on his/her shoulders. Any nerve reflex going in for a strike starts with very small movements, probably 200 ms before the actual strike, at the shoulders. It’s that 1/5th of a second time that you have to actually block a first strike. This should be a remembered rule/axiom in general. But don’t be fooled, a shoulder movement could be just there to trick you. However, with the case of most amateur aggressors, he or she is most likely using the arm in which the muscle first contracts.

When the punch or straight jab comes at you, start off straight to your opponent. You’re going to end up slightly perpendicular to him or her by the time you throw your punch, but first you want to be able to block the strike. As soon as you see the punch coming, don’t give your opponent any time to retract the arm and strike with the other. You want to stop the punch and also trap that arm, as that’s key to what you’re going to do next. So as soon as the elbow is halfway through the strike at you, throw up your defensive block which looks like so in the picture. Traditionally, this is called a Tong-Sau with your arm slightly bent at the elbow and your hand straight/slightly angled off the wrist. This stops the power coming at you from the opponent’s punch and provides for a powerful block.

Next (note that this should be done in almost one complete movement as to render time on your side of the advantage) you want to use your remaining hand to grab onto the wrist of your opponent, rendering them unable to contract the punch. The opponent’s natural reaction should be to punch you with the remaining hand, so here’s where the crucial part comes in: while grabbing the wrist using your other hand, lower your first and blocking hand to your side. At the same time, turn your feet and body so that you are perpendicular to the side of the opponent whose arm you just grabbed. This probably sounds confusing, but it’s actually just a three step movement, the technique in total, with the last step being a punch to the opponent’s side or anywhere he/she is open, including the shoulder, neck, lower side, etc. While you are punching, lower your body and try to get as perpendicular to your opponent as possible, this way the other hand is unable to reach you. To do this, while you are punching, you want to pull the opponent’s arm toward you while the punch makes impact. If you’re quick enough, a counter-strike like this (which is a kind of block and then counter attack move) can render your opponent immobile in less than a second since your first block.

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How to do an arm lock

This is a technique that is incredibly useful for disabling an attacker without resorting to much combat or unwanted fighting. If done correctly, you should be able to have your opponent in a position where they won’t be able to move without injuring themselves, thus disabling movement on behalf of the opponent.

This move involves three steps: usually your opponent is pointing at you or readying his or her arms/fists (which may be aimed at you), your opponent is put into the lock if you see the positioning of him/her allows for one, and then your opponent is swept to the ground by the rotation of your hips.

  1. This works if you’re quick to react to punches or if you’re opponent is pointing at you, has an arm already extended out and ready to grab. If you have a clear opportunity, use the arm opposite to your opponent (so if your opponent is using their right arm, use your left) and grab tightly onto the wrist of your opponent. Keep in mind you want as little gaps as possible between these steps, as a quick arm lock and sweep can take as little as 1.5 seconds, but your opponent can react if he/she isn’t already in your control. Ideally, this should be done in one sequence.
  2. Once you have used your opposite hand to grab onto the wrists, turn your body; literally pivot your body so that you are now at a 90 degree angle to your opponent. You want to turn in a way that your foot steps behind your opponent’s legging as possible. This way, if an arm lock fails you’re going to be able to kick out your opponent’s knees or legs. Once you are facing your opponent with one hand on the wrist, while you turn you should bring that arm to your upper chest to stop any movement at the joints of the elbows or arms. This will disable that arm from attacking you. Moving perpendicular to your opponent will prevent him/her from striking with the other arm. Once the arm is pulled to your chest, use your other arm and put it perpendicular to your opponent’s upper arm. This should be pressed against his/her backside of the upper arm so that one hand tightly grabs the rest and the other is pushing against the upper arm. So the position should look like you 90 degrees to your opponent with his/her arm pressed straight against you to prevent movement, one hand on the wrist and one pressed against the upper arm muscles. This will effectively be the arm lock. This way, since your hand is grabbing the wrist inward and your other arm is essentially able to push out against the upper arm, you are in control as any sudden movements will cause the arm to bend in opposite directions, disabling your opponent.
  3. To ensure that your opponent won’t be up and fighting, use the arm you have pressing against your opponent’s upper arm to push him/her down to the floor. Since you have control of the pivotal motion of the opponent’s body, you want to move your own body in a circle to quicken the process. You’re essentially pushing down on the upper arm while moving in a circle. At the same time, you lock the wrists and keep the arm close to you so that movement is still prevented. Your opponent should be on the floor or close to it, paralyzing the other side of the body from striking or reaching you. Any resistance or failure of maintaining an arm lock is simple: you can easily kick with your feet on the side you have his/her arms locked. You can aim for the knees or feet themselves and stomp or scrape at them, thus also ensuring that the fight is over quickly or before it even began.





Counter a Single Punch

This is a fairly straightforward guide on how to counter an opponent’s single punch toward you. This is also called a straight punch. This is when your opponent has decided to attack you with a punch parallel to the ground, 90 degrees to his/her body, and is coming usually to the head or chest area. A straight punch is going to be aiming for the upper half of your body in, hence why we call it its name, a straight and linear fashion. There’s a two step combo you can use to counter this kind of punch.

The first step is to always be ready to counter the punch before it’s coming. If you’re in an absolute must-fight situation, you’re going to want to already have your hands up if your opponent is doing the same or has decided to attack you. Next, you want to be able to execute the first part of the combo: deflect the first punch with a side-block. This kind of block should be done when the punch comes roughly half a foot away from your chest. You want to turn your hands palm up and at a forty-five degree angle and use your elbow to literally push the punch out of the way. Your hand should be tightened to prevent any lack of energy. You’ll be pushing the punch down and in the opposite direction of the hand you’re using to deflect.

Next, with your free hand, punch as quick as you can. It should be near simultaneous to the near 0.5th of a second. As soon as you block the first strike, your second hand should already come up as a straight punch to counter-block your opponent’s remaining hand. This way, if you’re quick enough this straight second strike can render your opponent immobile before he/she can react with the remaining hand. So, it isn’t exactly “one-two” like of a pattern but just one motion. It’s a motion that involves blocking and punching at the same time.

Even if your opponent manages to block with the second hand (your own counter-strike), you can use a rotating wrist technique to strike a second time. Your opponent shouldn’t be able to counter that one. It sounds tricky…but is simple: the blocking hand is probably down below your shoulder level by now. You want it back up after the second punch, so you need to not raise the arm (as this is too slow) but rotate it at its hinge at the elbow so that your fist faces up again to your opponent. Once you have rotated you’ll be doing a straight strike with your wrist side facing up. This isn’t a punch or thrust but a pushing motion and falling motion with your blocking hand. You want to (like the pictures below) rotate and turn the elbow so that the fist faces up, then push that fist to your opponent’s face on the side of your striking hand. You can follow this up with more strikes.




How to do a punch combo

The next move I’m about to explain is sort of a common move in martial arts (and other fighting styles), but it’s a highly effective one. For this, I’m going to instruct you how to do a perfect roundhouse then an undercut combo. It’s a two step pattern that involves relatively little strength or skill, but it focuses more on the speed and accuracy of the hit.

The roundhouse undercut combo has been used by boxers, mma fighters, martial artists, and self defense experts in CQC (close quarter combat) situations. It’s excellent if the attacker is closing the gap between you and him/her or if you need to take an attacking opponent out. The first step is going to be our roundhouse. The most common mistake people make with roundhouse punches is to swing too wide. Below (in the picture) I’ll demonstrate how the angle of a classic roundhouse should be, and how close it should be to the chest. You want to be at least 2 feet within your attacker in order to pull the roundhouse off. The roundhouse begins when you gather energy at your shoulder level and swing in an ovular motion (close to your chest as to prevent a counter attack or counter) at the opponent’s face or chest, which you should close in on. This roundhouse should begin with you very quickly raising your hand, in a fist, to shoulder level and then moving it slightly back away from your shoulder to gain momentum. Next, it should swing (not too far but not too close) away from your body and chest area, and it should land ideally on the side of the attacker’s head or neck closest to you. So let’s repeat: raise your hand quickly while gathering a fist, then make a smooth circular motion slightly behind your shoulder and then away from you (still in a circular motion) to the attacker. You want the angle going to the attacker to be as small as possible so they can’t grab hold of your swinging arm. A roundhouse should move like an oval in motion, and it should be smooth like you’re drawing that shape in the air. A roundhouse too wide could mean the attacker is able to duck or stop it. A roundhouse too short could mean you miss.

Chances are, your attacker may have countered that roundhouse. That’s fine, even though it doesn’t happen in most situations. That’s why we have our other hand to preform a quick undercut punch. The roundhouse should focus your opponent’s muscular and nervous reactions to the top half of the body. The undercut takes them, using this to advantage, as a surprise, striking the lower half of the body that is vulnerable. An undercut is simple: a straight punch (fist facing backwards with top half of fist facing down as to gather energy) going in a straight motion to your attacker’s belly or abdomen area. This should knock him/her out of harming you. As soon as your roundhouse has made its strike (or lack of it) use the half second time to strike the abdomen straight with your other hand. Leave as little time to spare. It should also be noted that your roundhouse hook should also come back like a smooth oval back to its source near the shoulder. So in the rare circumstance both strikes fail, try another roundhouse or straight punch using the first hand again. This one two combo should take your opponent by surprise and speed as to knock them down.


Signs of a dangerous individual

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The human body naturally produces a fight or flight response when in the presence of danger. It’s an overlooked but key instinct of everyone. This being said, as a piece of advice from a martial artist to someone else, I would actually advise most people to pursue the “flight” response above anything else. People often look surprised when I tell them this, and they have this kind of reaction because they think that anyone who does self defense or martial arts is always going to be up for a fight. That’s actually not a good characteristic of a well-trained self-defense expert. Most people trained in the field recognize that the reason for picking up self-defense skills is to defend oneself and one’s being. If one can easily get out of a situation without having to throw a few kicks or moves, then most people would gladly do so. Wise martial artists don’t fight until it’s the last alternative. That being said, I want to advise everyone on a few tips that can make it easier to activate a flight response. This means that you are able to spot a dangerous individual and leave the person’s vicinity before it’s too late. You don’t know what these kind of people have: guns, knives, friends, etc. It is also important to note that just because a person shows these signs it doesn’t signify that he/she is aggressive and not only physically responding to another event (like an exam or upcoming meeting). But if you are worried that a particular person might be out to get you, you want to at least refer to a few physical signals to be sure. Here are three signs to look out for if you suspect something just isn’t right with a person close to you:

-The face: if you suspect someone is potentially out to get you or harm you, first look to the face. A person with the motive of fighting or harming you will already have adrenaline in their system. This person already has the plan to fight you, so naturally the body will react to that brain signal by producing adrenaline to prepare the person for conflict. That being said, there are signs in the face of adrenaline (note, even nervous situations or risky moves can produce adrenaline as a neuro-signal response in the body. If the person is producing adrenaline for no plain reason, you want to also make note that maybe this person has a concealed weapon or other thoughts of malice). Adrenaline affects the face several ways. Here’s what to look out for:

  • large or dilated eyes…long periods without blinking
  • sweat on the brow or neck
  • abnormally opened mouth; adrenaline runs on oxygen, glucose, and brain response, so the person might open their mouth for better air
  • facial twitches or muscle twitching

-The breath: When someone is anticipating something risky (or plain out nervous), you should be wary of the chest when they breathe. Normally men and women have different breathing patterns with the torso muscles, but when under the same conditions and nerves, both sexes tend to breathe shallow and quickly. It should be a very visible sign. The person should be obviously breathing quick shallow breaths using the chest muscles. Look for quick rises and falls in the chest. Also, when this happens, often the shoulder muscles involuntarily shrink up or stiffen as a natural nervous response. If the shoulders are hunched or higher up than usual, something may not be quite right.

-The hands, arms, and legs: When someone is getting ready to strike, attack, or pull out a weapon, there are body language signs to how the hands, arms, or legs are positioned. Their body naturally gets ready and stiffens up to prepare for whatever event he/she is planning. You want to look for several things in the arms or hands:

  • balled up hands….or hands clenched like a fist
  • hands at the waistband or unusually close or hanging by the waist. I’ve heard before that one police officer talked of how hands at the waist could represent a dangerous fellow. That’s usually where people conceal weapons, knives, guns, anything.
  • pacing of the legs or unusual rapid back and forth movement in one area. This is usually quick movement, sometimes in circles or in linear patterns.


Stay safe, and have a happy Thanksgiving break

-The Martial Artist

How to Counter a single handed strike

In self-defense, some of the most common moves someone might make is to counter the one handed punch or hand grab by using one of a multitude of techniques. The most common kind of strike is actually a one handed strike, followed by another hand. This could be a fist coming out you, a hand coming to grab you, etc, etc.

The way you want to counter this with self defense is simple, but you need to know when and how to use a simple counter. This counter won’t be effective if the opponent is trying to hit you near your head or if the fist is too high. This only works for straight punches. A curved punch you’ll have a hard time defending against if the fist is coming at an angle.

However, if the fist or hand is coming at a straight angle, downward/straight motion, and is not so high (how low it is doesn’t quite matter) then you should have no problem. A straight single-handed strike is perhaps the most common strike of them all. It’s your basic straight punch.

Okay, so you want to approach with a few things in mind: you want to maintain a good fighting stance first of all. This means your knees are slightly bent with your thighs hardened to maintain yourself sturdy in balance like a tree. You want to have foundation. This way, you can not only pivot, but you can also stand firmly and use strength. You want to have your hands up in some sort of motion so you can make contact with the hand quicker, and you don’t want to have your two legs spread out too far apart. If this happens, your opponent can easily overwhelm your center of gravity. You want to have your body slightly squared to your opponent, meaning one arm/hand is facing your opponent while the other side of your body is facing the other way. You’re a bit perpendicular to your opponent.

Next, practice quick reactionary time. Timing is everything. Don’t flinch, but also know when the fist is coming. The most basic sign is that the person’s shoulder muscles move. So if the person looks like he/she is about to strike, you want to watch both shoulder muscles very carefully. Keep your eyes at shoulder level. When you see a muscle fire off, this means that the muscle first contracts to bring the forearm and small arm forward. That’s your first sign to know which hand he/she is going to be using.

The actual technique isn’t too hard. Using the hand/side of your body facing you, you want to grab the other person by the back of the front arm (like so in the picture), and then you want to step in behind the person (second picture). While blocking the fist, you want to slightly push the person’s small arm away from you while grabbing it. This way, it will miss you, but you will still be able to grab hold of the person and render him or her mobileless. When stepping in, make sure you step in behind the other person or out of reach of the other person’s hand, definitely a bit closer so you have room for your counter strike. This gives you room so that the person’s other hand cannot find an easy way to hit you. Here’s the important part: while stepping in, you want to drag the other person’s arm toward you. It sounds a bit ironic,but this shakes their center of gravity so that they won’t have room and balance to fight back. Afterwards, once half of your body has stepped in behind the other person (while pulling the other person in) you now have a small frame of time to strike the person’s neck or temple or shoulder/back with your free hand. It seems a bit complicated, but it’s rather easy with practice. It’s simply just three quick motions: Cup your hands to fit the other person’s backarm, push it out of the way just as it comes, and grab it as you’re pushing away, step in and pull the other person’s arm to your height (here, the back side should be open), then strike with your other hand in the open area.


Stay safe~

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Defense against a roundhouse punch

Many of you may have heard of or seen altercations that a lot of especially young people find themselves in. Whatever the case, if you have simple self-defense techniques in your memory, some of such moves can actually save your life one day. Hopefully none of us are ever attacked walking down the street or threatened by an aggressor, but if it comes to the inevitable it is important to know how to defend your well-being.

The most common punches thrown from attackers (usually in public) are straight punches, roundhouse, or uppercuts. Today, we’re going to be focusing on how to protect yourself from a roundhouse punch. A roundhouse punch is different from a straight punch, high punch, uppercut, or jab due to the direction it takes. It normally involves the person starting the punch high up near your chest or face and above the waist. This person will probably throw a high roundhouse, which will be at head level. Obviously you want to preserve your head as best as possible (as many important functions are designated there) but you also want to be able to respond if the opponent throws such a punch at you.

The defense against your common high roundhouse involves two steps and two different solutions. If you’re shorter than your opponent, option one might be most effective: you want to duck right as you see the roundhouse beginning. This means you see the opponent’s fist beginning to take form and follow that high circular motion. Halfway through the punch you should already have your head down to your opponent’s waist-level. Odds are, since your opponent underestimated your mobility, you can now strike the leg, stomach, or groin area. Typically a groin shot would render the situation once again safe for you. As you duck (when the roundhouse comes) you want to lower yourself (using your hip muscles as those are quick to shift the center of your gravity) all the way to the opponent’s waist-level. Then, you want to immediately strike the stomach or groin area. This should be one fluid motion, as you don’t want to give your attacker any time at all. It should be literally duck, and halfway into your duck down you throw a series of punches or jabs.

The second solution (pictures included below) is if you’re taller or the same height if your attacker. For this, you want to use your elbow to guard your face/head. When you see roundhouse coming in, you want to immediately meet it halfway through its cycle. Don’t wait for it to come to you, as if you’re a second late then your delay could cause deadly consequences. When you see the high roundhouse/hook coming torward you, immediately meet it in its tracks like so (pictures below). Basically, you are using your bent arm and the outside of your forearm to meet the force of the punch. Then, your other hand can defend against another volley or potential punch your opponent has to throw. As most likely he or she will throw another volley at you. Now, when your elbow has blocked the punch, immediately curve in with the hard bone of your elbow tip and strike your opponent on the face. If your opponent throws another punch with the other hand, you have your right or left hand free to grab or move that punch or block it. Now, make sure (with the first technique) that it is one continuous motion. Don’t give your opponent time. Don’t wait to react: meet the punch directly with your elbow curved, and then strike the open face/neck with the same elbow after the punch has been blocked. This should be a smooth motion.

When your opponent has been struck, you can either kick/strike your injured attacker more…or if there is no need then you could run to safety. Generally, the quicker you’re out of a situation the less violence and risk you’ll take for self-defense. pic1pic2pic3

How to do a knee-kick

Similar to many other kind of kicks in martial arts, karate, kung fu, taekwondo, etc…this kick is designed to not beat up or demolish your attacker but to stop him or her in the tracks. This means that a knee kick is quite literally a kick aiming for an attacker’s knee which just about anyone can do with a little practice. Although a very trained martial artist can do this kind of kick with lightning speed, most people will suffice with being able to have this move down as a self-defense measure.

A knee kick is exactly what it sounds like – a kick down to an attacker’s knee cap to disable the attacker. An attacker normally tries to overwhelm you with the hands or arms. This involves grabbing, jabbing, or wrestling with the upper body strength. A lot of martial arts kicks go straight for the chest or head, but these can take a long time to master and perfect. Not everybody is flexible enough to do a roundhouse kick or skilled enough to put a sideway thrust to the body. A knee kick is different in that it’s a very basic yet effective kick. Your leg is longer than an attacker’s arms in every situation. So to keep the opponent from reaching you, it is best to reach them first with the leg.

This kick involves to motions which I will show in two illustrations below. The first motion is to lift your leg up to the height of your knees. This involves lifting one leg (usually right) so that you can gather potential energy/momentum for the kick. As the attacker nears you, runs toward you, or even lunges or tries to grab you…you have a window of time before he/she reaches you. So step one should be to ready the kick and aim with your eyes. You don’t want to glare at the attacker’s knees are he/she will know your intentions, but you want to have the rough target to be near the attacker’s lower legs or knees. You usually aim for one leg, whichever is closest to your kicking leg.

Step two of the motion is to actually thrust the kick outward. In doing this, you turn your other leg/body sideways. You literally thrust your body sideways to put your energy into the downward kick. The illustration shows the body of the defender going from a straight position with one leg up facing the opponent to turning the body slightly to the other direction of the kicking leg. So if you are kicking with the right leg, as most people do, you slightly thrust your body to the left to put a lot of momentum into the kick. When you kick, aim downward and sideways for the knees and legs. The motion of the kick is not as important as the accuracy of your kick. Make sure you at least land your kick to some kind of an area on his or her legs. This will cause the attack to be stopped.

Once the kick has landed, keep in mind that usually a good kick can cause some bruising, pain, or even muscle damage or bone damage depending on the strength. Remember, you don’t want to destroy your attacker since it’s not a boxing or cage match…you want to think about your safety and survival in all kinds of risky situations like these. Once the attacker is down (or stopped) you now have an open opportunity to run, get out of the location, or get help. If your attacker still isn’t down or is only mildly hurt, you can keep launching kicks at the legs and knees in similar fashion. Remember: your attackers arms cannot reach you. Once the attack has halted due to your defense skills, run and find a trusted individual, location, or even hide if your attacker might come back to look for you. Most of the time we have a fight or flight response. In my own personal advise, I would tell young people, or people of all ages, to escape the fighting when there is a safe chance. You don’t know if the attacker has friends, a weapon, or any other scheme against you.

Stay safe~.



Pepper spray: lifesaving tool

We’ve all probably heard of the equipment/spray known as pepper spray, and we’ve all probably heard of many of its uses. As Halloween approaches (as do darker days and windy weather) it’s important to remember to stay safe no matter where you’re going. Some people learn self defense quite early. Some people learn a few tricks and moves (kind of like me), and some people just don’t learn at all. Hey, that’s fine. Not everyone has to do Jiu Jitsiu or Tai Qi Quan, but it’s important for everyone to have some sort of defense. That defense doesn’t have to be your arms or legs, but it can be used from up to a few meters away.

I’m talking about pepper spray, which is a nonlethal weapon used by both law enforcement and civilians. Pepper spray is actually known as OC, or the abbreviate version for the solution oleoresin capsicum; this solution is an irritant which intensely burns and even blinds an attacker’s eyes, skin, or face. It’s been used against dogs, bears, and even aggressive humans. And in most cases, the aggressor recovers from the wounds after several days. However, in the heat of the situation, it can save your life.

To use pepper spray, simply turn off the safety knob on your bottle, quickly aim, and press down to shoot up to meters away. This spray, even if it makes contact onto skin, can cause burning and stop an opponent immediately. It’s been known to cause short term blindness if sprayed on the eyes. What you want to do is aim at an aggressor or potential attacker (if you’re in a risky situation), stand a good two meters back, and aim for the face.

Pepper spray can be used in all sorts of cases: close range and long range. If your attacker has a thick shirt on, it is especially important to spray for any skin area or the eyes or head. This will paralyze your attacker in his/her tracks and give you a window to run. It’s important to make good decisions whether you’re at a party, on a street, in a bar, or anywhere in general. But if danger comes, this self defense tool can save you big time.

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How to get out of a shirt grab.

This self defense scenario plays out in one or two ways: an aggressor has decided to grab you by the shirt or collar, and he/she is trying to trap your movement using such a move. This usually folds out as your usual schoolyard bully or college campus aggressor trying to corner you or stop your walk. We’ve all seen this scenario unfold before. I’m going to be talking of the two cases in how you can get out of the shirt grab.


First scenario: The two handed grab.

This scenario is the easiest to deal with, and it’s the most common one. Basically the attacker grabs your shirt with both of his or her hands. In this case, you have several options depending on the severity: punch, elbow, or a nerve strike.

First, trap both their hands by putting your left or right forearm on top of their arms. Then, pushing their arms down from reaching you any further, use your free hand to either elbow them, punch to the face, or strike at a crucial nerve point that will make them drop their grip on you. This nerve point can be found at the soft tissue area just at the bottom of the neck, usually below the Adams apple. Usually you want to aim for the nerve point by using two fingers to strike/flick until they must release their grip.


Second scenario: Grab with one hand.

This scenario is a bit more risky and should be done in only special cases. But, if you need to defend yourself, you’ll have to do it. First, if the aggressor grabs your shirt with one hand, you want to use the hand closest to the grabbing hand and swing it around sort of like you’re hooking your arm over theirs. Then, pull the arm towards you so that one half of his or her body begins to move out of a punching position. Using your free arm, you can now punch, elbow, flick, etc.


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Using daily items to defend yourself

If you ever find yourself in a difficult situation where you’re forced to fight or run, you obviously want to run first. Then, when all stakes are up (when you’re left with no option or help), it would be beneficial to fight as a last resort. For those who are physically not as strong as the attacker, you’d be surprised how many weapons or daily items can be used as non-lethal defense tools. These can be used to distract, overpower, or stop an attacker.

  1. Chairs: They’re quite effective against attackers. Using the legs of even a small chair can push an opponent back or injure or bruise the opponent. Try aiming the legs of the chair towards your opponents face and upper body as to prevent them from grabbing or striking you.
  2. Rocks: They’re small, hard, easy to throw, and everywhere. A well aimed rock could disable your opponent or knock them injured. Generally you want to find one the size of your palm, but any rock will do. A continuous barrage of rocks (from a distance) can cause bruises, scars, and even broken bones. You want to aim for the legs, face, head, or neck.
  3. Pens: any sharp object, kitchen knife, or even a pen will do in this case. If you are cornered or can’t run any further with one or multiple people after you, take out any sharp object you can find. The object itself can discourage an opponent or even cause bleeding or flesh injuries. You want to hold the pen or cooking knife with downward angle and slash at your opponent using side and up and down movements. They need to be quick and fast movements and continuous.
  4. Gardening tools or any hard appliances: These include shovels, small rakes, can openers, bottle openers, hammers, etc. Anything hard or made of metal you can grab is going to be useful to you. You want to strike toward major areas like arteries: definitely the upper body is the greatest target, or at your opponent’s arms or hands.

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Self Defense against wrist grabs

If you’re looking for a quick way to get out of a potential opponent’s wrist grab, there are several methods from several traditions you can use.
I’ll be providing pictures below for the second post to detail the consecutive steps for each method. This way, you can have a visual understanding of what these self defense moves
look like in the JKD technique. The first method is fairly straight forward and not very complicated or unique to any style. The third technique I will be giving a video presentation/helpful link to. The second method I’ll be using photos below the post.

Wrist grab with two hands on one wrist
The first method involves getting your hands out of a two handed wrist grab. In this scenario, a potential attacker or adversary might grab one of your wrists with both hands, preventing you from leaving. The most basic method here is to use your free hand for a direct strike in the face, as this will disorientate and most likely knock your opponent away from you. Few people, no matter how strong, can survive a direct punch to the face. Using your free arm while he grabs (with two hands) on one of your wrists, this will be quick and easy.

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Wrist grab with one hand on one wrist
This is the most common type of wrist grab. An attacker grabs your wrist with one hand and refuses to let go. The Wing Chun defense against this is to use your other hand to grab your trapped hand out of the wrist grab. You want to use your free hand and quickly (before your attacker responds) grab the fingers of your trapped hand and pull toward you. Ideally, you’re pulling towards yourself against the opponent’s thumb.

Wrist grab with two hands on both hands
This is a more dangerous and confrontational scenario. In this situation, you can use a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu double wrist escape. For a more detailed video on this, see the below link.

However, the basic idea is to lift your arms in the direction of the grabbers thumbs. You want to rotate both your arms in a circle in the direction where the opponent’s thumbs are. This way, the force of your arms are actively breaking the loose grip. You want to turn your wrists using the power of your small arm directly on the thumbs; you want the circle/arc to be wide and very large in motion as well. When you’re out, you can either fight or run or walk away depending on the situation.

New Martial Arts Movie

For those of you highly engaged into martial arts and all things related to “kung fu” entertainment, then you must have heard of a series of movies called “Ip Man”. This is also the Cantonese to English spelling for “叶文”, which is the name of the main protagonist.

The series of “Ip man” is loosely based on one of the 20th century grandmasters of the Chinese fighting style “Wing Chun”. Wing Chun is based on grappling, quick hand motions, sticky palms, fast fists, and rapid engagement styles of fighting. Some call it almost a style of Chinese boxing, but it doesn’t quite fit the western criteria.

So the story goes that during World War II there lived this grandmaster of Wing Chun called Ip Man. Although the movies exaggerate his story, they are loosely based off his experiences in FoShan province of China (during WW2 where he challenged invaders) to his time in Hong Kong.

You probably know one of Ip Man’s most famous disciples. His name is Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee isn’t exactly featured in these movies, but it’s note pointing out if we’re going to discuss a movie based on Lee’s master’s life. Ip Man actually took in Bruce Lee many years after he began teaching. And as the story progresses, we all know what becomes of Bruce Lee, whom was once the little boy training in Hong Kong with his master.

The first Ip Man movie is centered around the events of the Second World War, while the second of the trilogy is largely about his experiences teaching in Hong Kong, battling rival teachers and western boxers alike. However, the third installment becomes yet a looser adaption of the master’s life. In the last and final film of the series, Ip Man is seen as an established master who has established his title and garnered the veneration of many students and teachers alike.

The key difference of the third film is that the plot centers around a cast in character: Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson was cast to play a western boxer in the film, but he quickly became a lead character of the plot. In the third film, we’re teased with the trailer of a western fist vs an eastern fist. It’s a juxtaposition of two worlds basically.

Played by Donnie Yen, Ip Man’s character is expressed calmly and naturally as he would have been in his time. However, it must be interesting to see how Mike Tyson plays out his role in the big screen. Tyson has been known to be a formidable boxer, but he has never played a role of such unique caliber where he is contrasted to eastern styles.