I’ve been doing Martial arts for 7 years, and here are a few things you need to know about basic self-defense.
First of all, forget everything you’ve ever seen in a movie or TV show. Every time I watch an action scene I cringe, even the most realistic fight scenes are unrealistic.
Punching someone doesn’t hurt your fist if you do it right. When you make a fist, you need to clench as tightly as possible. A loose fist is a sure way to break some of your knuckles and fingers while doing minimal damage to the opponent.
Make sure you’re hitting with the main knuckles (the base ones that connect your hand to your fingers) of the index and middle finger. Your ring and pinky knuckles aren’t designed to take a hit like that, and will almost definitely break if you hit someone with it.
Thumb placement in a fist has always surprised me, and where someone puts their thumb tells you a lot about their fighting experience. In the picture above, you can see what to never ever do. Punching someone like this will break your thumb. Your thumb should be placed on the outside of your fist. The picture below shows how you should make a fist, with the thumb lying outside of the fist, and not sticking out anywhere. If your thumb sticks out in any way, you will break it or injure it.
Realistically, you are probably not going to kick someone in a fight. If you know what you’re doing, it might work, but unless you have a lot of experience, kicking is a dangerous thing for you in a fight. If you’re going to kick, remember a few things
- Always pull the toes back. When kicking, you want to hit with the top, ball of the foot (where the toes meet the foot) or the heel, depending on the kick. Your toes break very easily, and kicking anyone with them will break them.
- Don’t kick high. The higher you kick, the less power you have. Aim for knees and groin.
- Don’t leave the kick out there. Once you’ve connected with the target, place your foot on the ground. If you kick someone and don’t incapacitate them, they will almost definitely try and grab your leg.
Defense against a gun:
Run. If the gun is not within reach, or to your back, run. If they’re trying to kidnap you, you actually have a very good chance of escaping unless you cooperate with them and are moved to a secondary location. There is only a 4% chance of them hitting you, and even less that it’s in a vital organ/region. Run in a zig-zag preferably while yelling as much as you can.
If you are being mugged/robbed, cooperate. It’s not worth risking your life for your wallet.
If you are within arm’s length of the gun, slap it as hard as you can. The attacker is very nervous and probably does not have a tight grip on the gun. Slap and run.
If the gun is behind you, but within arm’s length, turn around while waving your arms(preferably while yelling) and once you see can the gun, slap, and run.
Defense against a knife:
Knives are tricky things, and there is almost no way to defend against one without getting cut somewhere. Realistically, you won’t see a knife attack coming. But in case you do, here’s what you need to do.
- Stay out of their range. This is critical when defending against a knife, you want to be as far away from them as possible. You want to see their attack coming
- Wait for them to attack first. Unarmed, it is very unlikely that you will be able to attack someone with a knife, but much more likely you’ll be able to defend against it. Once they have attacked, you have two options: Isolate the hand with the knife (grab their hand or wrist) or attack and incapacitate before they can react. The first one takes practice (or luck), so in a fighting situation, I would go with the second one. Once they’ve lunged at you, step to your right (if the knife is in their right hand) and to the left if it’s in their left hand. Once you are somewhat out of harm’s way, the attacker will be leaning into the attack and be somewhat off balance. There are two things that you can do right now, kick them over, or push them. If you are new to kicking, shove the attacker as hard as you can, and run.
Defending against a knife is very difficult, and I would recommend taking a self-defense course, or taking Martial Arts classes
Defense against a bat (or other blunt item)
Bats are very unsophisticated items, and easy to defend against
Wait for your attacker to swing first, and get out of the way. That’s a lot easier said than done, but really a duck or a leap backward will do the trick. Once you’ve done that, the attacker will still be being carried over by the weight and momentum of the bat, and you’ll have plenty of time to attack them while their vulnerable, or run.
Where to strike
When you’re hand striking, you want to aim for the throat, ears, nose, temple (area next to the eyes and ears), and sometimes the eyes themselves. If possible, you also want to strike the back of the neck.
With kicks, you want to aim for the stomach, knees, and groin. A good kick (of almost any kind) to the knees will be sure to hurt a lot if it doesn’t completely disable the attacker.
When striking with knives, if you aren’t looking to kill, just to disable, a stomach stab is okay. If you are in a situation, and you have a knife, and you are in immediate danger, a stabbing someone in the stomach may not stop them. Under normal circumstances, it would be crippling. The plain plus the shock of being stabbed could take out almost anyone under normal circumstances. But in the event of being attacked, there is adrenaline. Not to mention whatever drugs your attacker may be on. A stomach stab may hurt, but if your attacker is determined, it won’t stop them.
If you want to disable with a knife, go for extremely painful and disabling places, like the knee. Stabbing (or shooting) someone in the knee is called kneecapping, and it is one of the most painful things a person can do.
In summary, if you are in a situation where your life is in danger, that is not the time to be a hero. Get out of there if you can. If there is no way out, realistically, you have about 3 seconds to react. You want to hit hard, and preferably in the face. Don’t wait for them to react to that first strike. Keep on hitting. If there are multiple people, strike the one directly in front of you as hard as possible. Then run as fast as you can, it will take the remaining opponents a few seconds to go from fighting to chasing.