Veteran law enforcement officer Kevin Dillon teaches an essential self-protection drill, the Roll and Strike Drill which trains you to quickly recover from a fall and aggressively counterattack your assailant from the ground. This instructional segment is taken from the Police Combat Tactics 1 video and is part of the new Police Defensive Tactics video app
Excerpted from Self-defense Against a Dog Attack by Loren W. Christensen
There is no one solution to fighting a big dog, just as there is no one way to defend against a
human attacker. So let’s look at a few methods suggested by experienced dog handlers and
Stand sideways to the dog
This is not a submissive stance but one that the dog perceives as nonthreatening. It’s a good one to use when a strange dog is quickly advancing on you. Your gut says the animal is dangerous but it’s not quite at the chomping stage yet.
Turn sideways to the animal while watching it out of the corner of your eyes. Let your arms hang at your sides and curl your fingers into a fist to protect them.Read More
Excerpted from GUIDE TO RAPE AWARENESS AND PREVENTION by Robert and Jeanine Ferguson
Good manners instilled in us as children can often delay our response to a situation in a way that could prevent an attack. It has been proven time and time again that rape is often preceded by a social situation, whether it be at a bar sharing a drink or on a college campus while attending a party. You may become disturbed by a premonition that a certain situation is potentially dangerous, but your social training emerges, telling you you're perhaps over reacting.
Consider every situation as potentially dangerous. Rely and act upon that instinctual feeling of uncertainty. Do not allow your social manners to prevent you from acting in your own best interest or removing yourself from an unwanted situation.Read More
Loren W. Christensen shows you how to use a front kick from a seated position in a self-defense situation. This is an excellent adaptation of an easy to use technique that you can apply in many common situations like sitting in a restaurant or waiting for the bus or train. This instructional segment is taken from the Solo Training video.
Excerpted from How to Fight the Pain Resistant Attacker by Loren W. Christensen
Let’s look at three objectives to keep in mind when dealing with people who might be tolerant to pain. In short, your task is to control the violent person, control the situation and control yourself. All three are interrelated because without any one of them, there is no control of the other two.
CONTROL OF THE ATTACKER
Control is established by a strong, confident presence, the application of calming words, control holds, punches, kicks, strikes with environmental objects, or any other technique that incapacitates the person’s physical ability to attack.
CONTROL OF THE SITUATION
You control a situation by your confident presence, calming words, use of your surroundings, strategic positioning in relation to the threat, help from a friend, and an understanding of your own physical vulnerability.
CONTROL OF YOUR ACTIONS
Sometimes a defender, out of fear, anger or lack of confidence, will overreact and use more force than a situation requires. So this doesn’t happen to you, know that when you’re in command of both the situation and the attacker, you’re more likely to control yourself, even when you discover that the threat has a high tolerance to pain.
A martial arts friend says, “Fighting is about chaos and your objective is to bring order [control] to it.” Th is objective and mindset must guide your actions so that you do what needs to be done for your safety and with minimum injury to the attacker.
Note: Although many of the techniques in How to Fight the Pain Resistant Attacker are designed to debilitate an assailant who hasn’t responded to other control measures, you must always strive to affect minimum injury. It’s the legal thing to do and it’s the honorable thing to do.
I know I’m preaching to the choir here, and that’s okay. We all need to be reminded from time to time of these three control factors since they are never more important than when dealing with a violent person who doesn’t react to pain.
It’s easy to become conditioned to the way training partners respond to our techniques: their frantic slapping on the mat, the way they cry out in agony, how they clutch desperately to whatever hurts, and their comments about your mother. Your training can so condition you to this that when a street attacker doesn’t respond similarly—he only mildly reacts or he doesn’t react at all—it can cause that aforementioned physical and mental freeze. It’s happened to me and I’ve seen it happen to others.
Excerpted from STREET STOPPERS: The Martial Arts Most Devastating Trips Sweeps and Throws for Real Fighting by Mark Mireles and Loren W. Christensen
Throw: an offensive takedown in which you lift your opponent off his feet, move him over your hips, and drop him down onto his back. It's identifiable by the way you generate a powerful fulcrum by getting your hips under the attacker's and by the way his feet travel skyward in an arcing motion. A throw is the slam dunk of fighting.
Going airborne, that is, your attacker going airborne - is the hallmark of throwing. However, these highly effective and fun-to-do techniques take more time and work to learn than do trips and sweeps. Like all things worthwhile, though, it' s well worth the effort. Here are a few tips to make the process faster.
The Basic Elements
As in all aspects of the martial arts, successful throwing is all about the basics. Master them and you master throwing.
It's essential that you use your hips as a fulcrum by positioning them under the attacker's center of gravity so that you can launch his feet skyward ( flip is a descriptive nickname for this), to nearly somersault him onto his back.Read More
Excerpted from A Los Angeles Bouncer's Guide to Practical Fighting by Noah Knapp
Defending oneself from kicks can be a totally safe practice. I say “can” because all too many times I have seen what should have been an easy block turn into a gross tactical error.
Legs are stronger than arms; no reasonable person will debate this fact. Taking a punch is one thing, but absorbing the raw power of a kick could easily end the fight before it has a chance to begin. There are several time proven methods to deflect, disarm, and diminish the strength of a kick. The purpose of the second part of this chapter is simply that, the complete avoidance of accepting such a devastating blow from your opponent. Lower body attacks create several difficult advantages such as power, speed, & distance, but they steal one vital component of our victory plan: balance.
Not once during my time as a bouncer did a fighter first attack me with a kick. Lower body attacks are rarely considered first by attackers, but this does not alter the fact that bouncers are always on the lookout for them. It is well known by any experienced member of a security team not only how destructive a kick can be, but how easy they are to defend against. When kicks are involved, any fight can easily be turned with just one block or even by simply walking forward at your attacker before their kick has a chance to peak.Read More
Excerpted from Survivalist Kung Fu by Noah Knapp
First things must come first. You must know what NOT to do when engaging an opponent. Basic mistakes in a fight are like little holes in the window of an airplane, they may seem small, but they can quickly lead to certain disaster. Simple martial arts preparation can ready you sufficiently for your attack, but the standard rules that span across many styles can also protect you from these common mistakes.
1. Never Plan Moves in a Fight.
This is one of the most common and misinterpreted topics among inexperienced fighters. It is true that to think several steps in advance during a conflict is a good practice. However, to choose in advance any specific action for yourself, whether defensive or offensive, before a situation arises may offer an attacker the benefit of success upon every other technique that you have not prepared. The situation itself MUST dictate the response. Deciding on a course of action prior to the moment of contact may lead a person to make a myriad of mistakes, such as telegraphing a strike, opening guard prematurely, etc.Read More
The following article by Sang H. Kim is based on the principles and techniques taught in the Knife Defense video series. It is intended to give a brief overview of the central tenet of knife combat for the experienced martial artist.
Much has been written about the effectiveness of one system or another in a realistic or "street" situation. Many styles claim to be scientifically designed or to have secret techniques to defeat even the toughest of opponents, including armed assailants. Yet when it comes to an assailant armed with a knife, you don't need to learn a lot of fancy, secret techniques, you only need to remember four simple options. In an armed confrontation, basic is best and the most direct techniques are the ones that will give you the opportunity to walk away when it's over.
Four Choices, One Result
When faced with a weapon, you have four choices: retreat, lateral inside close, lateral outside close or pass by. Each of these initial movements allows you to shorten the distance between you and your opponent. Once you get close, you can apply the defense of your choice. If you prefer kicking, you can use a kick. If you prefer locking, you can apply a lock. If you prefer grappling, you can take your opponent to the ground. But to use any of these skills, you first have to get close to your attacker.
Retreat: Cowardice or Foresight
To retreat is generally seen by the opponent as a sign of cowardice. You are too afraid to fight or you are unable to match your opponent's strength, so you step back to avoid being drawn into a confrontation. However, the retreat can be a smart intial move since it gives you a chance to meaure your attacker's seriousness and prepare a strategy. And there is always the chance that when you signal a retreat, your attacker will back off enough to let you escape. This is, of course, the safest and most intelligent way to defeat an armed attacker. It is also the least likely outcome.Read More
Adapted from Vital Point Strikes by Sang H. Kim
There are 3 fundamental ways of knocking out an opponent:
- Deliver a shock to the brain (example: strike the jaw or temple)
- Choke off the blood flow to the brain (example: constrict the carotid artery)
- Restrict breathing, limiting oxygen to the brain (example: constrict the windpipe)
However, there are also lesser known methods of bringing about unconscious or disorientation, including striking the vulnerable plexus areas on the trunk of the body. The 5 knockout techniques described in this article target vital points on the body, including the sternum, back, jaw, carotid artery and brachial plexus.
(The damage that can result from targeting these areas can be significant - use caution and control when practicing on a partner and only use the techniques discussed here when warranted in a self-defense situation.)Read More
Excerpted from CONCEPTUAL SELF-DEFENSE by C.V. Rhoades
In the animal kingdom, there are predators and prey. Predators depend on teeth, claws and speed to attack and kill their victims. Prey animals depend on their alertness and speed to escape, but are equipped with self-defense mechanisms that they can put to good use when threatened. Even a rabbit can kick with powerful hind legs and a duck can flail a dog with its wings.
Most animals, though, depend on being alert to threats, and to acting instinctively to what THEY PERCEIVE AS A THREAT. It doesn’t have to be a real threat, even a perceived threat will cause a deer to bound away or a rabbit to head for his burrow. An animal will bolt from a photographer, who means them no harm, just as quickly as from a hunter with a rifle. They take no chances.
In The Gift of Fear, Gavin De Becker states, "Can you imagine an animal reacting to the gift of fear the way some people do, with annoyance and disdain instead of attention? No animal in the wild, suddenly overcome with fear, would spend any of its mental energy thinking, 'It?s probably nothing.' They leave the scene first . . . Yet we chide ourselves for even momentarily giving validity to the feeling that ...someone's unusual behavior might be sinister."Read More
In this clip from Police Survival: Kubaton, Pressure Points, Handgun Retention, Law Enforcement training instructors Mark Wyler and Eric Murray teach an effective pressure point strike to quickly create distance between yourself and an assailant who grabs or rushes you.
In a hostile situation, you have to make a lot of decisions very quickly. In this excerpt from Taekwondo Self-defense: Taekwondo Hoshinsool, Sang H. Kim summarizes the key stages of a self-defense situation and the important decisions you'll need to make in each stage.
• Trust your gut feeling, stay cool.
• Size up the situation:
1. Hostility intensity: deadly threat, mild conflict, casual unpleasantness.
2. Environmental factors: indoor, outdoor, sloping ground, exits, available environmental weapons.
3. Weapons: attacker has a gun, knife, pipe, or bat.
4. People factors: numbers, size, athleticism, position.
• What are your options? If possible, escape as fast as you can. If you can’t escape, breathe deeply, stay cool and control the distance.
Excerpted from Fighter's Fact Book 2: Street Fighting Essentials by Loren W. Christensen and Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
How you train is how you will perform for real is a truism for law enforcement, soldiers and martial artists. Some martial artists adamantly object to this, saying that they would never react in a high-stress situation in such a way as the examples given above. To them I say simply, “Sorry, but your opinion is wrong. There is too much evidence to the contrary. And if you don’t change your ways, you could be dead wrong.”
Here are a few ways that some martial artists train that could come back to bite them on the behind:
- Train to miss: Punches and kicks are pulled three or four inches from their opponent.
- Has never been hit: Because students are taught to pull their techniques several inches short, they are not conditioned physically or psychologically to take a hit.
- Take one, give one: Never been trained to take a hit and respond immediately by hitting back.
- Train to pass by or pass over the target: High kicks are thrown so they pass over the opponent’s head.
Excerpted from Solo Training by Loren W. Christensen
If you haven’t used your forearm for striking, you are in for a pleasant surprise. It’s easy to deliver, hard to block and causes a world of pain to the victim.
Inside and Outside Forearm Strikes
Let’s call the thumb side of your forearm the “inside” and the little finger side the “outside” forearm. Both are used to deliver painful strikes to your opponent’s vulnerable targets—head, neck, ribs and groin—and to less vulnerable ones like the chest, back, upper arms and thighs. While the latter targets are not as susceptible to pain and debilitation as those in the first grouping, you can still hit them to cause momentary distraction so you can get to the more vulnerable ones.
Striking with the inside of the forearm is similar to throwing a roundhouse punch and striking with the outside of the forearm is a similar motion to the backfist. When striking with either side, it’s imperative that you keep your arm bent to prevent injury to your elbow joint. Here are three ways you can practice forearm strikes in the air and on a bag.
Forearm from behind
Face your imaginary opponent in your fighting stance. Step forward and drive a right reverse punch into his chest, followed by a left elbow to his ear. Whip your right arm around behind his head and snap the inside of your forearm into the back of his skull. He can’t defend against the elbow because he can’t see it. Work to make the combination flow smoothly.Read More
by Mark Jacobs | Excerpted from The Principles of Unarmed Combat
Starting at the top of the body, as was mentioned, the head is vulnerable to concussion, which has an automatically impairing effect. Though blows to any part of the head can potentially cause concussion, unconsciousness or even death, certain areas are much more likely to produce these effects than others. A great deal of misinformation has been given over the years regarding what are the prime areas of the head for causing a "knockout" due to confusion as to just what type of injuries produce a concussion within the brain.
Primarily, it is the acceleration or rapid movement of the head that produces concussive effects. Sometimes this is a result of the brain, which essentially fl oats freely inside a liquid atmosphere within the skull, banging into the inner wall of the skull; sometimes it is the result of sheering or other forces upon the brain itself. The two basic ways the brain is accelerated to cause these effects are through the application of translational force and rotational force. Translational force is any force that would snap the head straight back, straight forward or directly to the side. Rotational force would make the head rotate along its central vertical axis as if you were turning your head to look to the left or right. Translational force is generally produced by strikes that come straight in to the front or back of the head or straight strikes that come in directly from the side and land against the side of the head. Rotational force would typically be seen in more circular type blows or straight line strikes that land at an angle against the face. Most strikes that land against the head tend to produce a certain mixture of both translational and rotational forces.Read More
In this outtake from Police Combat Tactics Volume 2, Lt. Kevin Dillon teaches the rear sentry takedown as it is used by law enforcement officers to subdue a suspect. For civilians, this takedown also has applications when coming to aid of someone who is being threatened or assaulted.
Excerpted from Fighter's Fact Book 2: Street Fighting Essentials by Loren W. Christensen
The Continuum of Force model has been used by law enforcement agencies for years, though many agencies across the country are now moving to a different one, a new and improved version called “Force Options.” For the purpose of our discussion here, the Continuum of Force still works nicely.
Force Options and Continuum of Force provide the police with a guideline to follow when they are compelled to respond with force in a situation. To give you a visual, think of the continuum as a ladder with several rungs. Read it from the bottom rung up.
- Lethal force (firearms)
- Impact weapons (batons)
- Defensive body tactics (hands-on tactics)
- Pepper spray (A dash of cayenne to shut down the vision and disturb the breathing
- Passive control (physically moving a person)
- Verbal commands (voice commands)
- Officer’s presence (commanding and authoritative presence)
Excerpted from Vital Point Striking: The Art and Science of Striking Vital Targets for Self-defense and Combat Sports by Sang H. Kim
A vital point is a pressure sensitive point on or near the surface of the human body. Vital points function like gateways to the nervous system, the main controller of the body, allowing you to use pain to influence the actions and reactions of an opponent. Even a single strike can cause serious damage, unconsciousness or, in rare cases, death.
For example, a forceful strike into the Wind Mansion (GV16) at the base of the brain can result in instant death. The gallbladder (on the right side of the trunk, below the liver) and the Sauce Receptacle (CV24) on the tip of the chin are targets for potential knockout blows in boxing. The carotid artery, temple and Philtrum are common targets for striking in a selfdefense situation.
Vital Points Can Shut Down the System
Because the human body is a highly complicated interconnected system, it is vulnerable to attacks that disable key points of the system, thereby causing systemwide failure. By attacking one of the vital regions of the body, you can paralyze the entire system.Read More
by Mark Mireles and Loren W. Christensen | Excerpted from Total Defense: Grappling and Striking Defenses Against Common Street Attacks
Elements of the Tackle
The man’s anger goes from 0 to 100 in a heartbeat. He lowers his head, then shoulder charges like he's still on his high school football team and you’re his personal tackling dummy.
In street fighting jargon, this mad charge is called "rush and tackle," a technique that is nearly as common as the overhand right. Perfected in bars, dance clubs, and most other places booze flows in abundance, the rush and tackle is one of those gross muscle moves that is practically innate whenever and wherever tempers flare.
Your authors have seen the rush and tackle done in minor scraps and we've seen it used in the most violent of crimes. We know of one police officer who was rushed and tackled, taken to the ground, disarmed by the attacker, and executed with his own gun.Read More