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
Feinting is a strategy that has endured the test of time for the simple reason that it works. From open battlefields across the centuries to the back alleys of today’s metropolitan cities, fighters have used feinting to help them defeat even superior foes. The concept of a feint is to do just enough of a technique - punch, kick, stance change - to deceive your opponent into thinking that you are going to do the complete movement. Then, just as he responds to your partial technique, you initiate another to score.
Far too many fighters throw feints that aren’t believable and, therefore, fail to get a reaction from their opponent. To avoid this, your feint must be a real technique, albeit a partial one. Do it convincingly enough, by including body movement and even facial expressions, and your opponent will react, leaving him vulnerable to your second technique, the real attack.
A good feint can even break your opponent’s concentration and send him into a new OODA loop when he realizes suddenly that the technique he reacted to is no longer there. Kuntao expert Bob Orlando says, “Feint something that causes him to react, then pounce with something else once he commits to defending the feint. The best fighter I know is not particularly fast. However, he possesses an almost uncanny ability to hit his opponent whenever he wishes, especially when he sets him up with believable feints.”Read More
In this excerpt from Terrorism Awareness: Understanding the Threat and how you can Protect Yourself author Robert H. Deatherage, Jr. shares some steps you can take to increase your chances of surviving a terrorist hijacking.
• Give terrorists long hard looks and stare at them.
• Argue with them about their goals, their beliefs or about what they are doing. They just violated international law and are now fugitives from the world, do you really think you are going to talk them into changing their mind?
• Attempt to talk first, by raising your hand or standing up. They do not want to hear what you have to say and they truly don’t care. By continuing your effort to make yourself a player in some way in this drama you are just making yourself more of a target.
• Make obscene gestures. Trust me, they know what they mean and they are watching everyone or trying to so thinking you are sneaky and can outsmart them could get you made an example of.Read More