Most people you encounter in daily life are mature enough to keep their cool and talk things out when a disagreement arises, but there are exceptions. It’s definitely recommended by everybody and their mother that you exhaust all of your civil options before engaging in a physical confrontation. The truth is that you can walk away from most conflicts, however, there may come a time in your life that you find yourself backed into a corner. If that troubling moment ever comes to fruition, then you don’t want to be stuck doing your best impression of Bruce Lee. Arming yourself with basic self-defense moves will ensure you’re a step ahead of the rest.
Ideally, you’d want to sign yourself up at a martial arts academy to practice self-defense under the guidance of a proven professional; although, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of several self-defense moves that you can add to your arsenal in the meantime. We’re going to go over three defensive moves and three attacks that you can call upon when you have no other choice but to get physical. These moves address the most effective defenses for common attacks and some of the best offensive moves that can end a physical confrontation quickly.
A Quick Disclaimer
Before we begin, we urge you not to try these self-defense moves without professional supervision. Friendly backyard brawls aren’t the best place to practice these dangerous moves, so please restrain yourself from trying to execute them without proper guidance. This is meant to be an introduction to highly effective moves that you can learn at a certified self-defense or martial arts academy. Having said that, gaining knowledge of these techniques is absolutely beneficial and an excellent start to building skills to protect yourself and others in situations that escalate quickly. Learning self-defense is like taking up a workout routine with purpose, helping you drill the skills you’ll need to react properly if an inebriated man or angry, unhinged civilian decides clobber your face.
Slipping Out Of The Classic Bully Position
Watch a few UFC matches and you’ll see that plenty of professional fights get finished quickly when someone takes the mount position. If you have the mount position, that means you’re sitting on top of the opponent’s chest with your knees hiked up into their armpits, which helps to keep him from being any sort of offensive threat. From this position, you’re at an angle where you can throw punches at will whereas the guy you’re mounting cannot. If a well-trained person mounts you, then it really doesn’t matter what you bench press because they know how to maintain their balance and will be throwing down bombs until your face is hamburger meat.
Needless to say, this is one of the worst positions to be in whether you’re training on the mats in jiu-jitsu or you’ve found yourself in a street fight that’s gone horribly wrong. The first thing you need to remember is to stay calm and use your elbows and forearms to protect your face. From there, the goal is to get the attacker to base out with his hands, which means they’ll be too busy to hit you. To do this, you need to bump up with your hips, and at the very least, he’ll put his hands on the ground so he can maintain balance. Once his hands are on the ground, pick one, clasp your hands around it, and pull him in. While you’re holding on for dear life, you’re going to hook the foot on the same side of the arm that you’ve just trapped. In order to execute hooking the attacker’s same-side foot, just place your own foot that’s closest to it on the outside and literally hook on. The attacker’s arm and foot on one side are now secure, so he cannot base out on that side. Keep everything and bump up with your hips once more and roll him to the side with the trapped arm and foot. This puts you in a much more advantageous position since your back is now off the ground.
An Essential Move For Takedown Attempts
Wrestlers like to shoot into the legs to take their opponents down with a variety of offensive moves, including the single leg, double leg, and ankle pick. What you might actually run into is a guy trying to tackle you by charging right at your legs. Sprawling can take care of shots from a wrestler, meaning that it can also stop a wild man dead in his tracks if he decides to spear-head straight into your legs because he watched too much WWE. Sprawling is important because if someone actually tackles you to the ground and gets a mount position or even just puts you flat on your back, you’re going to have a bad day.
To execute a sprawl in combat, pull the opponent’s head and neck down, as they are charging into your legs. At the same time, drop your torso right onto his head while shooting your legs out, keeping your knees off the ground. If done correctly, the attacker’s structure will collapse like a house of cards. From this position, you can force your hips downward right on top of his head to immobilize him and swim both arms underneath his armpits for more control, which is called the cow-catcher. In order to prevent him from coming forward again, put one forearm across the back of his neck and shove his head to the ground, keeping it there so you can back away safely.
Keep Your Hands Up At All Times
Whether you’re striking or grappling, keeping your arms tight to your body with your elbows tucked in makes for an effective defensive structure. It will also allow you to block punches easily. Shots will be directed at your face mostly, but we’ll also go over how to block punches aimed at your body. There are four basic punches, consisting of the jab, straight, hook, and uppercut. All four punches can be thrown from a variety of angles, so what you want to protect is your face and body.
To protect that handsome mug of yours from straight punches and hooks, you’re going to employ a helmet guard. Pretend like your reaching back to brush your hair and keep your elbow tight at about eye level.Let’s start with bombs coming at your face. To protect that handsome mug of yours from straight punches and hooks, you’re going to employ a helmet guard. Pretend like your reaching back to brush your hair and keep your elbow tight at about eye level. Your arm should be bent to close any gaps, preventing any shots coming through, and your bicep should be right next to your face. With the helmet guard, any hooks coming at you will be absorbed by your shoulder, bicep or forearm. Twist your torso to roll with the punches as well, so that the impact of the shots gets diluted. If punches are coming straight at you, then you can employ the same helmet guard because if you do it properly and keep your elbows tight, then you can use your elbows to catch the straight punches.
For blocking punches coming at your body, drop your elbows to catch them. You can also shield your body with your forearms by having them meet at the center for shots aimed at your solar plexus. Keep in mind that you can’t continue to block and be stationary or you’ll eventually get pummeled. No matter what you do, don’t stop moving because you want to avoid being trapped in a corner. In blocking shots aimed at your body, remember that your solar plexus and liver are like buttons that will cause you to drop quicker than a finger-snap, so stay active. Even a person with no experience can miraculously land shots on those spots.
A Reliable Power Shot
If you only perfect one punch in your entire life, the straight punch will suffice. Throwing an effective shot can ring an attacker’s bell and make them regret starting the whole ordeal. At its best, a knuckle bomb can be an enlightening experience for an attacker or bully. Before we get down and dirty with the mechanics of the straight punch, we have to talk about the fighting stance to set it up. We’re going to take this from the perspective of a right-handed person, so everything is mirrored if you’re left-handed. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent and your left foot forward. When you’re moving around, do not cross your feet. Try to keep your feet shoulder-width apart for the duration of the fight because it provides you with better balance and stability. Again, your arms should be up protecting your face with your elbows hugging your body.
Throwing a straight right is almost like pitching a baseball. You’re going to twist your torso and leg, while you make the motion of putting out a cigarette with your foot, to pull the trigger on your straight punch. As your right hand is extending, twist your shoulder slightly as well, protecting your face. You should aim for your target with your two big, mini-boulder knuckles while your opposite hand is up guarding your face. Do not think of making contact with your attacker, but rather punching through him. As you punch, you should also exhale quickly, allowing your body to contract its muscles so that you won’t get the wind knocked out of you if there’s an incoming shot right at the same moment that you can’t block.
A straight punch is definitely a power shot and you’re not always going to be successful landing it if there’s no set-up. Just like boards don’t hit back, most people aren’t punching bags, so you’ll need to get a combo going. The jab is a flicking shot with your opposite hand that’s used to measure distance. A basic combo that you can learn is the classic double jab followed by a straight right (again, this is reversed for those that are left-handed). This entire combo can be aimed at the attacker’s face or you can even split the double jab where one goes to the face, the other goes to the body, and you finish with a straight to crack the goon’s nose. Keep them guessing by never being predictable.
A Nice Big Neck Hug
Yes, a guillotine is an instrument of extreme punishment that was used to carry out bloody beheadings. Well, they named a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu move after it and that just goes to show you how brutal the move really is. When a fight goes to the ground, especially if you’re on the bottom and getting tackled by the opposition, the guillotine can put the attacker to bed if applied correctly. Many professional fighters have found success with this choke, such as the legendary Bas Rutten, Pedro Munhoz, and Nate Diaz. It’s also a move that you’ve probably tried when you were a kid while you wrestled with friends, so it may come more naturally than other chokes.
Brutal? Absolutely, but you want to finish the fight fast. After that, you can go home, pop in Predator and have a nice steak dinner.If the attacker charges into your chest and tries to take you down, you have to first pick a side and slide his head over so that it’s right underneath your armpit. As quickly as possible, make a blade with your hand and slice your arm right under his neck with your forearm pressing up against his throat tightly. The other hand should meet the wrist that’s under the neck as quickly as possible, locking onto it with a monkey grip (this means the thumb is on the same side as the other fingers). Using their forward moment, you’re going to fall backward, but as you do, wrap your legs around the opponent and hook your feet together to lock the man down. The elbow of the forearm that’s pressing up against the neck should be tight against your side and you’ll want to lift the opposite elbow up for more pressure. To finish the choke, scoot your rear-end to the opposite side of the choking arm, push the attacker away with your locked legs, and pull your forearm up into his carotid artery until he makes a gurgling sound and passes out. Brutal? Absolutely, but you want to finish the fight fast. After that, you can go home, pop in Predator and have a nice steak dinner. Jokes aside, this move is meant to crush an opponent’s neck, so you’re taking on great responsibility once you master it.
The Anderson Silva Special
There are a myriad of fancy kicks in the world of martial arts, but if you want a lean, mean kick that you can use to break someone’s spirit, the front kick is your weapon of choice. Also referred to as a push kick or teep, this Muay Thai move can be used to keep someone away or shatter their core. Let’s rewind it back to January 26, 2016, when Anderson Silva squared up against Vitor Belfort and executed one of the most epic knockouts in UFC history. Silva finished the fight with a fast front kick to Belfort’s jaw and he crumbled to the ground and sunk into another realm. If practiced with the goal of perfection, this kick can be supremely dangerous. What’s also great about this kick is that you don’t need to be super agile or flexible to execute it.
Just like in boxing, your power kick usually comes from your back leg. If you want to deliver the kick with your right leg, put your left leg in front of you and let the right foot hang back (vice versa for lefties). You’re going to start the move by bringing your kicking leg to your chest. The higher you hike up that knee, the better chance you’ll have to clear their defense and blast the kick to their dome. Of course, you can aim the kick anywhere else on the attacker’s body, especially directly at the crotch for maximum effect. Once the front kick is cocked, shoot it out like you’re an angry beat cop kicking down the door of a shady drug dealer. To generate more power, extend your hips, pivot your post foot slightly, and lean back a little. The same side arm will swing as you kick so that you can open up your hip and the opposite arm will stay up to protect your face. If you want to get a little combo going, you can follow up the front kick with a straight punch.
Primer: How To Take A Punch
Now that you’ve gained knowledge on six self-defense moves that will help you in a fight, it’s time to get a little more in-depth with defense. Learn how to take a punch and elevate your guard.