The most effective and successful self-defense protocol for men in responding to an attack is using physical force to stop an aggressor. In this article, we will explore several various practices you can execute when responding to a dangerous attack. It’s imperative that when you strike an offender, you do it with strategic precision. Striking is taught in most of the martial arts and is core to personal protection and defense for men.
Below you will find detailed striking practices in specific areas of the body to afford you the best possible outcomes. Read through each option carefully to learn each tactic and we highly recommend practicing these exercises in a martial arts class.
Tactic 1 – Elbow Strikes
Striking with the elbow can be a powerful and potentially lethal form of self-defense, whether above or below the point of the elbow or the point itself can be used anywhere on the assailant’s body. The downsides of elbow strikes are they can only be used in close quarters combat, and there is a possibility of injuring the point of the elbow if striking the opponents head.
Elbow strikes can target the head, neck, throat, back of the head, base of the skull, the arms, rib cage, thighs, hands and so on. This self-defense practice can cause some severe damage and inflict an immense amount of pain. An elbow strike can come from any number of angles. From above or below the tip of the elbow, it can act much like a punch. It can also be driven in or speared into the target.
Use short, quick strikes with maximum force or step into the aggressor for additional power. Another self-defense technique is executing a barrage of elbow strikes to the same target. Even though not as much force can be applied all at once, hitting the same vulnerable body part or a nerve or major muscle can accomplish the same outcome with repetition. A standing barrage of strikes into the assailant can drive them backward into a wall or trip them over something to allow for an escape.
Tactic 2 – Closed Hand or Fist Strikes
Striking with a fist or closed hand can be the most or least useful of all strikes. If the first strike is to a hard object, such as the head, you could break any number of small bones in your hand leaving you vulnerable. If the wrist is not trained or is not strong enough to handle the impact, the wrist can be sprained. Boxers tape their hands and wrists for these very reasons.
Striking soft, vulnerable body parts are better for closed fist punches. The ribs, kidneys, nose and solar plexus are a few areas you should aim for. To be the most effective and powerful, the hand must be compressed until it becomes a solid object. Aligning the hand, wrist, and forearm into a straight line is the best way to avoid injury. If they are not aligned and tight, they are more vulnerable to injury.
A hammer fist is possibly the best self-defense technique for a closed hand strike. There is less potential for injury. Using the side of the hand can create more of a bludgeoning blow. A hammer fist typically comes from above and can be an unsuspected strike too many parts of the assailant’s body.
MMA when we trained we had an over hand punch to the chin. This punch is effective when done correctly so make sure you watch our video on proper technique before doing it. The punch comes over top and down into the soft area of the face or chin. It is best when throwing punches to always aim for the chin. Hitting to the chin is where you can get a knockout so you can escape or get away the one thing you do not want to do is punch someone in the forehead, top or side of the head. These are really hard parts of the head and will likely break your hand and not hurt them.
Uppercut punch is extremely good to use when defending yourself. Most people do not defend for that punch when in a fight. Many fighters will lean over in a fight which is a good set up for the uppercut to the chin or bring it up to their ribs. If you really know how to fight you can step to the side of the attacker throwing and upper cut to the liver. When you throw this punch right it will drop the opponent to the ground. The upper cut can also be effective if done to the body like towards the ribs or solar plexus.
Hook punches are very powerful when thrown correctly. You can throw jabs and a rear cross followed by a hook punch to the chin. MMA fighters use this punch all the time to knock down or knock out opponents. You need to have the training to throw this punch properly in a fight. The hook punch is not the wild haymakers you see in the YouTube videos of street fights. Haymakers are easy to defend for any seasoned fighter. The well placed hook punch can knock out anyone.
Rear cross is also a punch when used with the jab can easily knock out your opponent. The best way to set up the knockout punch with the rear jab is by using the jab. The better you get at punch combos the better chance you have of winning a fight if you are forced to defend yourself. Our website for self-defense teaches punch combinations for beginners and advanced students.
Tactic 3 – Knee Strikes
Knee strikes, like elbow strikes, can be powerful and potentially deadly ways to defend yourself. Much like striking with the elbow, a knee strike can be above, below or using the kneecap itself. Injury can occur in the kneecap if striking the head. The legs and hips contain extremely strong muscles. Contact with any number of vulnerable body parts can disable an attacker quickly and allow for an escape.
Knee strikes are a close range defense technique. Do not leave your feet to deliver a knee strike. Strike the attacker on the inside and outside of their thighs, their hips, inside or outside of their knee joints, their tailbone, their stomach or groin if standing. Knee strikes can be a devastating self-defense technique if you find yourself on the ground and on top of them. Driving the knee into almost any area of their body with full force can inflict an immense amount of pain and render them useless and provide for an escape.
The knee strike is best used when you are in the clinch with an attacker. The clinch is you both have ahold of each other around the neck with you both facing each other. Once you have clinched pull the attacker down then use the knee strike to hit the solar plexus, head or face. You are using this strike to knock out the attacker so you can get away. You need to thrust the knee at an angle toward the opponent to get the maximum thrust and force. Watching some of the videos we have on this type of training will help you understand how to do it right. Many people think it is just thrusting the knee straight up but that is not always the case.
Tactic 4 – Throat Punch
The throat is an especially sensitive and vulnerable part of the body. Often the natural instinct in a fight or self-defense situation is to strike the head. This is great if you happen to land a knockout punch, but chances are you won’t. Aim for the throat instead. It is soft, damaging (you can cut off his air supply), and can end a fight quickly (a neck strike can cause a knockout). Best of all, a throat strike, even if it is not entirely executed, is very distracting. I can prove it…press your thumb into the spot just under your Adam’s apple. Push hard and you will see how badly that would hurt now just think if someone punched you there. Everyone should learn this punch as their first self-defense move. This is such a straight forward punch that can really do a bunch of damage. If you are attacked doing maximum damage is what you want to do to an attacker.
Tactic 5 – Strike Nose
If a strike hits the nose just right, it will cause the attacker’s eyes to water. When you strike you can use a closed fist if you know how to punch properly. Most self-defense classes will tell you to use your palm and strike upwards towards the nostrils. They teach this for many reasons such as it’s an easy strike for anyone to learn and do. It is also a strike with the palm of your hand which will prevent you from breaking the hand using a punch. This is a close combat strike that you should do if the attacker is right in front of you. Keep your palm open and hold your hand near your chest. Then once you are in close range, fire the palm straight up into their nose.
Tactic 6 – Strike Ear or Temple
This may be tough to do for anyone that has not been trained to fight. You can use your palm or a fist when striking the opponent. Using the palm in this instance, would result in more of a slap. You are trying to hit them hard enough to disorient the attacker, so this would not be effective. For these specific areas, you will need to make sure you strike hard to the exact spot on the temple or ear. I would only do this one if you know what you are doing. This is really a technique for the more advanced fighters or people learning self-defense. I would not use this one or try to learn it if you are new to self-defense. You would need to wait till you have more training to use this technique.
Tactic 7 – Side Kick to the Knee
This is not your normal side kick. The training we provide at our Protection Skills website teaches this exact strike. Done right you will break the knee or leg bone causing them to fall. The confrontation ends that quickly because if they can’t walk they cannot fight. This is quick if you know how to do it. This is not like a traditional martial arts kick.
You also need to practice this one because doing it wrong might put you in a bad position for the attacker to hurt you. The PSI it takes to disable an attacker’s knee is low so add this kick to your self-defense arsenal.
Tactic 8 – Groin Snap Kick
We talk about this a bunch when talking self-defense. It is a fast and nearly unstoppable kick if done right. Check out our video that shows how easy it is to learn and do. I would use this in a fight first then use other tactics if for some reason this does not drop them. The basic kick is to bring the front foot up and then snap the foot into the groin of the attacker. You can do foot replacement which is to bring your rear foot up to your lead foot and then snapping lead foot into opponents groin. The video training on this really does much more justice then trying to write about it. You should have a general idea of how the front snap kick to the groin works. You definitely need to learn this one if you want to be able to protect yourself from bad people.
In conclusion, for most men, the response to any attack would be self-defense strikes and kicks are most effective when done correctly. I highly recommend taking self-defense classes or martial arts so you can practice executing each of these tactics safely and successfully. For more information on self-defense you can read Top 5 Self-Defense Scenarios.
Also, if you would like to learn more about self-defense weapons, you can read this post.