We prefer not to engage with an assailant. Avoidance is the best self-defence. There are situations, however, when you must physically protect yourself. To protect yourself you need to strike effectively. Strikes can be used to create distance, to distract or disable an attacker, to help you escape a hold or choke, to defend against a weapon assault…
There are many strikes – kicks, punches, palm strikes, knees, elbows, and much more. There are your striking tools. Besides training to develop your striking power and speed you need to know which tools are effective in various situations. Here are some basic striking principles.
Strike vulnerable areas: Eyes, groin, knees, chin, shin…… There are many vulnerable areas to strike. What vulnerable area is accessible? If, for example, an attacker is standing over you can you kick him in the face? Maybe. But there are likely better choices – shins, groin…etc.
Distance: Why would you take a step to elbow when you can punch? After all, our hands move faster than our bodies. It is important to understand what strikes are effective according to distance.
Direction: If for example, you need to protect yourself from an assault from the side, it makes little sense to turn to the attacker then punch. You don’t have time! Use the closest striking tool. If they are very close, perhaps a sideways elbow. A little further, a hammer strike… Further yet, a sidekick.
Angle: Horizontal, vertical, diagonal…whatever offers an effective strike and a better chance to protect yourself.
This is a general introduction. As you progress in your training you spend more time exploring other facets of striking including rhythm and feints. Feel free to contact us with questions or comments or to suggest topics for future blogs.