In our most recent blog, we explored the problem of shirt grabs. During this blog, we will explore how to defend against these assaults. As with all assaults, we advocate avoidance as the best self-defense and understanding the context of each situation.
So, some points about defending shirt grabs.
Prevent. If possible, it is best to prevent the hand(s) from grabbing your shirt, jacket, etc… If you sense aggression try to maintain distance and have your hand up to express a desire for distance and to better protect yourself.
Hands Up. From whatever direction the grab comes from, if your hands were not already up, get them up there! You need to be able to prevent against head butts, punches stabs, etc…
The Other Hand. In the case of one-handed shirt, grabs are aware of the other hand. During training, you need to practice defending against grabs and punches, stabs, etc…
Strike as Soon as Possible (if necessary). Shirt grabs can be immediately followed by more dangerous actions. Strike and get away.
Stabilize. Grabs often come with pushes or pulls, knocking you off balance. You need to stabilize to avoid falling to the ground, smashed against a wall, or dragged somewhere.
Get off the Line of Attack. Don’t stay in front of the assailant. You don’t want to be, for instance, pinned against a wall or pushed into a table.
If you are involved in self-defense training, you need to explore as many scenarios as possible and to work on improving your assessment and reaction time.