In Niagara Falls, in June 2016, a man grabbed a woman from behind in a bear hug and tried to pull her into his van. She stomped on his foot, he let go, and she escaped. He was arrested later that day. Ambush from behind is a common tactic because assailants know it is our most vulnerable position.
Defending an attack from behind is very difficult! Here are some things we practice in our krav maga class to prepare for such assaults.
If someone shoves you from behind it is better to go with the momentum to create space between you and the assailant. Turning around at close distance decreases your capacity to react.
You might be pushed into a hard surface(wall, side of a car), or to the ground. You need to protect your body then be ready if the assailant continues his assault.
Elbows, hammer punches, stomp kicks, groin slaps… Learn to strike behind you at various distances, angles and heights to vulnerable areas. Remember, the woman in Niagara Falls escaped by stepping on the attacker’s foot?
You need to identify an attack as quickly as possible- a choke, bear hug, stab etc.. – and learn to react quickly. This requires frequent and focused training.
Assault from behind present a very dangerous and challenging situation. With consistent training, you can learn to identify and effectively defend against attacks from behind.