You have vulnerable points all over your body, but most of them are collarbone up. Start by keeping your hands up in front of your face so you can block some of their blows with your hands and forearms.
Also, keep your chin tucked down towards your chest. Claressa Shields, Olympic boxing gold medalist, suggests you keep your focus on their chest, not their eyes, so you can see the early muscle movements that indicate an attack.
When a punch makes it through, move your head and upper body in the same direction your opponent is punching. Academic Earth explains the physics in the video above, but bottom line, you want to move with the punch, extending the period of time the transfer of momentum occurs. When you roll with the punches, the punch becomes more like a collision where both drivers turn at the last second and merely glance off each other.
For punches to the body, Shields suggests you keep your elbows in close to your sides. Crunch to the side and protect your ribs while keeping your hands up. When you get a blow to the stomach, tense your abs and exhale as the hit lands. Getting knocked off your feet will do some major damage, especially if you land on your head. We spoke with Gary Wolfe , professional boxer turned boxing trainer, and he recommended you always keep a lead foot forward for balance, agility, and power.
As Jack Slack , a combat sports analyst, explains in the video above from the Fightland YouTube channel , almost every martial art in the world employs a similar stance with some variation , and for good reason.
This can keep you upright and create some space between you and your opponent. After an arm stop, you can push them away, try to escape, or use it as an opportunity to strike them. If you do end up on the ground, protect your face and body the same way you would if you were upright, and use your legs to kick like mad and push your opponent away so you can get back up and get the hell out of there.
If they come at you from the front and manage to get their hands on your neck, Fred Mastro, who teaches the Silat Defence System , recommends two moves to break free. The first technique, shown in the video above, is simple: As soon as they grab onto your throat, quickly twist your body, and use your shoulder to push their arms aside. The combination of the twisting motion and force from your shoulder will break their grip. The second technique, demonstrated in this video here , is for when your back is against a wall.
If the chokehold comes from behind, Shane Fazen has three suggestions for you in the video above : eye gouging, biting, and finger bending. The eyes and fingers are some of the most effective places on the body to do easy damage , and might cause them enough pain that you can slip away.
Do whatever it takes to get out of the chokehold and create distance between you and your opponent. When you have an opening to either run or do something that will let you run, take it.
Wolfe recommends pepper spray for situations like this, but also suggests two simple things that might create an escape opening:. Until you find an opening to escape, distance is key. As Jack Slack explains in this video , the push kick, where you push your opponent away, will help you maintain distance while you circle around. In fact, Travis Roesler at the FightSmart YouTube channel , recommends using kicks to fend off opponents who are overly aggressive or much larger than you.
This lets you maintain distance while they tire themselves out and gives you time to find an escape route. Just as you always assume a gun is loaded, assume your opponent is experienced. Anyone can get a lucky shot in. The only way to know that you can deliver counter techniques and attacks with necessary force is to practice kicking, punching, elbowing wishertriscuit, indeed! The A. Patrick Allan. Filed to: self-defense. Open kinja-labs. Patrick Allan Posts Email Twitter.
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