Discussion in 'Women's Self Defence' started by Judderman, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    I was wondering which targets you advise and why you advise them.

    Could you list some and explain the pro and cons of attacking these areas, including how much force is necassary and what results you would expect?

  2. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    Ok, to start the ball rolling.


    Pro's: Requires little force to get a reaction. If they can't see you, they can't hit you.
    Cons: A small target, therefore can be difficult to hit under pressure.
    Force: Very little required to get a reaction, a simple scratch would be enough.
    Result: Anything from a simple flinch away from the attack with eyes closed to blinding.

    IMO: Nice as a set up technique, but unless you're up close and gouging, then definately not a fight stopper.


    Pro's: If a good strike, produces some useful results. Better used as leverage on pressure point.
    Con's: A fickle target. Sometimes you get a little blood, others it breaks. Under pressure pressure point can be difficult to hit. Risk of injury to hands by closeby teeth.
    Force: Depandant on strike used. One of better ways it to strike sideways, requiring less force than straight on. If using PP, then little required, especially if delivered at 45o backwards.
    Result: If broken should cause a goodly ammount of pain, often the eyes will stream with tears. PP is extremly uncomfortable and will force head back.

    IMO: Again can be a nice set up technique, unlikely to be a fight stopper. Personally use PP alot.

  3. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    I think people immediately associate the eye's with gouging. However a strong rake across them is enough to scratch a cornea, which is a pretty damaging event and something that will heal over time (important if your are ever brought up on charges. Additionally, most people's fingers aren't conditioned to finger strike and they risk breaking their fingers on the eye socket or the forehead.

    So along those lines I'm a big fan of elbows/rakes (it elbow under the chin and then rake down on the face or elbow across the side of the face, rake back). The pros are these are very effective. The cons is that you need to be in close to execute.

    As for additional targets:

    Base of throat/throat:
    Pro's: Even a light strike to the base of the throat will case an interruption in breathing and a momentary pause.
    Cons: Relatively small target. Additionally an attack directly to the throat can crush a windpipe and lead to death (may or may not be a con depending on the situation).
    Force: Very little required to get a reaction.
    Result: Stutter breath, pause and brief interruption in action.

    Center of mass: Solarplexus to Clavical Line [ie. SPEAR]:
    Pro's: Quick and powerful move that converts a flinch into a counter attack that stops forward progress of attacker and gets you in range to attack.
    Cons: Brings you close to your attacker. Needs to have comittment behind it to make it work. If arms collapse, you're in troble.
    Force: As much as possible.
    Result: Attacker will be forced back, they may have the wind knocked out of them. Either way they will be put on the defensive and there is an opportunity to take over the momentum of a fight.

    - Matt
  4. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    Interesting use of elbows Matt.

    On the throat, I have found using the web of the hand between thumb and first finger a useful tool, when struck just above the larynx. Its a good set up technique, but unless you use force not necassarily a fight stopper IMO.

    I think the con's of the centre mass outweight the results. Also striking the solar plexus can be difficult, especially if the attacker is well defined.

    How about...


    Pro's: Fairly simple target to hit, but requires lots of practice. Can be struck from almost any angle. With enough force, results are very desirable!
    Con's: Close to mouth and other hard areas of the head. Missing this target can result in very damaged hands.
    Force: Unsure of minimum. The more the better.
    Results: The greater the force, the greater the likelyhood of causing concussion (brain shake) and unconsciousness. WARNING! Untreated concussions can cause death several hours after the initial event. Dislocated/broken jaw is also possible.

    IMO: Choice target.

  5. ranger

    ranger New Member

    given the situation that your attacker is male and the groin area is open would anyone opt to stab his balls and grab it? the late sensei of my sensei used to say that when you do this, (stab and grabbing the balls) you just don't give him discomfort but "to separate the balls from the body".

    good target no?

  6. grimel

    grimel New Member

    Yes, it's a good target. Some teach the grab, squeeze, and twist & PULL as a potentially lethal technique.

    As for my basic target set, I'll borrow a concept from Wing Chun - centerline theory. It keeps it simple and direct - when in doubt attack the body axis. From the back the spine. From the front - eyes, nose, chin, throat, solar plexus, groin. From the side - ears, neck, arm pit, floating ribs, knees.

    Being this is the women's self defense forum, I'd advocate all the force one can control as quickly as possible as frequently as possible - preferably with some sort of weapon. Result? YOU go home with minimal damage.
  7. mikelw

    mikelw New Member

    The thing about attackign the testicles is that if you do, the man being grabbed is going to go buck wild on you. He will do anything he can to make you stop, which WILL include kickin your sorry A$$.

    Testicles are an over rated target IMO.
  8. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    But unrealistic in many ways. Tight (or overly loose) jeans tend to render this technique completely useless. And again, please repeat after me that "strikes to the groin, unless as testicle is chrushed, don't stop people in 'real life'!" They don't. Get it through your head. Adrenaline is a wonderful thing when it comes to blocking pain. Not only that but the human body is programed to protect that area at all costs. All you're going to do is wind up ****ing off your attacker and making them more angry. I'd perfer not to waste my defense shot on that.

    Judderman, great point about using the webbing of thumb on the neck. That'show we practice it. The way we do it is to (provided this has not escalated to a lethal encounter) is to strike at the base of the throat/start of the chest and then slide up to the neck. The advantage of this is there is less risk of collapsing a windpipe and the physiological/psychological results of the technique are similiar. However, if the situation is clearly deadly, then the response should be escalated accordingly.

    - Matt
  9. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    Judderman, are you familiary with Blauer's SPEAR? That was what I was thinking as far as a center mass hit. Not a punch to the solar plexus, which I agree wouldn't have enough direct stopping power.

    If you're not familiary with the pysical SPEAR technique, I'd be happy to try and describe it.

    - Matt
  10. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    Attack the balls. Well. That's mostly what it is, for the reasons mentioned above. If you are unsure, then try it on a friendly male (for the sake of future generations ~ GENTLY :D ) and see how quickly they become extremely unfriendly.

    If you wish to target the genitals then a quick crushing or fluid strike is possibly a better option. A knee or kick to the jewels is quick and is extremely painful, IF you get on target. Using a flicking action with the hand or fist can produce a similar, although not as extreme, reaction.

    If you were to say attack the GROIN then sure. There are lots of viable targets. Some can drop people like a sack of spuds, others can cause serious disruption. Strike the top of the pubic bone or in the creases of the hip next to the genitals.

    I like the sound of attacking the centre line, but I'm a little unsure of the reasons behind it. Is it to disrupt the attackers gravity and motion? Could you elaborate?

    Matt although the name Blauer sounds familiar but the SPEAR isn't. Could you elaborate please?

  11. marco

    marco Valued Member

    All this advice is great but I haven't seen anyone mention probably the most important factor.......fear. I mean your fear and how you control it.

    The street is a real leveller and I've seen quite a few male dojo experts mess up real bad here. For a woman it's extra hard as she has to contend with the weight difference and aggression. All the fancy techniques in the world won't help if your "bottle" suddenly evaporates, as it will surely try to.

    Teaching women real self-defense, stuff that will work for them is a really difficult and important subject. Sorry if I'm sounding negative here, just trying to be realistic.
  12. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    No prob. First Blauer: Tony Blauer is a stateside (actually Canada) reality based self-defense instructor/guru. He fits into the Geoff Thompson (SP?) category. Tony came out of a traditional mode and has spent the last two+ decades researching the physical, psychological and emotional aspects of fighting and self-defense. I'm lucky enough to count one of his personally certified coaches as an instructor. The majority of my views on self-defense come from my exposure to his ideas.

    What Coach Blauer has done is cut through MA dogma that has built up over the years to uncover the reality-based concepts that it was hiding (not unlike Geoff T., Matt Thorton (of SBG) and others I expect). He then refined that material and has created a vocabulary that allows people to discuss and teach it.

    SPEAR is one of the key basic ideas/techniques of his system. It stands for:
    Conceptually it's the idea of accepting the fact that when there is no consent to fight (ie both people agreeing that a fight is about to happen) and you are attacked you body is going to react in certain ways. This includes an adrenaline dump negating fine motor skills and an involuntary flinch reaction. The idea of SPEAR (note that I have only a beginner's understanding of these concepts) is to provide a person with the tools to convert that flinch into a positive physical response/defense that will allow them to take control of the situation and in turn access their full arsenal of techniques.

    And this is where SPEAR crosses from a concept into a technique. The "basic" SPEARing technique is typically demonstrated off of a hook punch to the head. The reason for this is it is statistically the most common empty hand street attack (and reality based self defense at the early levels is a game of taking scientific risks if you will). The typical flinch reaction will be for someone to bring their hands up to protect their head. SPEAR teaches that from this point the hands should be extended into a forward wedge, palms front and open, about a 120 degree bend (or lack there of) in the elbows (basically in the "immovable arm" position). From there, the defender surges forward intercepting the attack (or simply striking the attacker). The SPEAR arm on the side of the punch (if it's a right hook, then your left arm) intercepts the bicep line, hopefully jamming the technique. The other arm hits across the chest (essentially your arm fall on the solar plexus to clavicle line). The effect of this is not unlike BL's one-inch punch. But you're bringing your entire body in a aggressive forward motion, basically through the person. And you're distributing the force across your entire forearm, giving it more stopping power than a punch. This is maximized because you are hitting the body at it's center of mass which prevents the attacker from easily absorbing the hit. The SPEAR also moves you into trapping/elbow knee range. And it puts the attacker on the defensive, physically, psychologically and emotionally putting you and an advantage.

    Anyway, this is a pretty rough description of it. Coach Blauer has a TON of info at his site on the rational and evolution of the system. Take a look there as I expect that it will be able to fill in all the gaps I left.

    Personally, I'm a HUGE advocate of the system. I've seen it pressure tested with consistent results from various students of Blauer.

    - Matt
  13. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    Thanks for the info and site. I'm looking into it at the mo.

    More target info. Forgot the other throat one. Using fingers into the V shape at the base of the throat. Some one informed me that it works better if you place one finger on top of the other.

    More targets.


    Pro's: Can be attacked whilst using other techniques easily. Big target.
    Cons: Most common method of attack it the kick. These are strong, but can put you off balance.
    Force As much as you can.
    Results The "dead leg" can be increased so that the attacker collapses due to the level of nervous disruption.

    IMO: Excellent non-lethal target, but better used with weapons. Requires a great deal of energy to cause the disruption required to cause a collapse, thus is not a definate fight ender.

    Difficult one for me as I don't practice for this target.

    Apart from causing breakage a well placed strike, usually in a 45o angle upwards, can cause serious disruption to the breathing, thus diabling the opponent. Can be a difficult target as muscle and arms tend to be in the way.

  14. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

  15. marco

    marco Valued Member

    Absolutely spot-on judderman......a very in depth analysis. I don't think a lot of people realise just how strong this "fear factor" is. We all get it, it keeps us aint the same as when we're at the gym neither.
  16. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    Great targeting points! The thigh is always a good choice and you sometimes get the "knee" for free with it. If you are attacking the knee it needs to be done on the side line. Otherwise straight in attacks do little to it unless the leg is straight or locked.

    I'm looking forward to to your reaction to the Blauer material. Seems like it's right up your alley.

    - Matt

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