Empty Hand Self-Defense
Chances are you’ve put some thought into what gear and
supplies you’d want on hand in the event a disaster
Whether you’re preparing for a natural disaster like a
hurricane or volcanic eruption, or something involving a
shutdown of the power grid or a nuclear attack, the urge
to survive is the same.
You may have everything you need to survive for a few
days, and you might even have a collection of firearms to
defend yourself. You certainly have an upper hand if you
Guns, knives and other commonly wielded weapons give you
the chance to put some distance between you and your
target while still yielding potentially lethal results.
But how skilled are you when it comes to unarmed combat?
Have you given much thought as to what you would do if you
were separated from your trusty sidearm in a situation
where shit hits the fan (SHTF)?
The likelihood of it happening is higher than you think.
You could be forced from your home before you have a
chance to grab your gun. Martial law could be mandated and
your weapons confiscated altogether.
If you’ve never taken a personal self-defense class, you
should put some serious consideration into it. Ultimately,
your survival could literally come down to your very own
hands, which you may have to use against an opponent in
This begs the importance of equipping yourself with a few
basic unarmed self-defense techniques that could be used
against a potential enemy in a STHF situation.
The first step to preparing yourself for survival
self-defense is physical fitness. It seems apparent in the
modern prepping community that fitness has become
overlooked as people have become more reliant on various
gadgetry and innovative tools to protect themselves.
Regardless, any style of unarmed self-defense is dependent
on an individual’s level of fitness and physical
Whether you go so far as to master a martial art or simply
verse yourself in modern street fighting, your success
depends upon the shape you’re in.
Even if you can’t devote the time and energy into
sculpting your body into the likes of a professional
athlete or MMA fighter, you can still do your best to stay
You probably want to keep all of your survival gear in the
best condition possible to ensure its function, so why not
do the same with your own muscles?
From there, an understanding of the body’s weaknesses is
crucial to maximizing your success in unarmed
self-defense. In the interest of being prepared for the
onset and aftermath of a disaster, you need to have a few
tricks up your sleeve to use in the event of an attack.
Throw technique out the window for now; you must know
where to strike just as you much as a how to strike. Think
about the weakest parts of the human body and what type of
motion might cause harmful effect there.
The eyes are one of the most fragile parts of the face
and are especially vulnerable since sight is one of the
more critical senses at play during combat.
Just think how much of a pain it is when you get an
eyelash or dust stuck in your eye. It brings about tears
and a whole lot of frustration.
Now imagine having a finger or thumb shoved into your eye
socket – sounds much worse, right?
So, whether you have a chance to throw a handful of sand
into your attackers eyes and get away, or are forced to
pull the old Three Stooges move to the face, the eyes are
a good target.
No matter what type of attack you go with, aiming at the
face will at least cause your opponent to flinch or cover
his eyes, which may give you enough time to continue your
attack or make a run for cover.
In most cases if an individual can’t see, they can’t
Moving down the body, another vulnerable area is the
throat. It doesn’t take much to crush the trachea, which
can result in death if not treated by an emergency
tracheotomy. Even an 8-year-old can generate enough force
to cause such damage.
Open-handed strikes and finger/bent finger strikes have
good effect against the throat. The sides of the neck are
also vulnerable to forearm strikes or closed fist strikes,
which could induce unconsciousness.
Continuing downward, the groin is another vital target
area on the body, especially against male attackers
(though females are vulnerable as well).
Men seem to be instinctually equipped to protect this
area at all costs (by cringing, crossing the legs,
covering with hands), but a successful strike usually
guarantees a takedown.
If you’ve ever kicked a soccer ball or punted a football,
you already have the basics of a good groin strike. Kick
hard and follow through. In the event your foot swings
too far between the legs, your shinbone or kneecap will be
there to hit the target.
Strikes with the hand and knee, along with grabs and
twists to the groin, are also effective maneuvers against
this target area.
Another area vulnerable to attack are the knees. When an
opponent is standing straight and the knees are locked,
they can be easily broken.
It doesn’t take much pressure from a blow to the side to
break the knee. A little bit more force will break the
bone from a blow to the front.
If your strike is off-target or unbalanced, you could
still cause a hyperextension of the knee, which is
incredibly painful and debilitating.
If your opponent cannot stand, it will be extremely
difficult for him to continue in a fight with much effect.
He certainly won’t be able to chase you down if you take
out his knee(s) and make a retreat.
The best strikes against the knees are low, forceful
kicks. Using a sidekick and striking with the outside
edge, or blade, of the foot has solid effect against the
sides of the knees, as does using the ball of the foot for
an attack from the front.
A very large proportion of fights, especially
unconventional ones (like those you may find yourself in
after a disaster), wind up on the ground.
Learning how to effectively grapple and fight on the
ground is a topic and separate skill in its own right, but
you can always think back to what we’ve established in
terms of attacking a standing opponent.
The eyes, throat and groin will still be your best target
areas to achieve quick and pain-inducing results.
Don’t be afraid to resort to scratching, gauging,
twisting, biting and kicking to attain some kind of
effect on your target. Again, your survival is in your own
hands, and you must do whatever it takes to be the one who
comes out on top.
Whether fighting from a standing posture or on the ground,
your ultimate goal is to inflict as much damage on your
opponent as possible as quickly as possible. Recognizing
and targeting certain weak spots on your attacker will
give you the confidence to do so quickly.
Remember, nothing is off limits in a survival situation.
More often than not, fighting to stay alive equates with
fighting dirty. Don’t worry about flair or what’s fair; do
whatever you must to come out the other side.
Could you, hand on heart, say that you’ve got the skills
to defend yourself in hand-to-hand combat?
If not, then you need to learn the Street Fight Academy
Make sure you check out this insider’s guide to dirty
street fighting tactics. It could save your life in an
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