Friday, October 12, 2012

SELF-DEFENSE: Lee Aldridge - Defense against Front Grab/Choke

Defense against Front Grab/Choke
By Lee Aldridge


In this series, we'll show a few options for you to use when grabbed/choked from the front.

An important rule to remember when someone grabs you is that they are "tying up" the hand(s) that are holding you, so that they cannot hit you with those hands as long as they hold you. This allows you to achieve a situation where your weapons "outnumber" his limbs that he can block with!

Of course, you should act as quickly as possible, since a violent attacker twice your size doesn't need very long to choke you. There will be motion involved, probably "whipping" you around as this sequence takes place, so get the feel of how to use the basic weapons first. Then, you can slowly increase the "violence" of the motion supplied by your training partner so that you can see how these weapons fit into the "big picture". ;-)

Here's Roger choking Lauren with one hand. He'll probably try to slap her with his other hand. Lauren doesn't wait to find out, rather, she delivers an eye jab (see TIPS: EYE GOUGING 101 for details). The extended fingers of her hand position during the eye jab increase her reach maximally, and target a vulnerable area of the attacker. Even if she misses (possible!), the attacker will pause for a short moment to consider the danger posed to his eye. This will allow Lauren the chance to try another strike elsewhere.

You should consider the eye strike (or any strike) as merely one piece of a "chain" of strikes. NEVER rely on only one strike to finish a might happen, but don't bet on it!

As Lauren attempts the eye jab, the most important thing to remember is to reach OVER the choking hand with your arm on the same side! He will not be able to block your strike UNLESS HE RELEASES THE CHOKE! If you reach underneath, your arm may get tangled between your bodies during the struggle. Notice how Lauren increases her effective reach by turning her shoulders to lengthen her reach.

Here's the choke, with the eye jab as defense:

Two-handed choke

If the attacker uses two hands to choke you, he'll have more power on the choke. However, he now has ZERO hands to block anything you throw at him. He'll also have to stay a bit closer to you to use both hands (can't turn sideways...), so you 'll have an even easier time reaching his eye.

You'll probably be very startled when this happens, and your first instinct will be to grasp at the choking hands. If the attacker is stronger than you, you'll most likely not be able to pull his hands away from your throat. BUT, THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU'VE PUT YOUR HANDS IN A VERY CLOSE, EFFICIENT PLACE TO LAUNCH THE EYE STRIKE FROM! :-D With your hands that close to his face, he'll have a very hard time blocking your strike.

If the attacker pulls you very close to him, you can choose to use the "bowling ball" eye gouge (see TIPS: EYE GOUGING 101 for details). Giving him some severe pain/injury is a more effective way to make him let go than by trying to out-wrestle him!

Here's the two-handed choke and eye jab defense:

Knee Strike

One of the most "popular" strikes discussed by women is the good ol' "knee to the nuts". This can be a very effective strike, so let's look at how we can get the most out of it in this situation.

When delivering the knee strike, you want to try to lift upward into the "V" of the groin very powerfully, striking with the area just above your kneecap. It is not usually successful for you to lift your knee high and attempt to "stick it" straight into the opponent's groin. Therefore, you'll need to get a bit closer to him to really hurt him with this strike.

We close the distance to the attacker a bit by GRABBING ONTO HIM AND VIOLENTLY PULLING HIM INTO YOU AS YOU STRIKE! Imagine starting a lawnmower or a boat motor.... the sudden "yank" used is the same motion you employ to move the bad guy, even if he's much bigger than you. You can grab onto his neck, shoulders, love handles, shirt, belt, ANYTHING THAT WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A HANDLE! Pull him as powerfully and suddenly into you as you slam your knee upwards into his groin. This "collision" of your two bodies will amplify the power you create with the blow.

If you imagine one car driving into a wall at a certain speed, vs. two cars colliding head on with both traveling that speed, you get the idea of how the impact is much greater when both parties are in motion!

You can keep kneeing him as long as you have the grip and he leaves the target open. More than likely, one decent hit will convince him he needs to protect himself a bit better.... :-o

Here's the knee strike. (We left a bit of room between the two of them in this photo so the camera could see a bit better. Her knee would actually be between his legs, lifting upward violently!) Notice that Lauren has grabbed Roger to pull him toward her as she strikes:

Knee Destruction

If you manage to get the attacker to let go of you, you may strike his knee with a kick to try to disable him. If he can't chase you as you escape, that's a very good thing. ;-)

It's wise to turn your foot sideways as you kick the knee, so that you have a much greater "margin for error". Your landing surface will be much longer, preventing you from missing his leg and slipping by. Think of a soccer player's kicking style, and you'll have the general idea.

Here, Lauren kicks Roger's knee from the side. This blow can damage his ligaments in the knee, making it hard for him to run after her as she escapes. If Lauren kicks straight into his knee from the front, she can hyperextend the joint and cause significant damage in that way, too.

THE IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS TO PUT ALL YOUR WEIGHT BEHIND THE KICK. IMAGINE STOMPING A BUG THAT'S SITTING ON HIS KNEE, USING ALL YOUR POWER TO SQUASH IT! A common mistake is to put your foot on his knee and attempt to "push" with the kick. This is a very dynamic blow!

Here's an example of the knee kick, and see how Lauren still tries to hold on to Roger to increase the power of the blow: 

Elbow Strike

You can deliver a very effective blow by using the point of the elbow. The strike is usually done with a horizontal motion, similar to reaching into your shirt pocket with your hand. By combining the turning of your torso with the elbow strike, powerfully twisting at the waist, you can generate knock-out power in this blow!

Another way of imagining how to perform this strike is to recall the motion you use to reach across yourself to grab your seatbelt when getting into your car. You'll see how this motion places the point of your elbow right where it needs to be!

Just as a baseball player attempts to generate the highest speed of the bat when he swings for power, so should you practice with the timing of the blow and your twisting at the waist. You can hit a small pillow at home with someone holding it, or hang it from a string if you must. Aim for the "snappiest" speed you can get. You'll KNOW when you're doing it right.

If the attacker bends over (such as after a good kick to the nuts), you can use your bodyweight to put even more force behind the blow.

Here's a photo to show the basic idea of the elbow strike. Hitting him in the temple is a great target. Other targets can be the frontal area of the face and the throat/sides of neck.

Remember that you can do any of the strikes we've shown in any order. You can choose the most appropriate strike to use, depending on how he's holding you, and how the motion and distance determine what you can reach him with.

Good Luck!

You can contact Lee Aldridge care of his site:



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