There are a lot of misconceptions and bad advice about self defense and martial arts out there. If you are serious about learning self defense, then you’ve got to put on your critical thinking cap.
Evidence, experimentation, testing, and regular practice are important factors to consider and implement into your self defense training.
Today, I came across a news article on self defense. Some of the advice was good, some not so good. I gave my thoughts in their comments section and decided to share here on the Magic City Dojo blog.
“White said he never teaches his students to punch with a closed fits, it may cause more damage to the victim than the assailant. The best way to hit, in self-defense, is with the fingers straight, the wrist tilted back and using the ball of your hand in a thrusting motion at the offender’s nose.”
I agree with the above. A police officer friend of mine has said that the most common injury he sees on an officer is broken hands (boxer fractures) from striking a suspect in the skull with a closed fist. Open hand is much better. The skull is too hard. Would you rather strike a brick wall with your fist or your palm?
“If the attacker approaches from the front, putting his intended victim in a chokehold, the victim can slap the assailant’s ears or hold his or her hands stiff and make a chopping action where the neck meets the shoulders. Punching the attacker with keys fisted in the hand is an excellent way to cause enough damage to escape.”
I must disagree with the above.
1. A natural reflex is to index the threat. In this case the hands on the victim’s neck. This indexing reflex would initially cause you to try to pull the attacker’s hands away. The self defense technique should focus on augmenting that reaction to break the attacker’s grip. In an attack such as this, seconds are precious. The windpipe can easily and quickly be crushed. Try to break the grip first. Use strikes to soften up the attacker so as to break the choking grip.
2. A smaller victim may not be able to reach a larger attacker’s ears or clavicle area. Taller people generally have longer arms that smaller people. Women are typically shorter than most men. But, here again, the choking hands are within reach.
3. Even on a person that you could reach the ears, if the attacker is larger and stronger, you may not be able to get through his arms which will undoubtedly be hard and tense through his use of muscular strength to perform the choke.
4. Keys fisted in the hand (a separate key between each finger) is a popular method, but a mistake. If you punch in this way, you’ll only cut up your fingers (attacker’s blood and open wounds on your hand could result in a disease or STD transfer). And the resulting pain from cutting your fingers may cause you to drop your keys. Then you may lose your best possible escape route – your car.
5. If using your keys as a self defense weapon, a better method is to hold your ignition key like a knife and use in a stabbing motion. Chances are you are already holding your keys this way anyhow after leaving the shopping center, etc. Fight off your attacker and get into your car without having to worry about the loss of fine motor skills and changing your key grip while adrenaline is pumping through your veins.
Just my opinions. What are yours?