Are you a woman that has noticed how much stronger men are than you? Do you have the mind set that anything a man can do, I (the woman) can do better! Well then, I commend your spirit! The first part of part of doing is believing… let me say that again… The first part of doing IS BELIEVING!!!
I am not one of those men that believe I can take any woman in a fight. Huh… many of my male friends are thinking??? Yes… I think women are quite capable of defending their honor if ever put to the test but a woman has to believe she is capable of such a thing. This post will focus on helping woman believe they are powerful in self-defense situations. I will talk about fighting muscle with one’s wit and not fighting the man’s fight. I’ll have each woman reading this post echoing that old Helen Reddy song, “… I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar…”!!! I will also show some common eye, ear, throat, nose and chin strikes. Here is a quick video of one type of eye strike that would devastate a man in an altercation.
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First off does muscle and weight matter in a fight? The short answer is yes but both advantages can be mitigated with reason (don’t count on this), surprise, self-defense techniques, and your wit. I will not focus on avoiding confrontations and safety tips but be aware, it is far easier to avoid a problem than fighting your way out.
Would you arm wrestle a man? Why not? Let me guess… you know most men would beat most women in an arm wrestling match. So why would you (a woman) try to out box a man fighting by traditional rules? What rules are there in a fight – really? Do you get my drift? You (the woman) do not have to fight fair. Anyone that is attacked, man, woman or child, does not have to fight fair. So lets throw away this notion of fighting fair and focus on self-defense.
A simple definition of self-defense is doing anything to defend yourself. As the title of this post alluded to, some of the best strikes a woman can use on a man are to the eyes, ears, throat, and even palms to the chin and nose (if the chin and nose is open).
It is very important that a girl or woman be in a non-threatening defensive position like holding up her arms. A man might think he has won the intimidation battle of wills and be clueless to what is about to happen. Here is how to hold you hands (sorry but I was the model for these photos – try to imagine thinner, hairless arms).
From this position you are not particularly threatening to a man but you are ready to take advantage of this foolhardy notion by striking with a four-finger eye-shot with either hand. The four-finger eye shot should be thrown relaxed and flicking your hand forward with bent fingers. You keep a slight bend in the fingers so you do not break your fingers if you accidentally hit a hard forehead or such. I am not one of these purists that think everyone ought to be toughening up your fingers for possible eye shots. That is a lot of work and not really needed to be effective. Here are four of photos of me doing two and four finger eye shots from a couple of angles (forgive the slight blur in the straight on shot).
Did you notice there is a little bend in the fingers at the moment of impact? Unlike many instructors, I think one ought to be twisting the wrist down at the moment of impact that also has the affect of pushing the bent fingers forward. Here is a video of some more eye strikes.
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Did you notice the thumb gouge? One cool thing about thumb gouges is it's easy to find the eyes if you hands are already on the sides of an attackers face! I like to add a dimension to the thumb eye-gouge by clapping the attacker's ears first. Have you ever went water skiing? Well then you are probably familiar with the ear drum injuries possible by landing sideways on the water with your ear. The same principal applies here... clap the ears hard and follow up with eye-gouges! Here are some photo's of me clapping the (invisible man's) ears and gouging the eyes with my thumbs.
Another good strike is the mantis strike! You will have a hard time hurting your fingers in this position as each finger is supporting every other finger as the mantis strike hammers down on the eyes! Here is what that looks like.
So there you have it… four ways to strike the eyes from a seemingly defensive position. Which one would I use? I would use the one the attacker was open for. I mean that if the guy was grabbing my shirt from the front, I could clap his ears from the side and eye gouge easily. If my hands were high and he was grabbing my waist, I might use the mantis strike down to the eyes hard or clap the ears and eye gouge (or just the eye gouge). If the attacker was grabbing my shoulders I could do either of the straight eye shots (two or four fingers). If the guy grabbed my arms, I could kick the nuts, or knees and stomp the foot or knee the groin (as I have covered in previous posts)!
Now for one of my favorite strikes that is the great equalizer… the half-fist! I got in a fight in the 8th grade and was throwing defensive half-fists to my opponent’s face! I have the reach on the other guy attacking me as my second knuckle gives me an extra two inches. I about broke the guys nose (I think the throat is a better target for the half-fist) with my half-fists without hurting my knuckles! While a fist can hit harder – the throat is an easier target to hit with a half-fist. I’ve reviewed some videos of throat strikes and noted many varying opinions on what is the best strike. I think whatever you can hit the throat with is the best strike. You can use a chop, a ridge hand (kind of a strike with the other side of the hand) but a half-fist is straight and can fit easily into the pocket between the chin and the chest. Here are some pictures of my striking (my invisible man) with a side and front half-fist. Note the slight bend in my knuckles so I don’t break them (in the event I hit something hard).
I will now show you a high and low palm strike. The wonderful thing about a palm strike is you can throw it as hard as you want without injury! I once watched this 90 pound basket ball player get into a slap fight with a 200 + pound football player. The skinny guy kept backing up and was taking a pounding but after a couple of minutes of timing the giant… the skinny guy shot a straight palm up into the giants chin! The giant fell back to the pavement – hitting hard. If nothing else works and the attackers chin or nose is there… you can hit with your palms. Understand that I think the eyes, ears, and throat are the best targets for head strikes. Here are some palm strikes.
I would like to show a great video from Dr. Ruthless (TM) showing some tactics and integration of palm strikes for women. I thought I had added her link a while back but on checking, it was not there – it is now. Please take the time to view the whole video as it is very empowering to women.
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One thing to really note about this video was when Dr. Ruthless was talking about exploding. She was playing to the guy’s ego, letting him think he might have his way and when he opened himself up enough – She exploded on him! That is what I was speaking about when I mentioned using your wits. Don’t give up your best defense – Surprise! Surprise is worth more than muscle. You can win your fight mentally before you ever start by letting the attacker think he has won.
When you start fighting back (at the best opportune moment), you will have matched wits with your opponent and figured out a winning move! Any woman can beat any man if they play their cards correctly. You can do it… that is the first step – believing… after you believe, you can practice some self-defense moves and think about how you can surprise your attacker and WIN!