self-defense, counterstrike, boxing, training, tactics

The first rule of gunfighting is to carry a gun. But what if you aren’t armed and your life is threatened by a thug? There are several self-defense moves you can master to protect yourself and disable the violent aggressor. Here are four quick tricks to remember when it comes to protecting yourself and those you love with only your bare hands.

1. Go for quick hits in vital places. The Japanese translation of the word “atemi” means the striking of vital areas of the body. In traditional martial arts, such as Ju-jitsu, Aikido and Judo, atemi is used primarily to distract the attacker, thus enabling the martial artist to follow up with various self-defense moves such as sweeps, kicks, joint locks or throws. The atemi is not meant to be a complete technique, yet, if the strike hits its target with sufficient energy and precision, that atemi could be the only action needed to end the confrontation. Even if the atemi misses its mark and makes the attacker flinch or contort their body in a certain way, this too can set them up for the intended primary defense technique. The face, neck/throat area, lower ribs and solar plexus are all key areas of the body to direct an atemi strike.

2. Don’t forget their fingers. Although large bones in the human body such as the femur (hip bone) take a great amount of force to break, the fingers can be broken with as little as 8 pounds of pressure. In a self-defense situation, when your adrenaline is surging, the ability to break a small bone, causing intense pain and possibly shock to your attacker, would be relatively easy.

3. Pressure points are located throughout the human body. When struck or intensely pressed, the body’s circulatory system is disrupted, making that area weak and easily exploited for further techniques.

4. Obtain some real-deal training to learn more techniques. Training in the martial arts is a necessity for learning dependable, street-applicable self-defense techniques. Several styles to look into include Aikido, Japanese Ju-jitsu, Krav Maga, and Chin-Na. These arts incorporate striking, locking and many pressure-point-oriented techniques. It’s best to observe several classes from a multitude of styles to get a sense what may be right for you. Then try a free class to get the “feel” of it before you sign up. Keep in mind that you probably won’t stick with your classes if you don’t like the atmosphere, instructor or lesson material. Try your best to make the most informed choice.

To learn more, check out the upcoming Fall 2014 issue of SURVIVOR’S EDGE, available on newsstands and digitally July 22, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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