What should your first reaction be when someone grabs you by the sleeve? Should you first attempt to shake off the grip or to twist the attacker’s arm? Or perhaps you should first protect yourself from the attacker’s free hand?
Let’s say that the attacker has grabbed your right sleeve with his or her left hand. If the attacker is facing you, you should first put your free left hand on the wrist of his or her free right hand. If he or she holds a knife, you may be able to control it. As soon as you can (in a blink of an eye), reinforce your left hand’s grip on the attacker’s knife hand with your right hand. As soon as you do that, the attacker will likely let go of your sleeve and try to punch you with his or her now free left hand. Hold on to the knife hand and close in to protect yourself from punches, headbutts, and kicks.
If the attacker’s right hand is empty, you can move your left hand up toward the attacker’s right elbow to thwart any punches from his or her free right arm and then free yourself or subdue the attacker with any of the techniques shown in Basic Instincts of Self-Defense.
In any case keep your mouth closed and chin pressed to your sternum to minimize potential damage from the attacker’s headbutts and to cover the front of your throat. Do not let your attacker turn you so you do not face him or her and thus have no control of the situation and no defense against stabs, slashes, or punches to your exposed sides and back, and low kicks. And do not forget to kick the attacker’s shins, knee the inside and outside of his or her thighs, and the groin.
For your defense moves to work under stress they must be based on your natural, instinctive reactions, require little strength and limited range of motion, and be proven in fighting experience.
To learn how your natural reactions can instantly defeat any unarmed attack, see the video Basic Instincts of Self-Defense.
Defend Against Weapons
To defend against weapons you have to know how they are used. Also—every stick has two ends … the weapon of attack may become a weapon of defense in your hand …
To learn how the typical street weapons (club, knife, razor) are used by an experienced streetfighter and how to practice with them, see the video Self-Defense: Tools of attack—Club, Hatchet, Blackjack, Knife, Straight Razor.
Staying cool under pressure is more important for self-defense than being physically fit and technically skilled. If you can’t control your mind what can you control?
To learn mental techniques that let you calmly face any threat and act rationally in the heat of a fight, click here.
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