Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2016. In light of recent attacks, we thought it might be a good time to revisit this excellent advice.
A six-foot-two, 200-pound monster is coming straight at you with the intent of turning you into a grease spot. You’ve been practicing your best body weapons and you know how to strike with the hammer fist, elbow, and so on. But where do you hit him? (Oh, by the way, he’s on drugs, so he won’t feel much pain…and you are 5’5″ tall and out of shape.) Where do you strike with the greatest likelihood that this guy will collapse in a heap on the floor? Pay close attention to these targets, mark them on your punching bag, and practice going after them.
1. The Eyes
2. The Nose
Hitting the nose with a palm heel strike or hammer fist is not lethal (unless, of course, you knock him out and his head hits the cement and he dies — in that case, any strike to the head that causes a knockout could be lethal). There is a myth that hitting the nose will “drive the nose bone into the brain,” however, there is no nose bone; it is only cartilage. But damaging the nose causes searing pain and even temporary blindness for a few seconds. Use those seconds to either run like crazy or follow up with more strikes until the threat is gone.
Not a lethal target, but one quick way to end a confrontation is a palm heel straight up into the jaw. This could well knock out your opponent. At the very least it will cause severe pain in the jaw and neck as the strike whips the head backward. A hammer fist or an elbow to the side of the jaw can break it or even knock out the attacker.
4. The Groin
Kinda obvious, right? A man’s groin is very vulnerable, and a slap there or a knee strike can take the fight right out of any man. I wouldn’t necessarily see it as a first-strike target, though. Men generally expect an attack there and intend to protect it! Hit him with a palm heel to the nose or jaw or eye jab first, then follow up with knee strikes to the groin.
This is a potentially lethal strike. Any blow to the side or back of the neck is devastating. A hammer fist (or even the “karate chop”) here can cause severe trauma to the arteries. No matter how strong the attacker is, his neck is not strong enough to withstand a hammer fist or chop to the neck. Remember, you must make sure that any lethal strike is morally and legally justified.
This area is definitely potentially lethal. If you believe your life is on the line, a “Y-hand” strike (see previous article) or a chop to the throat can crush the trachea, and the attacker will die in seconds. If you miss the trachea, he will probably start gagging. He cannot fight you if he cannot breathe. While he is gagging, run away if you can. If you cannot run, finish him off with other strikes until the threat is gone. If your attacker is on drugs and immune to pain, striking the eyes, neck, or throat are probably your best options in order to survive.
If you are able to hit the attacker in these vulnerable areas, and keep the heat on, you stand a good chance of surviving. Now, start training! You will fight like you train!
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