Growing Up

Self-defence nerve centres do’s and don’ts

be5eaec6141836167160842992_700wa_0I know I’ve been talking about self-defense – which is essential for every woman to know from a young age.

Hit hard, hit fast, hit often’ and the attacker is likely to leave and look for an easier target.

There are different things you can do when faced when an assailant of either the same size as you or a greater size.  There are different responses to different attacks and you should never retaliate with more force needed (ie, do not strike a killing blow for a pat on the bum).

You all know about hitting a person’s nose (you can chop it or punch it with a close fist) and the blood will disorient them enough for a run. Don’t sit and fight ladies!

If you are already in close to an assailant, this is an excellent target.

DO NOT step in close to hit at the nose if you are out of fist-hitting range! 

How about hitting them in the carotid artery at the neck? When opponents are of equal size and build the edge-of-hand blow struck into the side of the neck might stun and disorient. Depending on the force of the blow, there is a possibility of numbing the arm. A sufficiently forceful blow could cause unconsciousness and possible convulsions.

A knuckle blow is delivered to the solar plexus can cause pain, disorientation and gasping for breath. Strike at an angle (upwards) and the probability of injury is dramatically increased. There could be referral shock to the spleen and to other vital internal organs.

Kicking into the knee or shin is an example of a highly practical self-defense action. The person kicking at the assailant does not have to come within fist or hand range of the assailant.

INSIDE OF ELBOW JOINT.  Striking into the bend of the elbow causes pain and it bends the arm. This is a good striking point for practical self-defense; the smaller person need not come within the hitting range of the assailant in order to hit the target

SONY DSCTHROAT HOLLOW.  Below the thyroid cartilage there is a hollow where the windpipe (trachea) is least protected and most exposed. Slight pressure at the trachea in this area can be used to push an assailant away. Forceful blows into the throat hollow involve a high risk of serious injury. Because of the vulnerability of the trachea, the result of light pressure against it will be much the same if done by a smaller or a larger person. Control of someone who is annoying or offensive but is not threatening great harm can be effected by placing the thumb into the hollow and applying slight pressure. Heavy pressure would involve probability of serious injury or fatality. Forceful knuckle jabs or finger stabs would have the same effect as striking into the thyroid cartilage. Forceful blows, heavy pressure or vigorous stabbing into the throat hollow would be appropriate and justified only if great bodily harm were threatened.


GROIN.  Although hitting and kicking into the groin is a classic technique of old-style self-defense and grabbing the testicles is often taught for women’s self-defense, I do not favor this area as a target. A blow or kick into the groin is excruciatingly painful, but it is an almost automatic reaction for men to protect the groin.

Do NOT hit someone in the temple area like you see in the movies!

It is widely believed that the temple area is extremely vulnerable because of a mistaken notion that the skull is thinner and more fragile in this region. An examination of a skull in an anatomy class or in an anatomy textbook will confirm that the bone is as thick at the temple area as it is at several other places on the skull. Vulnerability in the temple area is associated with the shape of the bone rather than its thickness. Because the skull is flat at the temple area referral shock to the brain is more intense than the referral shock of a blow to a curved skull area. If sufficient force is delivered, any type of blow to the temple area or any other part of the head could be fatal without fracturing the skull. Hemorrhage of blood vessels of the brain is the most common cause of death following a forceful blow to the head.

Do NOT scratch the eyes!

o-rub-sleep-eyes-facebookStriking into the eyes is a very high-risk-of-injury tactic. Its use would be justified only in the most serious kinds of assault. If your life is threatened, or extreme bodily harm is intended and if you are already close in there might be no practical alternative. The slightest contact blow or fingernail scratch could result in serious and permanent eye injury. There is no justification for striking into the eyes if any other defense action would be effective. In some styles of kung fu training there is heavy emphasis on clawing and poking into the eyes. Such instruction is dangerously out of date; it does not take into consideration the legal, social or emotional consequences of inappropriately punitive responses to non-life-threatening assault.

Do NOT strike a person’s ear

Blows to the ears are taught in many old-style martial arts. My objection to this target for modern self-defense is that it is not a practical striking area for a smaller person against a larger assailant and if it is used against a smaller person there is a possibility of hearing impairment.


To see more, have a read of self-defense-nerve-centers