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Self-Defense: First and finish moves.

6 life-saving moves to defend yourself from attack.

Think about this: If you were in a situation where, exactly 10 minutes from now, you had to go out and face someone who wanted nothing more than to pound you into hamburger, then reading this article would be the way you’d want to spend your next nine minutes (forget about calling your mom). Check out some of these first and finish moves.

The Pop-up. This allows a small person to knock a charging rhino off his feet. Simply take a half step to one side (you don’t want to go straight up against someone charging at you), lower your body, use your back foot to root yourself and pop up (as if you were shoving a sack of cement off a window ledge) with both hands at the base of his rib cage. This redirection of incoming energy will force your opponent off his feet and have him reeling backward, giving you time to escape or attack

The eye jab. This is not a Three Stooges’style move where you poke two fingers into your opponent’s eyes. What you’re trying to do here is flip your fingertips across an eyeball. The result will be an immediate watering of both eyes and severely blurred vision, which gives you time to escape or attack. It also stuns your opponent psychologically because he suddenly realizes you have absolutely no regard for his well-being and are willing to go to any length to stop him. Even if you miss his eyes, your attacker will flinch, giving you a precious few moments to act.

Off-center. No martial artist or experienced streetfighter goes straight up against a direct attack. It’s senseless. You should instead step aside, redirect the incoming energy and then launch a vicious counterattack.

The head butt. It’s considered one of the most effective finishing moves. Your head has the weight and solidity of a bowling ball, and by simply smashing your forehead against the face of your opponent, you hit him with tremendous force. Grab his ears or the hair at the back of his head and ram your skull into his nose. Lights out; game over. Hint: Do not close your eyes when delivering the head butt, or you’ll disorient yourself.

The choke hold. By simply pressing your biceps and forearm into either side of your opponent’s windpipe, you cut off the blood supply to his head. By further locking your arms together and pressing down on the back of his head, you’ll knock him unconscious in seconds. But be warned’the choke hold is dangerous, and if you don’t release your attacker when he passes out, you can kill him. Always remember that you’ll be held liable for your actions, which means you’ll most likely have to explain to a jury why you used such a devastating move against another person. You’d better be able to demonstrate a real threat to your life’and that doesn’t include not wiping down the pec deck machine.

The chin blast. This is highly effective if you’re pinned in a corner by a larger person who’s getting in your face but hasn’t actually started his attack’which is extremely common. Most bullies prefer to slowly escalate the tension before they finally build up enough confidence to attack. Don’t allow this to happen to you. Attack first with surprise and devastating force and win the fight. Here’s how the chin blast works: Pretend at first to be submissive and place your hand on his chest as if you’re trying to placate the guy, then quickly drive your elbow upward. That will snap his head back furiously, causing instant disorientation and opening up his throat for a follow-up elbow or hand strike.

‘James Curley, TRS

Editor’s note: For more on TRS’ practical, real-world self-defense tactics, see page 238 of the July ’01 IRONMAN.

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