Basic Self Defense – Essential Techniques

Basic Self Defense – Essential Techniques


In the post, “Self Defense Under Pressure,” we discussed how the body responds to a direct threat to your life or wellbeing.  In this article, we will talk about some basic punching and kicking techniques that have the ability to protect yourself and give you a better chance at survival.

Boxing / Punching Techniques

Boxing is an old tradition that goes back centuries.  The jab, cross, hook, and uppercut boxing techniques are tried and true.  Not to downplay the boxing community, these techniques are very easy to pick up and learn.  The more you practice, the better you become.

Along with the boxing techniques, you can also use the back fist and the hammer fist.  The back fist is a good employable tool to temporarily stun an assailant long enough to run away, or follow through with something else.  The speed and effectiveness of the back fist is very similar to the jab.  It is quick and unpredictable if used in the right way.

The hammer fist is most effectively used in a downward motion.  It has the ability to break collar bones or the bridge of the nose.  It is a bit more telegraphic than a back fist, but if used properly, can disable a perpetrator.


There are a lot of different kicks you can employ, but there are a few that are the most effective in my opinion.  The kicks I am talking about are the front kick, side kick, push/thrust kick, and the side stomp.

The front kick is a quick and fast technique, and it is most effective if kicking for the groin of an attacker.  There are some out there who can take these shots, but the majority of assailants do not.

The side kick is one of my most favorite.  It is fast, direct, and if employed, can leave devastating results to your attacker.  To use this kick, it is important to use it towards the legs, or kicking the stomach/solar plexus area.  If you side kick fast and hard enough, it can be hard to predict.  The one disadvantage of the side kick is if you miss, you are at a vulnerable position, so square off with the assailant quickly.

The side stomp is utilized similar to the side kick, but you use it to stomp.  The stomp is really only for the lower area of the attacker.  You can go for the groin, leg, knee, shin, or foot.  You can break the leg with this kick, or you can knock them off balance.

The push kick, or thrust kick, is less effective as the other kicking methods, but is a good kick to gain some distance from you and your assailant.  It can deliver some discomfort or pain to the receiving end, but it is enough to either run, or follow up with another technique.

This is not an exhaustive list of things you can do in self defense; this is only a starting point.  There are many methods you can utilize in defending your life, but the techniques learned today will give you something to work from as you start to build self defense skills.

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