Vulnerable AreasSelf-Defense . Training notes
What areas of the Human Body are Vulnerable to Attack?
Probably a lot more than you think!
There are numerous structural weaknesses in the human body which are vulnerable to attack. The application of strikes or pressure to these areas may cause pain, unconsciousness and sometime serious injury. There are some areas which are more susceptible to greater injury than others. At times even a moderate strike to one of these more vulnerable areas can cause serious injury. Thus, extra caution must be used when you practice attacks of these areas.
A knowledge of the structural weaknesses of the human body will enhance the effectiveness of the strikes, pressure or holds you employ. The following discussion and accompanying diagrams describe the vital parts of the body. Becoming acquainted with them will help to prevent undue violence and injury and better prepare you to deal with the unexpected.
During a vicious attack, you may need to direct blows toward the weakest areas of your opponent. Unless this situation exists, you should make a conscious effort to avoid striking these areas to limit legal possible legal issues later.
As a general rule, in a fight you should avoid striking anyone in the area of the mouth. While a strike to the mouth can cause excessive damage to your opponent, such a blow may very well seriously injure or disable your hand. The risks out weigh the benefits in most situations.
Lets start at the top of the human body and working down through the chart. The temple is a very susceptible spot and a blow of sufficient force could cause unconsciousness. When necessary, a finger job or thumb gouge to the eyes may save your life. The eyes should only be attacked if you are in fear for you life due to the possibility of permanently maiming your opponent. The summit of the nose is best attacked with a “heel of hand” or “palm heel” strike or pressure. Note the palm heel strike to the nose can come from below or from the side. The solar plexus is a weak point which can be struck with extended fingers, fist or even kicked. Here again, serious injury may result from a forceful blow.
The groin area can be attacked with either a fist, grab or kicking technique. Attacks to this area cause extreme pain and shock. Kicks to the groin must be executed with great speed or if successful the opponent could trap your leg and pull you off balance.
The base of the cerebellum (back, base of the skull) is at the nape of the neck and a severe blow in this region can lead to unconsciousness. A fist blow or kick to the heart may cause serious injury and a kick to the coccyx (tail bone) of sufficient force could cause serious injury. While serious injury may require significant force and a perfect strike, these attacks even off target can put your opponent in a defensive and hopefully diminished capacity to your person.
The basic problem when applying force to these extremely vulnerable areas of the body is deciding what is sufficient but not excessive force. With some people, a slight blow may cause serious injury while others can stand a severe attack and not be hurt. You must judiciously employ defense tactics when facing an assailant, using only that force which is required to subdue or control the situation. Saying that, act quickly and continuously until the threat is removed so you can make a controlled retreat to a safe environment and call for help.
Areas which will cause considerable pain when struck should be your first target. For example, the ears can be attacked by clapping the open hands against them. Also, biting the ears obviously inflicts pain. This is a very effective method of breaking holds from the front. The lips can be struck with the “edge of hand” blow or pinched and twisted. Use a “palm heel” or fist when striking the chin. The jaw is vulnerable at the hinge point. The throat area is particularly sensitive; an edge of hand, finger jab, or hand pressure blows directed to that area are effective. The pit of the stomach is susceptible to a fist blow or kick. The lower abdomen, just below the navel, mat be attacked with fist or kicking techniques. The knees, front, inside or outside, may be kicked to break the assailant’s balance, and if necessary, dislocate the joint. The shin and Achilles tendon are effectively attacked with a kicking technique. Stamping on the arch is useful in breaking holds from the front or rear.
Counter joint movements are employed against the knees, ankle, foot, elbow, wrist, shoulder, fingers and thumb. The mastoid process, found just behind the rear, is attacked by applying pressure with the thumbs or knuckles of the fingers, or struck with the fist.
Gaining a firm understanding of the above vulnerable areas of the human body will make you more able to defend yourself by reacting instead of figuring out what to do. If something doesn’t work move on, do not try a move more than once if it is not successful. People have different tolerances and if your assailant if on drugs or alcohol there reactions may be different than expected. The worst thing that can happen is for a move to not work effectively and you to be surprised, leading to you hesitating and giving your assailant the advantage. I always tell my students, expect your attacker to come at you with a helmet, goggles, a neck shield and shin guards! Then you will be ready for anything!
Study, practice and be safe!
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