STRIKING TECHNIQUES SELF DEFENSE ARTICLES VIDEO DEMONSTRATIONS
Inside this ebook are some Read some of the best self Watch some of our video
quality striking techniques protection related articles demonstrations ranging
that you can practice in on the internet. Written by from striking drills, solo
the comfort of your own instructors and coaches training and partner drills.
home. Follow along with from all around the globe. Perfecting these skills will
these moves and hone help you progress quickly
your protection skills. Read. Think. Learn. and reach your goals.
board; also your ﬁngers can’t knock
someone unconscious by hitting someone
in the head. In fact, you’d break your
Not every tool you have is going to
work for that certain job. Not every tool you
posses would be wise to use in defending
yourself. When thinking of the right tools
for the job, you need to also think of the
proper way to train these tools and a proper
system to train in for your speciﬁc needs. If
all you want is a kata, tournaments, full-
contact ﬁghting, point sparring, or even
MMA, then visiting your local Martial Arts
academy or MMA school would be your
best approach. These styles concentrate
on training for “Sport” related scenarios,
rather than street speciﬁc protection skills.
In the same manner, if you’re looking
for street eﬀective, pressure tested and
sound self-defense, you should look into
Close Quarters Combat training or Reality
“THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB” problems. To take things apart or put things Based Self-Defense schools. If it’s not
back together. Much like tools, we need the scenario based training with resistance or
right method or technique for the situation. real applications on what happens in a real
In self-defense we all should know that
When you use tools you don’t have a kit life situation, then you need to move on and
we need to be aware of everything around
with just one thing in it. For example, a ﬁnd a class that works for you. Can places
us. Our environment, conditions of the
hammer won’t turn screws, and a that teach traditional style martial arts also
streets and sidewalks, people hanging
screwdriver can’t properly drive a nail into teach other things besides just this? Yes,
around the ATM that you want to use, etc.
the wall. In some cases, why use a hammer but you should always do your research and
We should also know to react as soon as
when you have a nail gun? It’s quicker and make sure the instructor has the proper
possible to a situation before it becomes
more eﬀective than a hammer, which can credentials to back this. Some traditional
something a whole lot worse, by avoiding it
bust your ﬁnger if you’re not careful. instructors claim that they teach “Self
all together, or by ﬁghting our way to safety.
Defense” as a marketing ploy in order to
The methods we use in self-defense gain more students. But, they are really just
I use the word tools rather than
are more like tools to me. Awareness is a taking their current traditional techniques
weapons, due to the fact that weapons are
tool. This tool is a multipurpose battery that and adding to a diﬀerent class structure.
there to just hurt, destroy and kill. I’m not
all of the self-defense tool box needs to That’s why it’s important to look for a place
training soldiers (so to speak) I train mainly
ensure a better end product. Does that that will supply you with the right tools for
civilians who have to deal with everyday
mean awareness is always going to be the job you need done. You wouldn’t go to
violence and street attacks where the law
there? No. Even though we teach and a plumber to ﬁx your television would you?
can be used against them in some cases.
learn more and more about it, with the Take your time when researching local
The phrase “collateral damage” doesn’t
chaotic world we live in, we need to be instructors and schools, and make sure
exist for a civilian. Just phrases like
prepared for the time we’re caught sleeping these places can provide you the proper
“manslaughter”, “assault and battery”, or
and we have to RE-ACT to the situation TOOLS necessary in order to get the job
maybe even “murder one”. These are not
rather than counter act. No matter what the done correctly.
phrases you want to hear in a court of law if
case is, your awareness tool is the one that
you are on the receiving end.
will save you at least 9 times out of 10.
Tools on the other hand, work for
Just like the description above, a
civilians because tools have functions to ﬁx
hammer can’t eﬀectively put screws into a
THE SIX A’S OF SELF DEFENSE
When people think of self defense, you approach it, looking for
generally speaking, they think of hard skills exits and escape routes, etc.
and techniques. Many instances, they think
karate, MMA, or some formal type of art. Is
that bad? No, but I think things need to go ATTITUDE
deeper than a speciﬁc art or technique. In
Body language and self
this article, I am going to outline for you
presentation can go along way.
some of the psychological and emotional
In many instances, you may
attributes that we at CQCNY train which is
never need to know a single
the foundation of our curriculum. These are
physical tactic except to walk NUMBERS OF
called the 6 A’s of self defense. We use this SURVIVAL
around with your head held
block as part of our presentation that we
high, shoulders back and a
give to EVERY student who walks in our
conﬁdence in your walk. That
doors. Understanding what goes on inside
can be the diﬀerence between where the next 3 A’s are added to the
of you, is a very important component in
you being left alone and a bad situation equation.
your training. This is what sets CQCNY
passing you by, or being caught in the mix
apart from the rest.
of a violent encounter. What you are say
through body language can make you a
AWARENESS hard target or a soft target. Many people
realize the importance of body language. It’s When we talk about action, we
This may seem like a no-brainer, used as a tool in job interviewing, talk about right now. The present. Action
but this can’t be stressed enough. Paying psychology, and interrogation techniques. means any moment YOU feel the time is
attention to your surroundings is key to Many instances, the body speaks more than right to do something. There is no speciﬁc
starting your journey in self protection. How words. Proper attitude coupled with the ﬁrst right time as there are so many factors that
many times have you seen individuals “A” and you have built a pillar of protection come into play, as well as every scenario
walking through a parking lot texting and without learning a single physical technique. being diﬀerent. Scenarios can be similar,
almost get hit by a car, or totally walk but they are never the same. Keep in mind,
opposite of where their vehicle is parked? It the action you take may not necessarily be
happens all the time. People are just AVOIDANCE physical, it can be anything that can get you
oblivious to their environment at times. In out of harms way. Verbal de-escalation,
I will make this plain and simple. running away, calling for help, or whatever
self protection, being tuned into your
Stay away from bad situations. If something the speciﬁc scenario you are in calls for.
surroundings is critical in making yourself a
goes oﬀ in disarray, you go opposite Many instructors state that if you don’t ﬁght
hard target and keeping yourself safe.
direction. There is nothing worse than back in the ﬁrst 3-5 seconds you will lose
Focus on all the things around you to better
seeing something bad happen to someone the ﬁght. Well, my philosophy is until you
prepare yourself for situations that may
else, then because you became so curious are six feet under, you always have a
arise. This ranges from watching others and
of the situation, you put yourself in the chance to act.
their body language/behavior, scanning the
middle and you became a victim. I have
area, checking in and around your car as
seen many instances where a ﬁght broke
out in a bar/club and everyone wants to AGGRESSION
circle around and watch the ruckus. This
only lead to someone in the crowd getting Aggression is taking something by
injured. If you can avoid a brewing situation, force. Again, please keep in mind that you
by all means - LEAVE! can be aggressive without being physical.
For example, being aggressive in your mind
Many martial arts and self defense about a particular scenario can help talk
instructors use the ﬁrst 3 A’s in their your way out of a bad situation.
curriculum, but stop there. At CQCNY, we
feel that road shouldn’t stop there. That is
THE SIX A’S CONTINUED
preparation for an upcoming
event, making sure all the Anger is an emotion fueled by a wrong.
details for an event are covered If your insides feel this emotion the residual
and all your I’s dotted and T’s eﬀect of that anger is more passion for the
crossed. At CQCNY, we always particular scenario. When a person does
stress that you can overcome something that is fueled with an emotion,
most things in life by getting there is a stronger, more dynamic eﬀort put
aggressive. Fear, Pain, Adrenal into the situation. For example, think of a
Response and Disorientation relationship where one person betrayed the
can all be handled much easier other. That anger builds up inside and
with aggression. people do things they never thought
possible. A great UK instructor Richard
Grannon states, “hit with hate”. This speaks
ANGER volumes knowing that your whole being is
involved in the attack. Just remember that
At CQCNY, we have a
uncontrolled anger can lose ﬁghts. Learn to
build aggression, control that anger and use
company slogan “Anger Is A
it for your beneﬁt when confronted with bad
Gift”. Many people ask me,
what this phrase really means.
They seem put oﬀ by it and
To sum up, you can’t just train hard
think it sounds violent and
skills. You need to utilize psychology and
nasty. My motto is hit with all
emotions during your self defense training.
the anger you can. Anger and
Start following the 6 “A’s” of self defense
Aggression are your two best
today, for a better tomorrow.
friends during an attack. If you
don’t cause enough damage to
the attacker in order to get
away to safety, then you are in
a very bad situation. If you are
going to commit to an attack or
strike, you need to hit with without skill
everything you have inside.
Strength, speed, precision, equals Anxiety”
Another example is being aggressive in timing, aggression and last but
~ Tony Blauer
your preparation for an upcoming event, not least ANGER. If this is a life an death
making sure all the details for an event are situation, you need to understand that it’s
covered and all your I’s dotted and T’s you or the bad guy. If you were confronted
crossed. At CQCNY, we always stress that in a dark parking lot by a bad person trying
you can overcome most things in life by to cause you harm, how that would make
getting aggressive. Fear, Pain, Adrenal you feel? All your emotions and adrenaline
Response and Disorientation can all be will be pumping through your body. This
handled much easier with aggression. Think person is trying to take you away from
of it as taking something by force. Again, everything that you love. This will cause a
please keep in mind that you can be feeling of indignation and at this point you
aggressive without being physical. For should be ﬁlled with anger. We then convert
example, being aggressive in your mind this anger into our strikes so they are much
about a particular scenario can help talk more powerful. If you don’t hit with anger
your way out of a bad situation. Another and aggression, you might as well not ﬁght
example is being aggressive in your back at all.
THE PALM STRIKE
When it comes to self defense, one of the best tools used to deliver a blow
to the attacker is the palm strike. Not only is this a very devastating strike,
it’s also a great weapon for being preemptive. Remember, whether it’s
physical or mental, the shot you don’t see coming is the one that will cause
the most damage. Being preemptive during a verbal assault keeps us one
step ahead of our attacker.
Click Here To View
The palm strike is also a great tool because you have less risk of injuring
yourself. I have been in many ﬁghts where I have used closed ﬁst punching,
and when I didn’t connect with my target properly I ended up injuring my
hand, wrist or ﬁngers. Unless you condition your hands and punching ability
on a regular basis, the risk can be far greater than the reward. Take Mike
Tyson for example. He was a professional boxer who trained day in and day
out his entire career. Do you feel that he can throw a proper punch? Of
course. But, during a street ﬁght he was involved in, he broke his hand
throwing a punch. That speaks volumes.
With palm strikes, you can cover a larger target area. If the receiving end
ﬂinches and turns away from danger, you can still drive through this and
connect with the side or rear of the head without causing damage to your
hand. You can also hit with the palm, remain in contact with the target using
an index, then convert the palm to a rake, grab, or even reposition yourself.
In the video above, I demonstrate how to properly administer and drill your
palm strike technique. Follow along, practice regularly and become
proﬁcient at one of the best self defense tools you can acquire.
If you are going to learn just one strike for your weapon, the palm strike is
the leader of the pack!
does this…then you do this to protect
yourself. Fighting, as I see it, is scheduled.
By that, I mean that there is some mutual -
conscious or sub-conscious - agreement SPORT VS STREET
between the parties that a verbal or
physical conﬂict is about to take place
between them. Here, both parties are now
mentally prepared to engage each other.
Now, the one with better skill, technique,
mind-set, physical abilities, and experience
“Fighting VS. Self Defense” will more than likely be victorious.
Students new to reality-based self- Where does this leave students that
defense & personal protection, too often think they know how to ﬁght but really do
come to a belief that learning to defend not? Hopefully, they will not end up in the
themselves equates having the ability to hospital or the morgue. How then can
ﬁght. This is usually due to pre-conceived students identify their individual
notions, often based on inaccurate or even weaknesses and improve them? First,
false information. Advertising and students should have an understanding, at
marketing are designed speciﬁcally to gain the basic level, of the diﬀerences between
the attention of prospective buyers to a self-defense and ﬁghting. This
particular product or service. One does not understanding should also include the
need to look far to ﬁnd an ad claiming that physiological as well as psychological
this system is the end all be all of self- eﬀects of each respectively. Next, any
defense – i.e. “Never be a victim again!” … reputable system should have three basic
“Annihilate your attacker!”… “Secret Prison components that give the student the
Techniques for Fighting!”… “Learn The proper tools to help ensure a higher
Fighting Tactics of The World’s Deadliest probability of survival: stand-up/striking,
Super Secret Squirrel/SAS/Delta/Ranger/ weapon training and defense, and ground
Recon Forces!” …etc. etc… survival. Cross training and cardio should
also be emphasized. Any reputable
How then should “ﬁghting” and “self- instructor will encourage each one of these
defense” be deﬁned? Simply put, self- aspects.
defense is the act of defending one's
person when physically attacked by Finally, the student should fully
countering blows or overcoming an understand that the most powerful weapon
assailant. Fighting, on the other hand, in their arsenal is the mind. Without proper
generally refers to engaging in battle or in mindset, techniques will be just that;
single combat; attempt to defend one‘s self techniques.
against or to subdue, defeat, or destroy an Author - Victor Sakalauskas
adversary. While it would be easy to debate
semantics over the deﬁnitions, the key to
“The biggest room
distinguishing the two for this article comes
down to two words: defending and
in the world is
Taking it a bit further, defending, in a
survival sense, usually involves being
the room for
ambushed. When ambushed, you have to
ﬁrst react to protect yourself from further
harm, then ﬁgure out a way to escape from ~ unknown author
the danger. Many systems usually cover
the “what if” defenses: What if my attacker
WILL & PREPARATION me), but when they were told what to do, would ask for
something else. Another way. A shortcut.
"The will to win compares little to the will to prepare to win."
~ Bear Bryant Kru Mark Dellagrotte once told me that his ﬁrst day in
Thailand, he spent HOURS just throwing a jab on the bag. His
This is one of those quotes that I've seen/known for years, instructor simply brought him to the heavy bag, told him to start
but somehow, it never entirely clicked until just now. jabbing, and walked away. Many students would have left the
bag, quit, or sought a diﬀerent coach. Kru Mark stayed there and
I coach Muay Thai at Sityodtong Muay Thai in Boston, which jabbed. His jab got a lot better.
has aﬀorded me the opportunity to work with an amazing number
of aspiring competitors, and quite a few amateur and professional Preparing to win requires CONSTANT eﬀort. It requires
ﬁghters to boot. Bear Bryant's quote gets to the heart of what CONSTANT willpower. It requires the willingness to work on a
often separates the successful competitor from the unsuccessful single tool for hours at a time. To keep grinding out reps of
one. fundamental drills, instead of chasing after shiny new toys. I'm
always shocked when I see someone come back for a second
The will to win is, in my opinion, cheap. Everyone wants to training session and complain about having to review the basic
win, and a reasonable number of people have (or can muster up) drills. Imagine Mike Tyson complaining about having to work the
the will to do so (to a point...I'll get there). Many aspiring ﬁghters hook again, or Royce Gracie whining because he doesn't feel like
walk through Sityodtong's doors, talking about how they want to working the triangle choke again.
dominate this weight class, or beat this ﬁghter, or whatever. Some
of them are very, very, tough. Some are not quite as tough as they Those people who are successful competitors are those who
think. muster the will to prepare to win. To show up, day after day, and
work on the things they NEED to work on, not the things they
I see the same thing happen when discussing self-defense. WANT to work on (jeez, I sound like a Batman movie). I have seen
While there is a part of the population that will admit to fear or ﬁghters from other gyms who were clearly just thrown in because
uncertainty about self-defense, there is also a part of the they wanted to compete, but didn't have the will to prepare. They
population that will (despite lacking any training or experience) usually do quite poorly.
pontiﬁcate about their willingness to do whatever it takes to
survive. On one of the S&C related podcasts I listen to (I've been Self-defense is diﬀerent from competition, but the same
scouring iTunes for them), I recently heard one of the hosts swear principle applies. How many people choose to stay at home,
that they were willing to "do whatever it takes" if the situation believing that bad things happen to other people, rather than
warranted it. I don't know if this person has ever trained or not, actually seeking out some knowledge and information that might
but I get the impression they haven't. make them safer? How many avoid doing scenarios, putting on
high gear, or doing drills where they really get pushed because
The will to win is a one-time event. It must be found DURING it's "too hard." Hell, a huge part of the self-defense industry is
the contest (assault, whatever), but that's the only time it's there. catered towards those who don't want to authentically prepare to
win, but want to think they are.
The will to prepare to win, by contrast, is much rarer, which is
the reason that most of the people who say they want to be a The Will to Win is a one shot deal. The Will to Prepare is
ﬁghter never make it. Kru Eric Armington, a Sityodtong trainer constant preparation. Harder, but it leads to more results.
who passed away several years ago, often observed that Author - Jake Steinmann
"Everyone Wants To Be A Fighter, But No One Wants To Train
Like One." In Easy Strength, Dan John notes that very
few people have the courage to actually follow a
workout program through to the end (I think this truth
ties into some of the power and success of Crossﬁt,
but that's for another post). COURAGE &
John Connors and I often talked about how
students would come and ask about how to improve a
particular aspect of their game (BJJ for him, Muay Thai for