These Are An Attacker’s Most Vulnerable Body Parts, According To Fighters

Hurting them here could be the difference between escaping a life-threatening situation or not...


Tim Larkin |

Here are the most vulnerable points on the human body and how to injure them with simple, but effective attacks that work even when you’re in a blind panic. Here’s what fighters know – and you should too…

Gouging The Eyes

Eyes are one of three targets that can be injured without the force of your entire body weight. Don’t avoid it because you feel squeamish about it.

Striking The Throat

Grabbing the trachea (the windpipe) is one type of throat strike; you can cause a serious injury without using your body weight.

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Striking The Spine Or Back Of The Head

Serious, lifelong disability or death can result from head or spine trauma. So be careful here. It’s unacceptable in a sports competition, but could be the difference between life and death in a violent conflict.

Attacking The Groin

This is the third target that doesn’t require the force of your body weight.

Striking Downward Using The Elbow

Use gravity to deliver a blow that carries the force of your body weight, which can be more effective than a punch. The elbow is the smallest, hardest striking surface on your body. Line it up with a target like the spine or neck and you have a good shot at ending the fight.

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Grabbing The Collarbone

Doing so just causes pain. Think of the clavicle more as a handle that can be used to force someone to the ground.

Clawing, Pinching Or Twisting Flesh

As an isolated act, it’s only painful. As an adjunct to something vicious (like a joint break), it’s a powerful and effective move.

Manipulating Small Joints

This is code for “breaking fingers”. Enough said.

READ MORE: Here’s Why You Need To Get Self-Defence Lessons ASAP

Pulling The Hair

If your attacker’s hair is long enough, you can use it as a handle to help you perform a more intense strike.

Holding Clothing

Doing this is useless as an isolated move; doing it to help you throw your attacker is brilliant.

Excerpted from Survive the Unthinkable: A Total Guide to Women’s Self-Protection (Rodale, 2013) by Tim Larkin.

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