Central to learning self defense is moving your body our of harm's way of a punch, kick, stab, slash, knife/gun threat, grab or attempts to grab etc...... Since attacks can be fast and catch us off guard, moving effectively is very challenging.
Here is an overview of body defenses:
|Student leans away from stab while kicking.|
- Moving Back: One of our more natural movements. After all, if there is a fist or sharp object speeding toward your face there is a decent chance you will move away. In many situations, since you are moving your body away, a kick is a preferred strike aimed to distract or disable the attacker. (see picture above)
- Moving Forward. This one is more difficult to teach. Moving closer to an aggressor is less natural. Who, for example, wants to get closer to someone swinging a hammer or baseball bat? The most dangerous part of these objects, however is the end, so if you can't run moving rapidly into the aggressor is the safest option. (see stick defense below)
- Moving to the side. Moving back or toward a gun aimed at your chest, is, of course, not effective. Moving to the side, out of the line of fire, while redirecting the weapon offers you the best chance of survival. (see gun defense below)
- Moving Down. Ducking a punch is the most obvious example. Boxers are among the best at ducking and countering.
|Moving body to side - out of line of fire|
|Moving in to defend against stick attack|
Body defenses are one of the more challenging aspects of self defense training. It involves timing, coordination, and the ability to quickly assess and act. Consistent training that involves attention to detail as well as various reaction drills will improve your body movements and your ability to defend yourself.
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga Federation, Toronto