Friday, July 10, 2009

Low level defense

Yesterday I was speaking with a gentlemen who came to see me to help him stay sober. We got on the subject of barfights. He is a seasoned veteran and states he has been in thousands of fights over his life. Standing at 6 foot 5 inches, this gentlemen can be a very imposing figure.
He asked me, knowing I am a martial artist, how I would defend myself against him if it came down to a fight. My typical answer is, "I don't know, it depends on the circumstances."...but this time I told him I would take out his knees.
His eyes opened wide and said, "Yeah, that would do it." He has been in the construction/welding industry most of his life (he is now 54) and he admits his weak spot would be his knees. As we spoke he said that would be the best spot to hit a big guy like him because he has a lot of weight on the knees and it could drop him fast.
I added that for me, standing at 5 foot 8 inces tall, it would be very difficult for me to hit him in the head and that given his strength he could take a good torso beating and I wouldn't even phase him....but the knees, ah, the wonderful knees. I can reach those.
Take a look at your knees. They are designed to really bend only one way. I encourage all students to study the knees and figure out, given your attributes, how would you take out a knee if you were attacked? As you can see, a knee taken in any other direction that it is supposed to go will cause some imbalance in the opponent, and if the proper technique is executed at the right time can incapacitate your opponent.
Think about how can you kick a knee, how can you take out a knee with your hands, or your knees or your shoulders or creative. Even if you are a big person there is always someone bigger. Most people are head-hunters in a fight...especially if they are bigger than you. Think of how you can take advantage of that as well.
My time has run out and I have to run....
Take Care,


  1. "Rah! Rah! Ree! Kick him in the knee! Rah! Rah! Rass! Kick him in the other knee!"

  2. Ever since my ACL reconstruction, reading about attacks to the knee makes me cringe. I know how easy it is to injure a knee joint. As you pointed out, a knee is made to move one way.

    That being said...

    In a self-defense first instinct would be the knees.

  3. I concur. I have had knee issue on and off throughout my martial career. As Mr. Morales-Santo Domingo said, "Rah! Rah! Ree!...

  4. They always seem to forget that being taller just means you have more weight on those silly knee joints. Yay short folk~