Survival Gear

Defending yourself from an attacker

FighterHow will you protect yourself and your family from an attack?

If you’re like most people I talk to, your first answer is probably with your guns. But what happens if someone gets the drop on you, or jumps you before you can get to your weapon?

I love guns just as much as the next guy, but to truly be prepared for anything you need to be able to protect yourself without them.

How to end the Fight Quickly – (remember these tips should only be used in a life or death situation, as they could cause serious damage or death)

When defending yourself from an attack, every move you make should be done in effort to end the altercation as soon as possible. This is no time to start slugging it out or pretending you’re in the UFC.

Every single punch or kick that you throw should be delivered to the weakest, or most vulnerable areas of your attacker’s body.  Your strikes need to cause serious damage, and your main goal should be to end the fight and immobilize your attacker as fast as possible.

Vital Points of attack for self defense

EyesIf they can’t see you, they can’t hit you. Jabbing your attacker in the eye can temporarily blind them allowing you to gain the upper hand. If done hard enough, it can actually cause permanent blindness.

Nose – A Palm strike or punch to the nose can have a devastating effect on your attacker. While it probably won’t immobilize them, it may be enough to cause them to retreat. A well-executed strike to the nose will cause an immense amount of pain and cause the eyes to instantly fill with tears. This will allow you to either run away, or quickly end the fight with a follow-up attack.

Throat – The throat is one of the most vulnerable areas of the body. When attacking the throat there are two areas that you should focus on.

  • First, the Adams Apple –   A blow to the Adam’s apple can collapse the attacker’s airway and can literally kill them with one strike.
  • Second, is the soft area where your throat meets your collarbones. This area can be jabbed with the fingers to temporarily cause your opponent to lose his breath.

Groin – A good kick to the groin can cause a man to instantly drop to the ground. Just remember that this target is usually the most well-guarded and may be difficult to strike.

Knee Caps – The Kneecaps are extremely vulnerable to attack and can be easily dislocated or broken by a well-placed kick to the knee. A kick to the side of the knee can also cause a huge amount of damage.

Feet – Stomping on your attacker’s feet probably will not end the fight, but it can cause a huge amount of pain. Foot stomps are often used to escape from a hold and can give you time to setup for your next attack.

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32 Comments on Defending yourself from an attacker

  1. krazyduck

    Nice and easy but in an actual situation the adrenaline will usually override any pain from a groin strike and it will not “cause a man to instantly drop to the ground”. Its an effective target, just don’t hit it and lean back waiting for him to collapse.

    • Xsavier

      You’ve obviously never been in a fight. It doesn’t matter how much adrenaline is pumping through your body. If you get hit hard in the groin during a fight, you’re going down. I know this from personal experience. Every time I got kicked in the groin in a fight, I had to stop.

      • Richie

        Have you ever had a frustrated African American gangster attacking you? Stupid loser, it’s not possible with a kick to the balls!

        • lol


      • Ovi

        I have been kicked in the groin in fights before and have not gone down. It hurt like hell, but I knew that if I went down I was done. Same could go for attacker if they have any training.

  2. Off Grid Survival

    Good Point Krazyduck…. It also could take a few seconds for the pain to register so if your going to kick that area it better be a damn good kick

    • Giovanni

      Say if I stabbed him in the back or stomach would he go down or would he still be standing?

      • tabatha

        He would go down for sure, or run until he drops. I would say a knife to the back or stomach will end the fight.

  3. TaskForce16

    If your attacker is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, attempting to inflict pain on him may be useless. Best to go for the eyes or throat as suggested. What ever you do, have NO MERCY!

    • TabWyo

      Punching somebody in the face bare handed is risky business. You stand a 50% of breaking your hand with each strike.

      I’ve trained in Muay Thai for almost 2 decades now. I can say without a doubt my two “go to” methods of attack in a “street fight” situation are lateral elbow strike to the face and a straight teep (front push kick) directly to the knee.

      • Obi

        Elbow and knee strikes are the best truly, but if for the moment they are not an option, you use the palm of your hand and aim it at your opponents nose. You’re less likely to break your hand and, like the site said, you can cause considerable damage.

  4. Msteele92

    Don’t forget the ears. A strike to the ears can throw off your attacker’s equilibrium. I’ve also have heard that a very hard strike to the outer thigh can cause a loss in consciousness.

  5. A good cupped hand strike to the ear can be very effective. Or a strike to the stomach area. I have actual used this to take the wind out of a subject, but it has to be right on the money and quick. My 2 cents

  6. BryanJ027

    Personally I find shooting your attacker in the face stops any attack no matter how big they are or if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    • Josiah Lambert

      And what would you be to do If you misjudged and didn’t bring it?or maybe disarmed?you need to use anything at your disposal.and about the singular enemy,I you get behind them and yank their head back,which will stun or end him and his fight,then ou can hit his Adam’s apple.street rules are necessary.

  7. LJP

    Martail Arts is a good way to cover the basics of self defense, it will not only show u how hard to hit but other vulnerabilites of the human body. The sternum and the spine are also weak to disabling attacks, DONT DO IT UNLESS YOU MEAN IT. You can kill or paralyze PERMENANTLY. I love the picture =D

  8. ryanrichmond

    Because of movies, many people believe a fight is a game of turns. My turn, your turn. This will undoubtedly put you in a world of trouble if you think your attacker is going to give you the option to fight back. Likewise, you should fight an unfair fight. Attack as if your life depends on it because it probably does. Don’t give your opponent the option to strike you back. Be ruthless and be a dirty fighter. Forget honor for a minute and remember that winning is the only thing that is important. No one will think less of you for kicking someone in the groin as long as it helped you to win the fight.

    • rod


    • Leona

      Agreed. As a woman, and more importantly a survivor I wholeheartedly agree. If you’re not aiming to kill the aggressor you should at the very least have it in your mind to do damage enough to maime him. If someone’s after you, they plan to mess you up-big time.

  9. coxcrow

    When teaching counter-terror tactics we never relied upon pain compliance techniques. They’re too iffy in general and require people with little or no training to think quickly and act effectively in a highly stressful situation. Instead we preferred destruction of the body. Kneecaps are great. Nobody, even experienced fighters, protects them. They’re easy to hit and make it much harder for an attacker to continue the assault. Just keep in mind the self-defense laws for your state/community as judges frown upon crippling an assailant, no matter how well-deserved the punishment.

  10. Tom

    I’m an experienced fighter, both street and sport. In sport, there are rules. “Don’t kick below the waist, don’t attack joints, don’t attack the spine.” etc. Generally, anything that’s banned in sport is a high value target on the street.
    You’ll often people say “he won the fight because he didn’t fight fair”. But on the street there are no rules.
    Some tips:
    Spit in their face/throw dirt/sand into their eyes. This temporarily disorientates them, allowing you to follow up with an attack.
    The more viscous the attack, the faster it will be over.
    Bite their fingers off, gouge their eyes, crush their larynx with your thumb and fingers (it requires surprisgly little force).
    Learn the value of continous attack. Don’t give your opponent time to think about his next move. Be fluid in your own.
    Once you have committed to a move, execute it. Nothing is more dangerous than a half completed attack. It leaves you off-balance and very open to counter-attack.

    Just remember that the law will only support you as far as reasonable behavior. This means that if you pull your gun on somebody for pushing you over, you’ve overstepped the mark.
    That said, if your survival is at stake, there is only one rule. You may do everything and anything to ensure yours.

    I find that the best thing to do is to avoid the fight altogether. Situational awareness is key here. Look out of dangers, be aware of them, and you will be able to avoid them 9 times out of 10 .


  11. C Biluk

    Would refrain from biting fingers off/contact with blood due to so many illnesses which are bloodborne. Otherwise a good article and solid replies.

    Best of luck!

  12. Boarserker

    Just remember that when combat starts, the attacker is now your problem and you have to stay on him til he is no longer a threat

  13. SiMus

    Palm the nose, hard kick too the knee(or the other way around) I pull my knife and go for the throat fast and hard with a stab or solid slice whatever I have access to is under attack, no mercy in survival. Very surprised knifes aren’t in here, clearly the point is unarmed but personally I don’t even sleep without a solid, sharp knife withing 6feet, if not on my side! I carry a knife at every possible time, preferably not a a folding knife there to slow and unreliable. But I grew up on the farm and hunting so that’s just a habit. Not many zombies on a farm but if you have ever had a shirt caught in terrifying piece of spinning metal you never forget your knife!

  14. Lola

    I’m a slender female, how do I defend myself if attacked from behind but not knocked out? Say they put the knife to my throat from behind or just start choking me from behind?

    • Faith

      Drop to your knees – this will loosen their hold. Drop down low and flip them over your back. When they land on their back immediately kick the top/back of their head. This could kill them or cause severe brain damage.

  15. Tim

    Rest assured if you don’t follow through decisively on an attack whether offensive or defensive, if your adversary eventually gets the upper hand they will almost certainly kick the living crap out of you. This applies now or even years later.

  16. Contract Agent

    I always go for the throat.

    An adams apple punch will cause your attacker to quit breathing. It will swell and block their air and blood.

    Take your belt off and swing it buckle first around their throat. You can then stick your knee in their back and tuck & roll.

    If someone pulls a knife, grab the blade and then rub the blood in their eyes. The wet blood will blind them and as it drys their eyes will be stuck shut by the coagulating blood.

    This was taught to me by a NZ/OZ SAS guy who literally ate dead bodies after he was abandoned in Biafra by the crown. He said that the Russians tasted bad because they all smoked. Eat the locals he said. Better than bush meat.

    Sadly to say, I have used his techniques and they work and so I suppose the rest of the story may also be true.

    For training, try Hap-Ki-Do

  17. Mujahid khan

    sometime the attack is so quick that you can’t attack where self depence is required

  18. retep neek

    I would not grab the blade because this could also cause you pain instead grab their wrist and twist this can cause them extreme pain and will cause them to drop the knife

  19. donna

    I have a HUGE problem. Got a commercial from my ex. All I heard was him say, “f*** her up about now. Two guys (Jamaican accents so likely much larger than me) said, “I’ll have someone do.e up from behind” and “straighten that b**** out”. Tonight a large man pulled into where I was getting gas. Pulled into self-carwash (11:30 pm & no lights) turned through, stared me down, pulled back in and came into the store where I was. I’ve reported the fall to the police & got a pic and his tag no. tonight. I live alone & have no friends here. Plus, I’m in SC where it’s a weapons free-for-all. This is disconcerting. Is a taser too slow or powerful? I really don’t want a gun but I want to stay alive.

  20. donna

    I meant pocketdial.NOT commercial. Auto-correct does it again!

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