for Self Protection
By Martial Arts Guru Wayne Gladysz
Introduction The Techniques illustrated in this book are but a set of tools, what one will get from them another will not and it is up to you on how they are perceived and used. I like to compare it to an artist with a blank canvas, ready with paint and brushes. Sometimes the artist may not know exactly what he may create, but he or she is ready with that brush loaded with paint. You don’t have to be familiar with martial arts to follow these self-protection tools. Yet, any experienced martial artist will benefit from the directness and simplicity of Streetwise Basics. It’s a hostile world out there and I firmly believe in protecting one self when you or a loved one are thread upon. I believe in a proactive approach when faced with a hostile situation, and I also believe in humility when it comes to using this art. I do not advocate violence with violence… but sometimes it is necessary. Don’t misunderstand in any way I don’t believe in fighting just for the sake of fighting, that just doesn’t make sense. Unfortunately, there are people like that out there… I should know I’ve had my share of them. Senseless altercations are most common. They happen abruptly, randomly and sometimes without provocation. It can happen anywhere such as your child’s day care center, the grocery store, a parking lot, a movie theatre, at the car wash, etc… you get the idea. Altercations are a process. I break down stages of altercation to help better understand the process of self-protection such as, the initial verbal confrontation, the dominant effect, the emotional and the physical aspects of an attack. By no means are there set patterns, just a series of motions randomly accumulated. Understanding and recognizing these elements will aid you in your survival should you be involved in a situation that requires self-protection measures. Its Streetwise basics concept that economy of motion, simplicity of technique, power and commitment in technique along with cognitive thinking take precedence over outdated traditional self-defense. I believe if a person could retain at least one Streetwise Basic technique that works for them in a situation, I’ve done my job and feel good about it. You just never know it just might save a life one day… possibly yours, I know it saved mine. It’s important that you practice these techniques as if it were a real combat situation, because how you practice and train is most likely how one would react to the real thing. I’m not saying be cynical about it, be serious, train hard but have fun with it too. I hope you acquire every benefit Streetwise Basics has to offer. 4
Table of Contents Introduction
Stance & Foot work
Self Protection Techniques
Getting Started In order to begin safely, there are some basic tools we need to go over. First and foremost make sure you consult with your doctor if you have any underlying health issues. Although these EZ-2-DO techniques aren’t necessarily rigorous, but it all depends on you how hard you’re going to train. My recommendation is best to be sure on the health issue. I also recommend wearing safety pads and or equipment when executing these techniques on a training partner if you have one. You can readily find training pads on the Internet, local martial arts supply store or through a martial arts magazine. As with any work out you want to wear comfortable clothing, loose fitting pants, t – shirt or sweatshirt and a comfortable shoe such as sneakers… something with a non-slip rubber sole. So let’s begin! MAKING A FIST: You would think everyone knows how to make a fist. Such a simple concept, but how many had to make a fist and really used it? Just close your hand tight and you’re ready to go. Right? Well, actually no. You can hurt your hand pretty badly or possibly break some bones in the hand or fingers if you strike something or someone with force. There is a simple process in making a fist correctly to minimize trauma to the hand and wrist. I say minimize because unless you are an experienced fighter with strong hands from years of training it’s going to hurt. Some claim not to notice the pain until after the rush of adrenaline has passed. In any case, with proper form and practice of punching a semi solid surface you will be well on your way in perfecting the fist fit for striking.
Figure 1 Start with an open hand.
Figure 2 Curl the fingertips into the palm of the hand.
Figure 3 Curl the thumb over the pointer and middle finger then turn your hand in a horizontal position.
Figure 4 Done correctly, this is how the fist should look. The first two knuckles over the pointer and middle fingers used as the point of contact when striking.
Helpful Tip: Stand in front of a wall or a heavy bag and make a fist just as described above. Press the first two knuckles against the surface of the wall or bag. Notice how the alignment of the knuckles, hand, wrist and arm all pull together to form the correct positioning of the fist. Now add some forward pressure by thrusting your hips forward, you will feel how the correct form of the fist will carry itself through all the way through the arm, down to your foot. Now try striking gently at first building form, speed and strength.
THE BREAKDOWN: As random as elements of a confrontation may be, there are a series of actions that take place that one can recognize and in such help you understand the processes to help you to protect yourself. I break it down to three processes. Process One: First exposure is the moment you and your attacker acknowledged one another, visually or verbally. Generally this is where the dispute or disagreement begins, unless it’s a pre existing dispute and is a continuation of the original dispute or disagreement. Being human as we are, we are blessed with consciousness and free will, which means we have choices. You can choose to pursue the dispute or not, however sometimes in these situations the other individual pursues to invoke and continues to instigate. It is always wise to think a situation through and try to make a rational decision and not to let ego or pride get in the way of your safety and wellbeing. But be wary of the intentions of the other individual of which will lead us to the second process.
Note: It is always best to stay calm and collect if you find yourself in a confrontation, try not to get verbally excited and keep your tone of voice in a calm manner. If you can defuse the confrontation prior to it getting physical the better and the quicker you can be on your way and be safe. However, if the individual you have a confrontation with is under the influence be it alcohol or drug induced and you are not able to talk your way through… (remember that when under the influence of either drugs or alcohol your potential attacker will have a higher pain tolerance)… therefore, if the course of action you take is physical make sure the technique you use will be effective in stopping the attack.
Process Two: Escaladed verbal tension or otherwise known as the dominant effect. This is when one of the two try to dominate to take mental control over the other; it’s much like a feeling out process not unlike an animal such as a dog. When the dog barks its warning you, hey I’m going to bite you something terrible if you continue. And when the dog senses fear from you that is the opportune moment for attack. Humans are the same way, if they feel they can or have dominated you in the situation; they will be confident in themselves to move forward to the next level of the potential attack and make it physical. No doubt the potential attacker can be very dangerous, however; you may be able to avoid the physical confrontation by using his confidence against him. Here are some ways to do this, and this requires cognitive thinking out of the box in the moment. I attribute it to the survival mode of which I will discuss later. 1-You can pretend you are afraid of the potential attacker. Pretending you’re scared has advantages. Advantages are… giving the potential attacker a boost in confidence. He may underestimate you, which can make him careless and sloppy in his attack. Expecting this attack the better you’re prepared to defend and counter strike. 2- It may not lead into a physical attack at all. He or she may just verbally assault you. Last I checked yelling and ranting never left a bruise on me, it never broke a bone and certainly there was never a fatality because of it. Maybe a bit of ego and pride bending, but you are unscaved and able to go on with life. 3- On the other hand I just want to make a note there is an alternate scenario and bypass number one and two… the proactive method. If you feel you’re life is justifiably in danger, strike first! Be quick, simple, direct and strong. Do what you need to do to get yourself out of that situation, to escape and get to safety or get help. Whatever the method… the idea is to survive. Process Three: The physical attack: The physical attack is the last process and the most dangerous for obvious reasons. Whether you’re attacking or protecting, you’re in the mix and you want to come out victoriously. When protecting yourself be aware of your attacker’s hands and feet at all times but most importantly you can see his intentions from his eyes. The eyes tell you everything, they will tell you in what direction the attack will come and where he will strike. You might compare it to throwing a ball, when you want the ball to go in a particular direction such as to the catcher’s baseball mitt you look in that direction where you want it to go, otherwise you’re throwing blindly.
It is much the same with punching and kicking, unless one is randomly and blindly punching and kicking (of which is common in emotional defensive moments when survival mode is on of which I will bring up later) you look at the intended target before you react and strike. So if the attacker is staring at your nose or eyes you can be ready for an attack to the face area such as a punch to the nose, eyes or mouth. If he or she is staring at your groin area you may anticipate a kick to that area. The sequence of attack is as follows: 1) The cognitive process, the intention and the decision to take an action to inflict bodily harm to someone and to a particular target of the body. 2) The physical targeting of the area of which the strike is intended to go to. I say physical because the action of moving the eyes is a physical motion. The eyes will zero in on the intended target area not once but several times. The mind needs to access several factors before the action takes place such as depth perception such as how close or far the target is and what series of actions and movements to achieve in hitting the intended target. 3) The execution of the intended strike, this is the actual physical movement of the body, all muscle groups including the arms and legs in delivering the intended strike to produce bodily injury and harm on the intended target. I also want you to be aware of commitment in executing a strike, meaning when all three sequences of an attack is met but the intended strike does not come to the intended area; then where is it going? This is a failure of commitment in completing that particular sequence, be it intentional or unintentional. This could be a fake out a misguided attempt to confuse you or a missed opportunity. Either way, the process of detecting on your part and delivering on theirs continues and vice versa. Itâ€™s an ongoing event continually going through the process until the desired result is achieved. Survival mode: The one thing that is truly amazing since the beginning of the human species is the ability to survive. All creatures on planet earth has embedded within them an instinctual survival mode most commonly known as flight or fight, itâ€™s how we as a species and all living things on earth survived thus far. We as a higher intelligent species are relatively new comers on earth considering the age of our planet but have made it to the top of the food chain and in such a short period of time. Obviously we as humans are more complex than other lower species. To see a perfect example of a basic instinctual survival mode one only need to look in your very own back yard, or anywhere you may find some insects.
Course of Action in Survival: Locate any insect and tap a stick or rock right in front of its path; you will see the insect will take a course of action to this new unknown situation changing its course of direction. Put an obstacle in front of it blocking its path it will find a way over or around the obstacle. Sometimes the insect may do nothing at all. Human beings are much the same way but with one difference, the cognitive process we possess. The insect is purely responsive from embedded instinctual survival skills acquired from millions of years of evolution programmed into them, there is no decision being made just programmed reaction. We to, the human species have this ingrained instinctual survival skills embedded deep in our unconsciousness left over from when we where in our early stages of evolvement. When just shortly after birth, a hungry newborn baby is placed on its mother’s bare chest. The baby will bob its head with its mouth open in search of food and will also find the mothers nipple on the breast and start feeding. The baby’s only instinctual pattern is to get nourishment so it can grow and get strong otherwise the baby will not survive. When we are in eminent danger we revert back to this subconscious survival mode, sometimes forgetting all that you were told or learned sometimes even trained to do. That’s because the will to survive is much stronger than doing something that feels foreign, so unsure, insecure, scary and dangerous that the subconscious mind takes over and causes you to react or not to react. You will find in most cases that a victim of an attack or someone who witnessed a dangerous situation says, “I couldn’t move, or blink my eyes or speak”. In essence they were paralyzed by fear; their subconscious mind chose this reaction to survive that particular event. And in some cases it totally shocked the victim afterwards because they never reacted like that before in lesser stressful situations. On the other hand there are those that react in the opposite manner, taking action to remove themselves or others to safety with seemingly no hesitation, surprising oneself at the course of action taken. Some people would call this a heroic action, putting others safety before their own or facing the dangerous situation without regard of the danger. What is it really? No one knows for sure exactly why people do what they do, but I can tell you this they don’t do it with a lack of fear or the lack of fear of the unknowing. Can anyone truly say they have no fear in the face of danger or harm for oneself or a loved one? A good balance would be in order as far as I’m concerned. Fear can be controlled, and one can perform in a stressful, harmful situation with consistent and competent training and preparation. It is true the more you are exposed to dangerous type situations the more accustom you become because you begin to be in the know instead of the unknowing? This is called experience and when you have the experience it becomes a little easier to except the situation. The fear of the unknowingness falls to the wayside and you are able to function and perform. The more experience the better equipped to handle the particular situation.
So how do you prepare? By training in a program such as those offered by martial arts schools and selfprotection courses. It is important to seek instruction with an instructor with experience, real life experience and not someone whom has trained a lifetime but has never encountered danger or have not the opportunity to use what they teach. Win, lose or draw… real experience. Don’t be shy, ask questions before signing up… just saying… who would you rather learn from? No disrespect intended. So could you do what it takes to survive an attack, you just don’t know until you’re faced with it? For me it was a rude awakening. Sure I thought I could handle any situation after all I was an expert martial arts practitioner and instructor right? Wrong, I had a false sense of security. I was all wrapped up in a blanket of familiarity of what I learned and trained in the Dojo (school) of which took great discipline and dedication to achieve. But the reality was I just didn’t have the real experience nor did the instructor incorporate his real experience (if any, remember to ask) if he had any. So did I waste my time? The answer is definitely no! I needed the basics such as how to do things like punching, kicking, blocking and all that you learn in a martial art. Just understand it’s just not about mastering the basic tools you need to perform and react, it’s understanding yourself and getting true insight on the dangers and the particulars within them both physically and mentally. So when training be sure to ask a lot of questions not only on the techniques learned but the break down of the technique, why that particular technique, has it worked for the individual teaching it, how did it work and how they felt when experiencing that particular moment. Truth is you just don’t know how you will handle a situation until you’re faced with it and I’m not going tell you a falsehood on how you will. Everyone is different and I don’t wish a terrible thing on anyone but you just won’t know unless you are suddenly found in a situation. I will tell you this, you will learn a truth about yourself whether you’re ready to face it or not… you will learn and hopefully have an experience to further learn about yourself and others. Some call it grace under fire… I call it self-discovery. I almost forgot to mention there are different types of nasty people out there that you may encounter. There are those when involved in a fight that will trick you, after the initial confrontation they will lead you to believe all is square and ok then hit you when you’re guard is down. This is known as the sucker punch. Sometimes it starts the physical confrontation and sometimes comes when you think it is over. Word of advice here is never let your guard down never let anyone shake or hold your hand and never let them put their arm around you. Chances are they’re going to sucker punch you and continue the attack and try to prevail where they failed to do before.
The Basics: We already discussed on how to make a fist however, a few more words on it won’t hurt unless you didn’t pay attention. Making a fist properly is well and good and knowing the striking surface of the fist a plus but there’s a neglected area many instructors fail to discuss which is the intended striking surface of the target. True when in an altercation there are no points for making it look good… truth is altercations tend to be random and sloppy. If you can hit your intended target cleanly with maximum effectiveness the first time be it a little luck with you. So let’s say you want to strike to the nose, sounds simple enough… aim the fist with the first two knuckles directly to the nose area. The area of the nose that will maximize the effect is about two inches above the tip of the nose at the bridge. The bridge is an area where the softer flexible bone meets the harder bone. A strike to this area with enough force will break or fracture the bone resulting in a broken nose. Here a short list of areas of the head to target for you to keep in mind… The left or right temple of the head best struck with a hooking strike or a strike from an angle. The eyes… it best with a straight punch. I prefer an eye jab with the pointer and middle finger in a ridged fashion or gouging with the thumbs. The lower jaw, this is best with a hooking strike. The center of the ears, this is an excellent technique to stun your attacker. The chin: (under the chin and just to the lower side) with an upward strike such as an uppercut or hooking punch. This is not a complete list of strike zones. THE READY STANCE: A good solid foundation is necessary in a ready stance. There are several points one should adhere to when entering a ready stance or you may find yourself off balance and unable to launch an attack or protect from an attack effectively. The ready stance: The feet are a shoulder width apart with the knees slightly bent. The heels of your feet shouldn’t be lined up on the same line as you can see; both feet are on the opposite side of the centerline as shown as a cross between the feet. The rear heal is slightly raised (should have a springing feeling), Hands are up, rear hand just below the chin and the forward hand shoulder height. The chin tucked in. Hands either in fist position or open position.
Ready Stance forward view: Note how the vertical line (otherwise known as the center line) travels directly through the center of the body as well as the horizontal line. The feet are positioned a shoulder width apart on opposite sides of the centerline and an equal distance from forward foot to back foot. The stance shouldnâ€™t be to low or too high to where it is difficult to maneuver. The Eight Ways of the Circle: To better understand about correct foot positioning for the ready stance, angles and footwork in general through out this book we will be referring to the chart below called The Eight Ways of the Circle. It will be instrumental to learn this chart well as it will teach you how to move in attacks, evading and always knowing where you are in relation to your attacker.
View from above looking down.
Before we get into kicking and striking itâ€™s important to have that solid base. If your ready stance is not solid all else you do will be for naught. Once you feel you are comfortable with the ready stance then you can move on to footwork. The ready stance shouldnâ€™t feel forced or unnatural; contrary it should feel balanced and natural. Your weight should be evenly distributed between the left and right legs. It is important not to tense your muscles up and stay relaxed. If you tense up you will be working against yourself, the more you relax the easier the freedom of motion and the quicker you can be. Moving Forward:
From the ready stance (in this case left foot is in front) To move forward shuffle the front foot forward then the rear foot will follow. Note: Do not step through as if you were to take a step. This is a shuffle method, this is a safe way to move because your feet do not cross they take the quickest travel time and your feet are barely off the ground for long. Once you have shuffled forward you will realize that you are in the same ready stance position you started from. This process applies for most of the movements. The premise is to be as stable as possible whether you are moving forward, backward or to the side. When one moves forward or backward with the step through method, the feet cross in the center of the body and your balance can be compromised by a push, strike or a kick. With the shuffle method we eliminate this fault leaving you in a very stable position at all times.
15 Moving To the Side:
Going to the left 90 degrees: From the ready stance the left foot moves first, shuffling it directly 90 degrees to the left approximately two feet. The right foot follows to reestablish the ready stance. This is commonly used to evade an incoming strike putting you just outside striking range and giving you the advantage of counter striking.
In this example the attacker executed a strike with his right directed to the face. All in one motion shuffle to the left deflect the incoming strike and reestablish the ready stance. As you can see in this photograph once you shuffled out of the path of the strike, evading and defecting the blow you now have the opportunity to counter strike the attacker. The major advantage to going to the side it leaves the attacker open and vulnerable to attack from an angle exposing vital areas of his body. From this vantage you can counter to the head, side or legs.
Remember when reestablishing the ready stance when shuffling, you want to keep your stability by not lining your feet up. Meaning when you complete your shuffle your feet arenâ€™t on the same line. Look at the above chart always imagine the cross below you keeping your feet off the center of the cross otherwise known as the centerline.
Moving to the right: Same principle applies as moving to the left just going in the opposite direction. The only difference here is the back foot moves first then the left foot follows. The reason you want to do this is you want to move the closest foot in the direction you are going and never cross your feet together to leave you in an unstable position.
More on moving forward: To move forward, shuffle your left foot forward and the right foot follows to reestablish ready stance. This is used when closing in on your attacker or commonly when executing a strike such as a jab or any combination of hand strikes and kicks. You can also shuffle forward when blocking an attack meeting the strike before itâ€™s fully extended and Putting you in an excellent position to counterstrike or execute any other number of tactics. Just a note of caution, when moving forward commitment is of importance here. If you are hesitant in moving forward and in executing your tactic you may find yourself off time with the sequence of attack and fail. The importance of commitment and timing is stressed.
Retreating: When retreating you will shuffle the back foot first then the front will follow to reestablish the ready stance. Whichever direction you are to take whether it is forward, backward, to the sideâ€Ś etc. whichever foot is closer to the direction you are taking moves first.
The exception is when you are moving in the direction of an opposite angle such as moving forward to the right at a 45 degree angle from a left lead stance. The other is when retreating back at a 45-degree angle to the left. In both cases, you are basically switching the lead foot from left to right or vice versa. See below.
Retreat at 45-degree angle to the left rear. The X represents the original ready stance position. In this case the front foot will move first and shuffle back to the left at a 45-degree angle as the right foot assumes the position of lead as you reestablish the ready stance.
Moving at a 45-degree angle forward to the left. When evading an incoming right hand strike (in this case from a traditional left lead stance which is most common) you shuffle forward left at 45-degree angle to the outside of the attacker. This is highly effective in evading a strike allowing you to block and puts you in a position to counter strike with plenty of room to hit multiple targets with maximum power. If you want to create distance from your attacker you can retreat back going to the left at a 45-degree angle as the previous page illustrates.
Note: The movement should be fluid, meaning each step in the execution of the technique should fall in sequence and done smoothly. The sequence of movement is as followsâ€Ś Strike is launched; your left foot shuffles first, the right foot follows and blocks the strike with a parry with your right hand.
These are basic foot movements needed to execute techniques in this book and by no means is complete. However, these are the most common non-complicated needed. They are easily learned and are uncluttered compared to traditional martial art stances and footwork.
Blocking: One of the most important aspects of protecting oneself is to do just that… “Protect yourself”. I prefer the parry method, which is an open handed technique. The parry is a very effective blocking technique, direct, swift and economical in its motion. Not only is the parry used for defensive tactics but is just as important in your offensive strategy, using it as a bridge of transition to trap and strike. You can use the parry to keep an attackers jab in check, or to throw their timing off and to create openings in their defense. You execute the parry by making contact with an incoming strike. The position of contact on the attacker will vary depending on what strike is launched at you, when making contact with a strike one of the points of contact of your hand is the heel of your palm. The other points of contact are the metacarpal the lower portion of the fingers where the fingers join the palm of the hand and the edge of the hand. The Inside Parry
The inside parry can be performed by both left and right hands depending on which hand your attacker is striking with. If he strikes with a right, you parry with your left hand. If he strikes with a left, you parry with your right hand. Resume a ready stance. Perform the parry with a semi circular movement meeting the incoming strike.
In this example the attacker strikes with a right cross, and in defense is parried with a left parry with the heel of the palm. The parry is directed to the top of the forearm about two inches below the crease of the elbow. The parry in itself to this area of the forearm is a strike meant to stun the arm and is very painful to the attacker. Immediately after the parry launch a counter strike or a series of strikes.
The Outside Parry
Front view illustrates the correct form of the outside parry. After stepping to the side, the feet are a shoulder width a part-reestablishing stance with the rear hand up and readyâ€Ś
â€Ś to strike or block as the forward hand blocks the incoming strike. The point of contact is the edge of the hand to the attackers outside arm a few inches up from the wrist. As you can see in the example to the left, by stepping to the side (in this case left) at a 45degree angle forward and executing an outside parry puts you outside of the attackers striking range. In order for him to strike again he would have to realign himself and turn his body in your direction giving you plenty of time to counter strike. Notice how his right side and the front of his body are unprotected so it is ideal to perform this technique fluidly all in one motion. Shuffle, block & counter strike.
The High Parry The high parry is one of the most instinctual movements you can do when a person is threatened. Raise your hand to just about anyone in a quick motion and immediately they respond by raising their arm in this upward manner. So it is no wonder that the high parry is the most common block.
From adult to child the reaction is the same, whether the threat is with a weapon or an empty handed strike. This upward motion is very effective in deflecting incoming threats and helps create a wide opening of the front of the attacker. The correct form is illustrated in the photo to the right. To perform the high parry, start from the ready stance. As an incoming strike is directed to your face you will judge your timing and distance before you raise your arm to block. Block to early and the attacker may redirect his strike to another target area, block too late and you surly will get hit. There are several ways in executing the high parry in conjunction with what footwork is used. Do you retreat back when blocking or do you advance forward? Again, your distance and timing will determine this. If you feel the attacker is too close you will shuffle back as you block. Should you shuffle forward? I prefer to shuffle forward when executing the high parry for several reasons and situational factors.
Here the attacker launched a hook punch towards the left side of the head. I shuffled backwards to create some distance and performed a high parry block. In this way I am out of the attackers close quarter striking range but still close enough to counter strike with ease. When shuffling back you will reestablish the ready stance, still keeping the chin tucked in towards the chest and ready to strike or block with the opposite hand.
In this example I shuffled forward to meet the attackers in coming strike, again the hook punch to the left side of the head. You will notice there isnâ€™t very much distance between the attacker and myself; this is called closing the gap. Closing the gap is when the distance between you and your attacker has been shortened putting yourself in close range striking distance where short punches are executed and or grappling or manipulative techniques are performed. This would be considered an offensive measure although you clearly where performing a defensive technique. The act of moving forward along with the high parry exemplifies this action. 23
The Cross Parry The cross parry is typically used when you want to parry a straight punch, then close the gap and counter strike. Generally you are in tight fighting quarters when executing the cross parry. To close the gap, you would shuffle in at a 22degree angle (refer to the chart of angles) to the side forward and meet the incoming strike with the parry. Once deflected you simultaneously strike or transition to another technique such as a take down or a knee strike. Left Cross Parry performed with the right hand going to the left.
To perform the cross parry, start from the ready stance. When the straight punch is thrown you will shuffle forward to the side at a 22-degree angle and with your rear hand parry the incoming strike. The parry from your backhand will cross in front of you pushing the strike to the side. This is a good transitional parry when you want to get in tight and perform series of close quarter techniques. Again, you must watch your timing. If you are to slow you will miss your mark and get hit, if to soon you may get jammed up in a premature parry and will have to change your course of action. In the upcoming chapter we will discuss striking techniques in conjunction with the parry.
Right Cross Parry performed with the left hand going to the right.
In this example the attacker threw a right punch to the face. Using the cross parry with your left hand, shuffle forward to the side at a 22degree angle. You will make contact on the incoming strike on the outer forearm of the attacker deflecting it to the side. The point of contact when performing the parry is between the heel of your palm and metacarpal area of the hand. You will notice in this example the right hand was used to stun and confuse the attacker by striking him to the face area (preferably to the nose area). This will allow you to either continue your defense techniques or disengage and get away to get help. Striking Techniques Now that you have the basic defensive techniques, let’s add some of the common basic striking techniques. When in a street situation you want to keep it simple. If you try fancy stuff most chances are you’ll look real fancy and flashy as you hit the pavement after you got knocked out. I would rather have three basic but solid striking techniques in my arsenal then a bunch of complicated, flashy strikes. You want to mix the striking techniques along with the footwork and the parry techniques as well as the kicking techniques in the next chapter to form a basic but solid street worthy self protection set of tools that has literally kept me alive on some of the most dangerous streets in some of the most dangerous cities from the east coast to west coast. When striking I can’t stress enough to keep your body relaxed but ready. Don’t keep your arms tense or flexed. A lot people make this mistake and it actually works against you. It will put undue stress on the muscles and slow you down; I refer to it as being stiff-armed. The tighter you clinch your fist and arm the more it works against your muscles, and contrary to what most people think it will not make you hit harder. The more relaxed you are the faster and harder you will hit. It’s that simple.
The Jab The jab is a multipurpose technique and is invaluable as a tool in your offensive and defensive arsenal. Not only is the jab an effective striking technique it can be used as a sort of feeler, or as a transitional tactic when setting up a combination of strikes. Starting from the ready stance, you will use the lead hand (or the forward hand) to perform the jab. Target an area on your attackers face, shoot the lead hand out with a closed fist and strike the target in a single strike or multiple times in rapid succession. Typically the jab isn’t a knock out strike but is intended to keep the attacker at bay or to stun and upset his fight strategy.
Where does the power come from when executing a punch? It’s all in the hips. Contrary to what most believe that the power comes from muscle power in the arms but it’s just not true. Muscle has its pluses on strength but as I mentioned on earlier pages, use the muscles wrongly and it will work against you. When in the ready stance hold your hands up ready to throw a jab from the lead hand. Your hips should be in a square or even position. Now throw the jab out and hold it out as illustrated in the photo above. Your hips should have shifted from an even square position to an open position meaning, the left hip should have shifted forward and the right hip shifted back sort of twisting of the hips. I call it opening and closing the hips. The action of opening the hips when throwing the jab produces power that travels from the hip through the arm and transferred through the point of contact when striking. Just remember when striking with the hand that is forward such as a left hand left foot stance, the hips will open when executing a strike. When striking with the opposite right hand and left foot forward the hips will close. This strike is called a reverse punch or commonly known as a right cross.
The Reverse Punch
The reverse punch is a very powerful strike and is often referred to as the heavy hand. When you go from an even or open hip position to a closed hip position when executing a strike you generate a lot of torque to really penetrate into the target. Generally I always visualize going right through my intended target to maximize the effectiveness of the strike. To perform the reverse punch, start from the ready stance with a left foot and hand lead. Shoot the right hand out towards your intended target. This is an excellent choice of technique as a counter strike when you parry an incoming strike as illustrated to the right.
Notice the hips in the closed position.
The Hook Punch The hook punch is just what it sounds like a punch that takes a curved or hooking path before making contact with the target. It can be executed with either left or right hands but the same mechanics apply using the hips to produce power. The punch is designed to get around the attackers guard and when delivering it on the reverse is a devastating strike especially when directed to the temple of the head. A knock out is eminent from a strike or multiple strikes with the hooking punch. This strike can be directed to other targets on the face and body such as the side of the chin, a weak spot on most people. Can be directed to the side of the rib cage or to the lower area such as the kidneys.
Here is the side view of the hook punch executed from the reverse hand. Here just as a strike was launched from the right side from the attacker, he beats the attacker to the punch.
The Upper Cut The upper cut is designed to come up the center of your attackerâ€™s body and is a close range tactic. The intended target is just under the chin and is very effective in stunning or knocking the attacker out. The upper cut is a deceiving blow and is hard to block. Because you are in a close quarter position and the distance of travel is minimal it will slip in and up to its target quickly. Again from a reverse you generate a lot of power into the punch. The Back Fist The back fist delivered to the side of the temple is effective in stunning your attacker and possibly knocking him out.
To execute the back fist start in the ready stance, with the lead hand swing your arm out across to the right side of the attacker directly to the right side of the temple with the back of your fist on the knuckles as illustrated above. It can be delivered with either left or right hands, just remember it will be directed to the opposite sideâ€Ś strike with the left, it goes to the right and vice versa. 29
Inside and Outside Knife hand Strikes (Better known as a chopping strike or sword hand)
Both the inside and outside chopping strikes have been useful to me in many instances of street combat. A well placed strike will stun and could possibly knock your attacker out without leaving a trace of blunt trauma or letting of blood. Some areas that are ideal are the side of the neck where the jugular vein is, the temple on the side of the head, to the mid throat and on the side of the chin.
Using the outside chop strike to the Adams apple on the front of the neck will surely stun and distract your attacker giving you precious time to finish him off or get away. In the photo below the incoming strike was parried with the left hand, a kick to the lower shin and a chopping strike to the side of the neck. It is always best to use more than one technique because realistically it is rare to put someone down with that one hit, especially if they have drugs or alcohol in them. People who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol have a higher pain tolerance, even if your strikes are well placed with power behind them under normal circumstances would put even the seasoned fighter in a hurt does almost nothing to the person under the influence. Be diligent but not overzealous because although you are defending yourself you donâ€™t want to face a charge of murder. Injuries sustained may lead to a cause of death very soon after the incident. 30
Typically when under the influence the individual wonâ€™t immediately feel any pain from injuries sustained, quite often not realizing they may have a gash, open wound, broken hand, broken nose, contusions or serious head trauma like a concussion. Iâ€™m just saying do what you must to get out of a situation safely but know where to draw the line on brutality. What is the correct method and area on the hand to chop strike? You use the blade of the hand. That would be the very edge on the bottom of the side of the hand as shown in this illustration. Keep the fingers in a ridged semi cupping position with the thumb tucked inward. When striking with the chop strike use the thick fleshy part of the edge of the hand for the best results.
The Elbow Strike For close quarter fighting the elbow strike is an efficient tool to use when there is limited distance between you and your attacker. It allows for maximum power for the short distance at such a close range.
This striking technique literally saved my life. I was assaulted with a knife while working as Loss Prevention on a retail theft detail and was viciously cut on my right hand as I tried blocking my face. As the attacker swung again I was able to grab his attacking hand with both my hands at his wrist shoving his hand to his right keeping the knife away from me. As I did this it put my right elbow in the right position for an elbow strike to the attackers chin, I landed several blows before we went down to the ground where I continued pounding my elbow in his face until he fell unconscious. He went to jail and I got stitched up and went home a survivor.
Basic Self Defense Techniques: I generally donâ€™t subscribe to predetermined self defense techniques as it limits the thought process to how one will react to something that is so random and unpredictable. So rather, look at these techniques as non static demonstrations of probabilities. Instead of looking at these as something that you can do as a real sequence of techniques, try and look at it for the individual techniques used. In other words take the techniques and apply them when opportunity to apply them is present. In traditional martial art settings they adhere to orderliness and predetermined sequences calling it step sparring. This actually works against the reality that nothing is predetermined in an attack. Streetwise stresses the randomness of altercations and attacks. When practicing with a partner use no agreed upon predetermined line of attack that way you keep yourself open for any technique to use at the opportune time. Basically itâ€™s a free form sparring session you are achieving, just use caution as not to seriously hurt your partner. You want to use just enough force to get the technique right, experience the reality of executing and receiving the techniques as well. The technique sequences are of basic elements which are most common, use them in any sequence as you react to random attack. Top left image: In the ready position, while facing your attacker keep hands up and lead foot forward. Top right image: Shuffle in simultaneously blocking/trapping his right hand and striking with a sword hand to the throat. _________________________ Bottom left image: High parry incoming right hand strike and simultaneously strike to the eye with an eye jab. Bottom right image: Control the right striking arm downward simultaneously shuffle forward delivering a upward elbow strike to the chin. 32
Fig 1: When in a confrontation assume the ready stance, feet a shoulders length apart, heels evenly spread apart and hands up. Be ready for an incoming assault, when the attacker launches an attack shuffle forward as you block the incoming strike with a high parry. Fig. 2: Immediately (as in all one motion) counter strike with an eye jab with the ridges of the fingertips. Thrust the fingertips straight in the eye socket with maximum force. You can thrust it in several times for maximum result; this will temporarily blind your attacker possibly breaking blood vessels in the eye. It will allow you sufficient time to either escape or incapacitate your attacker with further defensive tactics.
Note: Is too much force appropriate? Thatâ€™s only for you to decide, I have found the more experience one gains in these type situationsâ€Ś the more you are in the know. Meaning if you do this or that technique, this is my result. And now I know, where as a lesser experienced individual may either over kill or restrain too little. 33
6- For alternate: complete 1 through 4 and escape your attacker. Perform #5 by
following through with a series of finishing techniques. 34
In this case steps #1 and #2 should be sufficient to stun your attacker enough for you to escape. The palm strike is executed with the heel of the palm thrusting outward in a 45 degree upward angle keeping the fingers tucked back. Note: I included techniques in some scenarios that I didnâ€™t illustrate in the breakdown of techniques. I do this for the more experienced reader that may grasp it more readily. However, these and many more mid level techniques will be illustrated in the second series of Streetwise Basics Volume Two.
1-Inside parry/block incoming strike.
2- Deliver a forward elbow strike to chin.
3- Deliver chopping strikes to side of neck. 4- Deliver knee strike into groin area.
#1 Side step the attack and block with outside parry block. #2- Grab tight hold of the arm.
#3 deliver a sidekick to the knee.
#4 keeping hold of the arm perform a wrist lock/arm bar.
#1 & #2 Bear hug from behindâ€Ś shift your hips to the side to the left, stomp on the foot with your the heel of your foot.
#3, 4 & 5â€Ś Stomp the foot as many times as it takes to loosen his grip. Deliver a hammer fist strike to the groin the kick to the attackers shin.
#1 & #2 Side step and outside parry, striking with heel palm strike. Trap arm and hook around back of the neck.
#3 pulling the attacker forward, deliver a knee strike To groin or solar plexus (chest). 40
#1 2 & 3â€Ś High parry/block, deliver back fist strike, grab shoulder deliver foot stomp.
#4 & 5â€Ś Stepping to the side (to the right) Elbow strike to solar plexus, hammer fist strike to the groin.
Basic Kicking Techniques With the legs having twice the reach of the arms they make a perfect striking tool maximizing distance and power. I have often stopped an oncoming attack by delivering a well placed front kick, stopping the attacker in his tracks giving me ample time to follow through with my counter techniques.
When kicking there are basic elements involved that I want you to understand, again it’s not just lift your leg and kick blindly. Whether it’s a front kick, side kick, round kick or back kick they all share common principles. A few rules to follow: Stance: your starting point is important, if your feet aren’t in the correct position from the get go the form of the kick will be improper and ineffective. Remember the chart 8ways of the circle and the ready stance earlier in the book… look at the position of the feet. Your heels should “not” be lined up but a shoulders width apart. Your knees should be slightly bent and lead foot forward. When executing for example the front kick from the rear leg, as you lift up the rear leg forward be sure it is going in a straight path. You will contract your stomach muscles to lift the leg which in turn you will slightly lean inward. Keep your hands up in a defensive position, in other words ... don’t drop your hands as so many novices do. You want to be able to protect yourself even as you deliver a kick. The point of contact: the point of contact on your foot is just as important as the point of contact on your target and will vary depending on the target selected. If you select or have opportunity, and I stress opportunity because what area you may target at first may change in seconds due to motion of the attacker therefore opening another target opportunity to kick. If you have opportunity to kick the groin, two possible striking surfaces on the foot would be the instep of the foot or the ball of the foot depending on the targeted area of the groin. If you aim for under the scrotum a highly sensitive area to pain, you would use the instep of your foot because that dictates you kicking to the attackers underneath trajectory. If aiming for the upper area of the groin you would commonly use the ball of the foot as it is a straighter path to the targeted area. Power: to achieve power in the kick as you lift the leg up you will breathe in contracting the stomach muscles and upon delivery exhale contracting the muscles further to produce a forward thrusting effect. This requires practice as there is a timing factor from start to finish in the breathing technique as well as the timing it takes to land the kick on the attacker. The Basic four types of kicks commonly used are as mentioned the front kick (from rear or front leg kicking outward in a forward direction), the side kick (just as it suggests delivered from the side to the target from left or right leg), the round kick (delivered in a semi circular path to the target from a ready position) and the back kick (delivered the opposite of the front, kicking to the rear behind you). The break down of the basic four kicking techniques: Each kick differs in execution of technique of which requires you to open and close the hips and working in tandem with the rotation of your left or right foot depending on which leg you are kicking with. It also requires the contraction of the stomach muscles along with breathing technique to pull it all together. So kicking is a series of actions that is made fluid to seem as if one action and done quickly and powerfully. Follow up from this book with Streetwise Basics Volume Two where kicking techniques will be detailed complete with photos and applications as well as intermediate self protection skills. 43
Emotionally Compromised There is an unfortunate truth about being emotionally compromised in a situation, something I had little understanding about until it happened to me. What exactly does it mean to be emotionally compromised? Basically it means you are not in control of your emotional state of mind do to a traumatic event or situation and therefore your thought process and motor skills become affected. Your decisions may be erratic or completely lacking. It can go either way, you could be in a sense paralyzed unable to think or do anything or act in a manner unlike yourself… could be both at the same time. What would cause one to be emotionally compromised? It could be a sudden state of shock or disbelief in certain situations, could be due to stress from work or at home. Most commonly can be caused by stresses from an intimate or long-term relationship that went bad, or a long pending stress that is suddenly confronted. So what can you do to prepare yourself not to be emotionally compromised? I learned the sooner you accept a situation, and come to terms with it the sooner the stresses of that situation will subside. Ever hear the phrase “don’t fight angry”; so true it is for many reasons on different levels. Let’s look at that… anger a feeling of extreme annoyance, to become or make somebody extremely annoyed by definition. There’s many other emotions one could attach to that like hate, distain, hurt, sorrow and distraught to name a few. I think you see where this is going… if you are faced with a confrontation whether it was planned or not and you have reaction or lack of reaction due to any number of above listed reasons or a host of all others… you are emotionally compromised and will need to immediately re-evaluate your situation. I would go as far as to suggest avoiding that situation if possible and if you can’t, clear your mind and focus on reaction to the situation (such as an on coming strike) and your counter techniques. How can you do that? For some it can be very difficult and for others it may be easy… either way you can prepare yourself by practice, a mental workout if you will. You can think of someone you dislike, now imagine you are confronted with that person. That person instills such discourse of feelings inside you… however, instead of letting those feelings overwhelm you; you control them. Imagine maintaining your stress level and keeping you focused on that person’s eye and body movement. Instead of imagining launching an attack refrain and focus on counter attack, block and strike until you find the right combination that ends that confrontation. Why refrain when the majority of Streetwise Basics are considered proactive? True, I believe in being proactive in approach but when in an emotionally charged situation and fighting angry or distressed puts you in the emotionally compromised category. I learned the hard way that refrain and control is the key to preparing yourself from being caught emotionally compromised. Some of you may grasp and understand totally and some will not, there’s something to be said about real experience… for that real experience is the true teacher. This is a difficult subject to convey, for everyone will react differently and not one situation will be the same. It’s a subject I recommend researching or reflect on if you’ve had experience in being emotionally compromised. 44
After word I can not stress enough on the randomness of altercations; it is so unlike anything one is taught in a traditional Martial Arts Studio. I always say that I mean no disrespect to all the Martial Arts Masters, teachers and practitioners alike. I would say anyone interested in the traditional artsâ€Ś go for it, itâ€™s a healthy approach to preserving a legacy of the art, getting in shape and learning tools you may use. There are so many benefits to be enjoyed within it, just want to be clear I am not discouraging against or discriminating. There is a brutal reality to Streetwise Karate (the term Karate for the link in basic technique and Streetwise because the techniques evolved as it was literally realized on the street in real altercations) so understand it as best you can, respect it or it can be unforgiving but most importantly be true to yourself and the path of self discovery. Wayne Gladysz
All Rights Reserved Streetwise Karate Copyright 1994 First Printing Reprint 2013
Streetwise is geared for urban self protection. A look into the physical attrubutes as well as the neglected mental attrubutes of dangerous...
Published on Mar 20, 2013
Streetwise is geared for urban self protection. A look into the physical attrubutes as well as the neglected mental attrubutes of dangerous...