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5 Defensive Martial Arts Techniques Every Person Should Know

There are many good people in this world who love to live peacefully with one another. There are also many bad people out there who thrive in violence, and will attack you for no apparent reason. Because of this, you should always be ready to protect yourself and your family at any given time. Here are five defensive martial arts techniques that you can use to protect yourself from an attacker:

Joint Locks

Joint locks are one of the best defensive martial arts techniques you can use to force your opponent into a non-threatening and submissive position. They involve manipulating the knees, wrists, elbows and other joints beyond their normal range to dislocate or break the bones, tear the tendons and ligaments or injure the muscles.
There are 5 main types of joint locks – leg, arm, wrist, spinal and small joint manipulation. Leg locks, like ankle lock, knee bar or heel hook, are intended to disable the ankle, knee or hip. Arm locks such as elbow lock, key lock, shoulder lock, and arm bar, aims at hyper-extending or hyper-rotating an opponent’s elbow, shoulder or arm.
In addition, wrist locks are intended to rotate, hyperextend or hyperflex your attacker’s wrist, while small joint manipulation, twists the fingers and toes. Finally, spinal locks such as neck crank, twister, can opener and spine crack, cause excruciating pain to the opponent by breaking or dislocating the neck and spine.


Also referred to as strangleholds or chokeholds, chokes are grappling holds which are applied to the neck of the opponent to cause unconsciousness. You’ve probably seen this technique being used in classic films, where a villain wraps his or her powerful hands around the neck of the victim and squeezes life out of him. In reality however, this technique require less physical force and instead uses leverage or the opponent’s clothes to cut blood supply to the brain, or make breathing difficult or both.
The two main types of chokes are air and blood chokes. Air chokes are used to compress and squeeze the upper airway passages, resulting in pain, gagging and suffocation. On the other hand, blood chokes aims at pinching the jugular veins and carotid arteries. This act cuts off blood circulation and supply to the opponent’s brain, and renders him or her unconscious.


Strikes involve using different parts of the body to cause injury or pain to your opponent. Legs, arms, the head, butt, shoulder or hips can be used when striking the opponent depending on which martial art you’re practicing.
Leg strikes for instance, involve striking with the knees or foot. Arm striking, on the other hand, involve using your wrists, elbows, fingers or fist to strike your attacker in various ways. For instance, you can rip the flesh and vital body points of the other person by holding your hand in a claw-like grasp.
Examples of closed hand strike techniques you can use include hammer fists and punches. Open hand strike techniques include knife hand, palm strike, spear hand and cupped hand.


These are strikes involving the feet, legs, knees and toes with the aim of blocking or deflecting the attacker’s advances. There are two types of kicks you can do – simple and advanced. Simple kicks such as the side, front, round house or back kick can be performed in any of these ways. You can either lock your knees to deliver a straight leg and focused kick, or deliver the kick through the hips and knee.
Advanced kicks include calf, ax, butterfly, flying, jumping, crescent and hook. You can either use them individually or in different combinations to deliver the best defense for yourself. However, for advanced kicks to be successful, your balance, flair and speed must be exceptional.

Takedowns and Throws

In the past, these two techniques have been associated with wresting. However, as martial arts continue to spread throughout the world, people are increasingly embracing them for self defense too.
Throws involve off-balancing your opponent and throwing him or her to the ground, while you remain on your feet. Some common throws practiced in martial arts are shoulder throws, sacrifice throws and leg throws (such as trips and reaps).
Takedowns also involve off-balancing your opponent and throwing him or her to the ground. However, unlike in throws where you remain on your feet throughout the whole process, in takedowns, your aim is to be in a position of power when you and your opponent both land on the ground.
Take time to learn these defensive martial arts techniques for the sake of your safety and that of your family.

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