Women's Self-Defense

The trained attacker will react only to a blow that without padding would do sufficient damage...
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Violence against women has only recently been addressed in national policy and legislation. Responses by most societal institutions to women ......

Vulnerable Points of the Body

Blows to the nose are excruciatingly painful, invariably causing bleeding, impeding breathing and making the eyes water, so causing vision difficulties. The nose is particularly vulnerable to open-handed blows striking in an upward direction. If the nose is broken, permanent disfigurement can result and breathing becomes impaired.

The mouth is similarly vulnerable and the lips are prone to splitting and bleeding if a punch lands on a mouth unprotected by a gum-shield. The gum-shield prevents the teeth from being knocked out and also from splitting the insides of the mouth. A punch in the mouth can also lead to injury to the hand if the fist comes into contact with the teeth.

Punching an attacker in the forehead or the back of the skull is likely to do as much damage to your own hand as to your assailant's head, perhaps even more.

The head (as opposed to the face) is a particularly dangerous place to punch anyone and indeed one of the main reasons that boxers wear gloves is to protect their hands. The outlawed bare-knuckle style of fighting frequently saw hand injuries, caused by hard heads, deciding the outcome. Incidentally, it is highly unlikely that the old-time prize-fighters could punch as hard or were as fit as modern-day boxers. Improved training methods and hand protection in the form of bandages and gloves allow fighters to generate more power and punch harder than ever before.

 

Obviously, when defending yourself against an attacker, there is never sufficient time to bandage up your hands and put gloves on, so it is imperative that ju-jitsu practitioners train to make a 'proper fist' in order to be able to hit effectively and not damage their hands in the process. The formation of a correct fist has always been a hallmark of Japanese karate systems and students have always trained, with some frequency, on the makiwara (a wooden post covered in straw) to forge their weapons.

Those martial artists who, for whatever reasons, prefer not to perform hand-conditioning drills (which have been much criticized) are advised to develop striking techniques targeted on the soft areas of an assailant's body. The solar plexus is just such an area, being a large nerve group located just below the point of the sternum or breastbone. It was made famous as a target area in the west long before the popularization of ju-jitsu, when Bob Fitzsimmons became the Heavyweight Champion of the World by knocking out Gentleman Jim Corbett with a punch to the solar plexus. In the untrained person it remains a very vulnerable area, but combat sportsmen such as boxers, kick-boxers and full-contact taekwondo fighters perform lots of abdominal conditioning to build up and tone the muscle necessary to protect

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