Women's Self-Defense

The trained attacker will react only to a blow that without padding would do sufficient damage...
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Vulnerable Points of the Body

As well as those target areas on the face mentioned earlier, there are other places that cannot be protected by any amount of conditioning, in particular the throat, kidneys and testicles.

The throat can be attacked with striking techniques which cause a reflex gagging action as the person struck gasps for air. The knife hand, straight-finger jab and extended knuckle strike are best for attacking this area, as the windpipe is protected on either side by the sternomastoid muscles of the neck. The throat is often an awkward target since experienced fighters keep their chin tucked low, which tends to protect this area very effectively.

The kidneys are located in the back just below the ribs and when struck cause a particularly sickening pain akin to that caused by a blow to the testicles. Obviously the attacker must have his back turned, or at least be sideways-on, in order for a strike there to be feasible, but this position can easily be achieved once any sort of punching attack is made. When an attacker is on the ground, perhaps after being thrown, he will frequently attempt to protect the front of his body by curling up in a ball, but in so doing he exposes his kidneys to serious injury from stamping kicks, the knee-drop or punches.

The testicles are probably the weakest point on any man and are susceptible to striking, kicking and squeezing attacks. They are generally indicated as the best target for a woman threatened by rape. Low kicks or knee strikes are effective when standing, as indeed is the low punch. When fighting on the ground it can be difficult to generate sufficient force for an effective strike, but grabbing and squeezing is a distinct possibility. All of these areas above are very sensitive to pain and a hard blow should incapacitate or badly injure most assailants.

Ju-jitsu techniques can also be directed against the joints of the body, the fingers, wrists, elbows, ankles, knees and neck. All joints are designed to move through certain ranges of movement which vary from individual to individual. Ju-jitsu kansetsu-waza employs the principle of forcing the joint through a range of movement for which it was not designed. This puts severe strain on muscles and especially on ligaments, which frequently tear when a joint is moved beyond the extremity of its normal range and so becomes dislocated. Many of the body's joint structures are interdependent and pressure applied on one can be transmitted through to another. The interrelation between elbow and shoulder is the most obvious case; frequently a technique designed to lock the elbow, such as ude-garami or waki-gatame will lock the shoulder also. This is often a result of the person being locked twisting to alleviate the pressure of the initial attack and so 'spreading the load' or simply a result of limited mobility. The neck tends not to be thought of as such but it is indeed a vitally important joint. Despite being protected by strong muscle groups (at least in some cases) the neck is still extremely vulnerable to a variety of methods of attack. Neck locks, strangles and chokes can all be applied with sufficient force to kill. Striking techniques, however, would generally need to be extremely powerful in order to be lethal. Any attack to the neck, particularly locking techniques, can have a paralyzing effect because of the neck's connection to the spine and central nervous system. Strangles and chokes can be most usefully employed as they can be used to render an assailant unconscious before releasing him, so removing the

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