This article describes what I feel to be 7 of the best strikes to use in a Self Defence situation. This is determined by the versitility, effectiveness, and ease of use of the strike. Technically, they are not all strikes.



Although not really a strike, if used right, Screaming can be one of the most effective and versatile things you can use in a Self Defense situation. It can be used to

  • Deter attackers, even if no ones is around

  • Dazzle your opponent

  • Focus you energy, like the stereo-typical Martial Artist

Screaming is good to use anytime your being attacked. To scream properly scream from the gut, it will be louder, will resonate further and will conserve your throat.

Shouting specific words eg ‘Help, Im being abducted’ is better than just shouting ‘help’ as people are more likely to respond. Scream in his ear if close enough.


Palm Heel

The Palm Heel is one of the best power strikes to use in Self Defence. It has the ability to generate alot of power without causing injury to yourself (unlike the conventional fist which hold a high risk of personal injury ie broken knuckles)

To hold you hand in a Palm Heel

  • Hold your hand vertically with your wrist bent up as much as possible

  • Bend the top halves of your fingers to protect them from hard surfaces

  • Hold all fingers together, including your thumb

When striking

  • The palm of your heel makes contact, just above your wrist

  • Strike your arm straight out or on a slight upward angle

  • Your hand comes back on the same path

For the best chance of a fast knock out aim for his jaw. Other good places to aim for are his nose, solar plexus or the back of his neck.

As a variation, spreading your fingers straight will allow for follow up finger strikes and looks more like a slap which is useful for legal reasons.


Finger Strike

The Finger Strike is an excellent Self Defence strike. It has the greatest reach and speed in hand weaponry and very little force is needed for it to be effective.

Use the Finger Strike as an initial attack to demoralize you opponent and distract him before performing a follow up blow eg palm heel.

To perform the Finger Strike, align the tip of your hand by slightly bending the longer fingers to adjust to the shorter fingers and tuck your thumb in, resembling a spear.

From the Guarded Posture (otherwise known as the GP and can be found in the Handling Confronting Situations article), snap it at your target, usually the eyes. Like all straight attacks it comes straight in and comes back on the same path. Another good target for the Finger strike is the throat.


Drop Kick

A Drop Kick is an excellent strike to use either as a first strike or as a finishing blow in as part of a combination.  Drop Kicks are good because they allow you to keep distance and can have a devastating effect.

Drop Kicking is like kicking a football. Your shin comes straight up and into your target. You could also use the top of your foot or even  come in on a slight angle for other target areas, but be wary of losing balance. Using the top of your foot means you’re further away from your opponent but is more readily damaged than your shin.

The best places to aim are the groin, mid section or thigh if on an angle, or his head if he is bent over.



The Stomp is a versitile attack which can be used whether your opponent is on the ground or on his feet.

When your opponent is on his feet you can use it in a Cross Stomp style to his knees or shin. If you’re in close, like in the Standing Grappling Position or the Clinch, it’s perfect for his ankle or instep. If he is on the ground go for his ribs, back or solar plexus.

To perform the Stomp use the outer-side and the heel of your foot. Raise your leg and thrust it down and slightly forward onto your target.

To increase power in the Stomp, use the Weighted Body Force  theory by allowing your body weight to fall through the stomp to increase power.


Hammer Fist

The hammer fist is the best way to use a fist as it lowers the chance of damaging your knuckles. Although it can be used from all angles, it is most commonly employed for downward attacks in conjunction with Weighted Body Force.

With your hand in the common fist position, strike your target with the bottom of your hand (the  side opposing the thumb). It can be a short quick strike, or the arm can be cocked for more power.

It is best used against the nose, top of the spine, top of the head, temple or on the forearm mound.



Biting someone is not recommended unless there is no other way. If you do Bite someone spit out any blood and rinse your mouth thoroughly with water ASAP. If in doubt you should get tested for any blood related transmitted diseases.

When you are Biting someone, Bite hard and shake your head around, like a shark tearing out a bit of a fish. ‘Nipping’ a small area between your teeth will greatly increase pain. Aim for fleshy body parts.

If you’re the one being bit, attack the pressure points around his jaw and eye gouge him until he releases.

Jeevan is the owner and course creater of First Action.

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