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We're all preparing for the unexpected, and I believe it's highly unlikely that when a SHTF scenario actually goes down I'll be ready and waiting. I like to think I will be, but life sometimes gets in the way. Perhaps you're travelling. At work. At school. There are a thousand places you might be, and without a means to protect yourself, you're a target.

Today, I want to cover the techniques behind unarmed combat.

Imagine this. You were running errands on the other side of the city and had to drop by the hospital to visit a friend. Obviously, you weren't allowed to carry inside, so you left your firearm at home. But as this happened, a riot's broken out, and there's an angry mob between you and your safe house.

When you're stuck in a situation like this, knowing some basic self defense techniques may just save your life. You can also use it if you're confronted, or surprised by an attacker, using yourself and the objects around you to keep yourself safe. Here's how.

Understand the situation

Take a breath, and asses what's actually happening around you. Perhaps there's an imminent threat as the criminal waving the knife in your face needs an immediate response. Or maybe you've got time to plan, as you're defending yourself against a group of hostile intruders. The key is to immediately consider what weaknesses your opponent has, what objects you can use to defend yourself with, and how you're planning to escape.

Self defense fundamentals

When it comes to self defense, you can choose flight or fight. Run, or stand up for yourself. The right choice depends on the situation, but I'd recommend leaning towards flight. Backing down or giving in may feel bad, but it's the less risky of the two choices. Of course, if you've got no other choice then it's time to stand your ground and put up the best fight you can.

When you're fighting back the trick is to do as much damage as possible, while minimizing any chances you hurt yourself. You're going to want to keep your hands up to protect your face, and your elbows tucked in to protect the vital organs in your body. It doesn't hurt to have a little training either, so sign up for a local boxing class and hone your technique.

With each strike, you want to aim for the most delicate parts of your opponents body, using the toughest parts of your own. Be as aggressive as possible, because your opponent will not have any sympathy for you. Go in hard and fast, do as much damage as possible, and once they've been neutralized, it's time to escape the situation.

My advice is to use your fists, elbows, knees, heel and your forehead to attack. You want to focus on areas like your opponents eyes, groin, jaw, nose, neck/throat, kidneys, groin and temples. Depending on the position of your attacker a sideward's strike at the knees can do a significant amount of damage.

Facing an unarmed attacker

Going toe-to-toe with an attacker who doesn't have a weapon will depend on a few things. How strong you are, along with your stamina. Technique will come into it, along with your aggressiveness and always a bit of luck. Your goal is a knockout, so don't start swinging wildly. Use quick, targeted movements, that aim for the weak points in your attacker. Just remember that you've got to defend too. Once you're injured, the chances of you actually winning the fight fall dramatically.

Facing an attacker armed with a knife

When you're facing an attacker who is armed with a knife, it's a very risky situation. Focus on the weapon and be wary of getting too close. Your goal is to let your attacker slash the air, waiting for an opportunity to duck in quickly and immobilize the arm with the knife, and start hitting them with all you've got. But never let go of the knife hand. Keep punching until you feel their strength weaken, then twist their arm with as much force as you have. You want to break bones or do enough damage they drop the knife, so be as brutal as you can.

Facing an attacker armed with a firearm

I'm not going to lie, this is a very difficult situation. The range and deadliness of a gun make it very risky to attempt, but I understand you may not have a choice. My advice is to gradually close the distance between yourself and the attacker, waiting for a moment of distraction before grabbing the gun by the barrel and forcing it away from you. Forget the fancy moves in the movies, just push the barrel away from you and start punching with your free hand as hard and as powerfully as you can.

Improvising a weapon

Once you know what to look for, you quickly realize there are weapons all around you. Just take a quick glance and see what's nearby.

In an alley maybe you've got the lid of a trash can or a broken brick that can give you an edge in the fight. Anything with a bit of reach can be used to stab at your opponent, like a broom or a long umbrella, even a chair can be picked up and used to keep your attacker at bay. Heck, you could even use a stiletto as a stabbing object.

Of course, we've got a couple of items that would be perfect in this situation, the Strike Light is a combination flashlight and extendable baton, allowing you to effectively fight back without even needing to improvise a weapon.

It's unfortunate but you never really know when you're going to find yourself in trouble. But being unarmed doesn't mean you're going to lose. When you find yourself in a threatening situation the trick is to be prepared, and remember your training. Defend and attack, adapt your fighting style to the weapon your attacker holds, and don't forget to use whatever you can find to fight back.


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