Today's streets are teeming with violent occurrences. Gangs are roaming the streets looking for victims. People are being assaulted, robbed and murdered for little or nothing. Women are being beaten, mugged, raped and murdered. No matter how safe you try to be, there is no guarantee this won't happen to you!
The teachings of Jeet Kune Do are perfect for women's self defense purposes. Jeet Kune Do movements are simple, direct and non-classical. Simple, meaning easy to learn and execute. Direct, meaning no wasted motion. In other words, the attack goes straight from its initiation point to the target with no unnecessary or telegraphic movements. Non-classical, meaning that the art doesn't conform to rigid, classical movement patterns for the sake of preserving tradition. Jeet Kune Do is concerned with "what is," not "what was" or "what should be."
Practical, direct techniques are emphasized in Jeet Kune Do training. Some of the most effective weapons for women's self defense purposes are the finger jab, the palm heel, the elbow smash, the knee smash, the straight kick, hook kick, back kick and side kick. Other hand weapons sometimes used are the claw hand, hammer fist and palm slap. Occasionally the head butt is a necessary movement, especially the backward head butt.
Also, to facilitate escape, pinching the front of the thigh, forcefully grabbing and squeezing the testicles, grinding into the back of the hand with the knuckles and stamping the toes or instep can be used effectively. Although biting is not recommended these days (translates AIDS), you can bite if it is absolutely necessary to facilitate your escape. As you can see from this brief summary, Hardcore Jeet Kune Do makes maximum use of the natural weapons of your body!
In a self defense situation when your life is in danger, there is no time for striking impractical targets. The eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus, groin, knees, shins and instep are all good targets. Occasionally the kidneys and sciatic nerve are exposed to attack. Your primary targets are the eyes, throat, groin and shins. This is because striking these targets produces maximum pain with minimum effort.
Kicking is a good attack method for women. Most women have very strong legs. A straight kick or hook kick to the groin is immediately disabling if you are accurate. A side kick or back kick to the shin or knee can also be damaging to the attacker's leg. Severe leg damage makes it extremely hard for them to get to you and gives you much more time for escape!
Other good targets for kicks are the sciatic nerve, the back of the knee, the side of the knee and the instep. If you have the flexibility, the solar plexus is a good target, especially for a side kick or a back kick. Kicks to the head look good in movies but for the street you are much better off keeping your kicks below the waist. This way the kick is less likely to be blocked or evaded, and the attacker cannot grab your leg as you attempt to kick.
The fist is not normally considered a good weapon for women to use. Many women have long nails, and it is impossible to make a good, tight fist with long nails. If you intend to use your fist as a weapon, I would recommend keeping your nails trimmed short and concentrating on the nose, solar plexus and groin as your intended targets. Also, contact training is of the utmost importance to strengthen and condition your wrists and knuckles for impact. Focus gloves serve this purpose well.
There are many things that you need to be aware of in a self defense situation. First, you should try to put your power side (the side that you hit and kick the hardest with) to the front. This puts your most powerful striking weapons closer to the target where they stand a better chance of landing without obstruction. Use your longest weapon to strike the nearest vital target. With the legs, this would be a lead leg side kick to the knee of an approaching assailant. With the hands, this would be a lead finger jab to the eyes of the approaching assailant. This assures that you do maximum damage early in the attack, preferably before the attacker can even lay a hand on you. This show of aggression is psychologically damaging to the attacker because it is usually completely unexpected. Most attackers expect easy prey!
To develop effective self defense techniques, you must constantly "sharpen your tools." Prepare your body's weapons for use. Impact training is of the utmost importance here. You must know what it is like to hit or kick someone. For hand strikes, the focus glove is an excellent training aid. For kicks, the kicking shield is an excellent training aid. The focus glove is an excellent tool for developing speed and accuracy in your kicking techniques. Elbows and knees can be trained on both the focus gloves and the kicking shield. Work to develop speed, power and accuracy with both single strikes and combinations.
To achieve the full effectiveness from your training, all techniques must be ingrained into your neuromuscular reflex system. You must repeat the techniques over and over until they become a part of you. This way, when the time comes, you will react immediately and instinctively to the attacker.
Defensive tactics are also an important part of your training. You must learn to block or parry incoming attacks. The preferred method of defense in Hardcore Jeet Kune Do is lin sil die dar, or simultaneous defense and attack. Instead of blocking and then attacking, you cut out all wasted movement and block or parry and strike the opponent simultaneously. One hand defends as the other hand, or foot, attacks. This is a higher level of skill and requires much training to develop.
The ultimate self defense goal of the Hardcore Jeet Kune Do fighter is to intercept the opponent's attack. In fact, Jeet Kune Do means "way of the intercepting fist." Just as the attacker moves, you hit or kick them to "intercept" their movement. This is an even higher level of skill that takes much practice to develop and well developed attributes to execute.
When you train for self defense you must train for every possible scenario. Some examples would be sitting down, standing in a line, sitting in a car, exiting a car, out for a walk, out for a run, walking down the sidewalk, walking up stairs, walking down stairs, on an elevator, on grass, sitting on the ground, lying on the ground, or swimming in a pool. You can be attacked anywhere. Be prepared!
If you choose to apply this information to your daily life you will definitely be more prepared. Have you ever heard someone say, "Oh, that will never happen to me!" That is the best way to become a statistic. This type of mentality leaves women extremely open for attack. Once you realize that an attack can come from anywhere to anyone at anytime, you've taken the first step toward self-preservation!
The Hardcore Jeet Kune Do Chinese Gung Fu Association offers an excellent self defense program for women. For more information on our programs and exactly what is offered, or to schedule a training session, write, call or e-mail Sifu Lamar M. Davis II.