Which Does The Most Damage To A Person Presenting A Threat To You?

  1. A headbutt to the nose

  2. An elbow-swipe to the head

  3. A kick to the kneecap?

Noet that I left out fists, or wrestling moves. Just which of the choices offered will do the most damage and lay out your adversary the quickest.

In anti-rape classes, they advise to smack upward on the assailant’s nose with the heel of your hand. The nose allegedly hurts like hell AND his eyes water, reducing his vision.

Headbutt to the nose is specific enough to predict what the damage would be.

An elbow to the side of the head could be painful to you and the other guy, but not do any serious damage. Or worse, fracture your elbow and piss him off even more.

The kick to the knee could be extremely effective and disabling, if you are skilled at kicking. Otherwise it might have no serious physical effect on him, and leave you off balance.

Running could cause a lot of damage, to you, but it takes a little time for the guy to catch up with you. At best he might injure his hand while beating you.

The ‘just take it’ method could also cause a lot of damage to you fast if the guy’s already attacking. But he might wait for you to do something if he’s just threatening. Then it wouldn’t be fast.

If you actually connect your head to his nose, it’s going to hurt him. It will blur his vision. He will probably be off balance. You might even knock him down. If you hit him hard enough to break his nose, the effect will be multiplied. He will probably react by grabbing his nose giving you a free shot anywhere south. He may bend forward and you can drive a knee into his face hurting more. He may lean back giving you an easy opportunity to knock him off his feet. He may turn away, which is a good time to run if you don’t know how to disable him at that point.

I’ve heard it said no one wins in a headbutt.

Depends how you do it. You want a hard part of your head hitting a soft part of their body. You don’t want skull to skull contact.

Regarding the OP, you left out a critical one: eyes. If I’m fighting for my life, I’m going to try and pop one or both of them as quickly as possible, either Roy Tyrell or Three Stooges style.

If you can land a punch in the throat it is almost uniformly disabling.

For sure - in the occasional instances where I feel a bit anxious, my hand goes into my pocket where my keys are, and I make a fist with 1.5" of high-security key protruding perpendicularly from between my index and middle fingers, ready to go straight for an eye if things get hairy.

I know it may seem weird, but I got randomly jumped once and didn’t have any time to react - within a few seconds I was in need of some stitches, before I’d even got as far as “What’s your problem?” I’ve given it some thought and concluded that if it comes to it again, I am okay with someone who commits random assaults losing an eye so that I might avoid any needless injury, even if that seems a bit out of proportion.

It’s also very hard to get right. I don’t think anti-rape classes should advising techniques which are not easy to do - the most likely result from that is that you’ll flail in the guy’s face and he’ll get angrier.

I think the focus should be on escape techniques.

And that’s really hard to do. Just not really gonna happen.

I’m not speaking from an expert point of view - but from the pint of view of someone who has been attacked and decided to try that. It was just impossible. People twist their heads, and at the same time they’re doing other stuff - I just could not do it. I tried. I made eye contact for a second or so before they twisted their head, and it had no noticeable effect. You’d have to be really good to pull that off reliably - you might get lucky, but it’s not something to advise people to do.

Wow, surprised that position took “some thought.” I’m OK with someone who commits random assaults losing their life.

To the OP–get a gun.

This. If you’re close enough to headbutt or elbow someone’s head, you’re close enough to land a fist or a flat-hand strike to the throat. It takes as little as only a few pounds of pressure to crush someone’s windpipe. Much more effective and almost impossible to fuck up, provided you land it. Will drop anyone like a brick in a heartbeat.

The class I took started with awareness, avoidance, escape, raise an alarm - and then fight like hell if you have to. Among other things, we learned heel of the hand to the nose and snap-kick (if you’re in close anyway) to the knee. No groin strikes; guys nearly automatically block those.

Headbutt, you probably get their blood over your head and if they have any blood borne diseases, that gets unpleasant for you. But for the untrained person, it is the #1 option.

I used to break boards throwing my elbow like a roundhouse punch - basically a swipe across the target - back when I did Karate. It would be my personal #2 (or #3) option (intending to break the jaw) after a straight up palm heel strike to the chin or bridge of the nose with my full weight/momentum behind the strike, or possibly (if I felt solidly threatened enough) a hard jab to the adam’s apple (which is potentially lethal).

But seriously, you just want to lay them out and get away? A good hard kick in the nuts.

“I am non-violent. It must have been because I brought it on myself. I’ll just take it.”??
What the hell does this choice have to do with the question you asked?

  1. You didn’t ask which choice we would make-you asked which would do the most damage.
  2. It is possible to be non-violent without taking the blame for everything that happens to you, y’know.

I didn’t vote, because I really don’t know the answer to this question. However, if I was attacked and somehow unable to use my fists, my most likely line of defense would be kicking anything I could reach.

I’m pretty darn short, so unless it’s another short girl attacking me, I’m not going to be able to reach the nose for a headbutt, and the elbow thing sounds awkward (presumably my hands are tied behind my back, so the height thing is again a problem). So, kicking like hell it is. And then run away when possible.

Headbutt to the nose is very effective, when landed properly. You can practically burst someone’s face. I’ve never seen that much blood so quickly.

On the other hand, if you miss and headbutt someone in the mouth, you’ll break a bunch of their teeth, but you’ll get your head cut up pretty good.

I saw both of those things happen in the same fight, between multiple parties. None of them me, thankfully.

To Czar:

Yeah, I kinda goofed that up and engaged fingers before mind, didn’t I? :frowning:

Sorry, friend. I’m not really good at polls. I just realized in writing, that I was asking questions which might better appear “poll-style” and went there instead.

Guess that’s another area I need to avoid, huh?:slight_smile:

Dope’s getting smaller and smaller, but I still love y’all!


Asking which self defense technique is best is sort of like asking which golf club is the best, or which move is the best move in chess. There’s no single “best” club or “best” chess move - there might be a club that’s more versatile or a move that’s a good risk in a certain position, but there’s no single club that will serve you in any terrain and at any distance, and no single move that will prevail no matter the position. To defend yourself you need a toolbox that has enough tools in it to allow you to react to whatever situation you’re in, but not so many that you can’t choose the one you need very, very quickly. You also need to know how to panic and react at the same time, and how to run as soon as possible.

As to groin strikes and eye strikes or eye gouge, I can definitely see the logic that they are heavily covered, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they’re useless. There’s a reason why those moves are illegal in fight sports; you can strengthen your core to take a body blow and strenghten your neck to take one to the chin, but nobody’s figured out a way to toughen up your eyes or testicles yet. I have seen very good heavyweight fighters dropped by (and have myself been in the emergency room for) accidental full contact strikes to the groin. In a clinch it’s very hard to stay cognizant of everything - even a blocked knee to the groin or abdomen will get an opponent’s attention to block downstairs, which opens up the neck and head. I wouldn’t count on them (or anything) as a sure-fire fight ender, but I wouldn’t advise against them by any stretch, either.

If I had only thirty minutes to teach a single unarmed self defense technique…I may rethink this, but my first instinct is an open hand slap to the ear. It’s quick, it disrupts inner ear function and is painful and disorienting, it can rupture an eardrum, the basics are easy to teach, and it’s fairly forgiving of panicked or sloppy technique. Paul Vunak demonstrates the basics here.

A kick to the knee can disable a person but it’s relatively hard to do and if you miss, it’s completely worthless. You’ll probably end up completely vulnerable to your attacker.

An elbow to the head is probably the least disabling of the three actions described but it’s the easiest to do.

Breaking somebody’s nose is a good move. But I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using your head to do it. A fist or elbow striking into the side of the nose is easier to do.

Superhal’s right though - go for the eyes. You claw a person in the eyes and they’re disabled. Even if you miss people have an instinct to protect their eyes so they’ll probably back off from the attack.

Kicking somebody in the nuts can work but, like the knee, it’s a hard move to make. Same with going for the solar plexus or the throat.

Most of your other areas are just targets of opportunity - shins, floating ribs, kidneys, wrists, ears. You can hurt a person here but there are better targets.

Did somebody get stuffed in a locker again?