Archive for tactics

Sexual Assault Prevention | Straw Dogs [2011]

Posted in Discussion Question, Safety, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Videos, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by Combative Corner

Every so often a film comes around, like this remake of Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 film Straw Dogs, where the viewer witnesses a scene (of which the above clip is just a short sample of) that not only creates a great deal of uneasiness, but of shock and fear.

The Combative Corner would like to thank, Rener Gracie for responding promptly to our request for feedback.  As many of you know, Rener  just recently produced the dvd training series, Women Empowered.  T.J. Kennedy is a self-defense instructor, contributing writer and founder/head instructor of Hybrid Fighting Method Global.  Michael Joyce is also a self-defense instructor, founder/head writer for the Combative Corner and head instructor of the Outfoxxed Program (specializing in Women’s Safety).


1. Close the door, lock it, and call the police.
2. If he gets in, get out of the house and get help.
3. If he pins you and you can’t get away, feign compliance and then use the Triangle Choke (Lesson 10, Giant Killer Variation) to render him unconscious with your legs when the opportunity arises.

Overall, remaining calm, feigning compliance, saving energy and looking for the best window of escape will catch him off guard and give the best chance of success.

Most Common Mistake: Trying to use violent strikes to incapacitate him which will only burn energy and make him angrier. (click here)


In my opinion, Kate’s character could have had a chance. I have never been in this particular type of situation, but I can say with confidence that she likely had a lot of fear to work through – which makes any physical task difficult.

The only real chance I see for her here is to cause some heavy trauma to high value targets (eg. knee to groin), maybe even using objects around her as improvised weapons (eg. the glass dish on the coffee table to his face). She may have been able to flee to another room (adjacent kitchen) to get more “fatal” implements such as a knife or scissors.

And then running, and if there was a functional vehicle outside to leave ASAP to either her husband or the authorities.


The situation presented above is a frightening one and similar to what many women envision.  When I ask my students to imagine this and play the scenario out in their head you can see a lot of things change: their posture, the way they breath, etc.

The first step is to prepare.  Women should seek a self-defense class that teaches realistic and practical means of avoidance, escape and defense… and moreso, they need to continue to hone these skills.  Secondly, beyond the knowledge & skillset that you may acquire in a class, men and women both should mentally prepare.  Do run-throughs of various scenarios whereby you enact your gameplan smoothly and successfully.  Don’t superimpose yourself in the role that Kate is playing, superimpose yourself in the actions that Kate should have been making.

But let’s say she didn’t do any of the above.  When her assailant braces the door with his foot, it is imperative that she braces with her foot as well (barefoot or not).  If there is a wall, pillar or something heavy that she can post against (to leverage her strength), you should always use it.  If the scenario then plays out that he tries to batter the door down with force, a well-timed opening of the door will have your opponent either off-balance or falling through the doorway, (possibly) leaving you a chance for escape.  I concur with T.J. about the knee to the groin (when he’s in close range), but she would either need to follow-up fast with an improvised weapon, run to a safe location (seek authorities), or finish the fight.  Still risky, especially as terrified and under-confident as she is in the film.

There are no guarantees, but the woman (or training student) must use her own judgement, be decisive and use 100% determination.  Rener is correct in saying that in situations of this nature, when you are going up against bigger, stronger opponents feigning compliance may open a larger window of opportunity than if you struggle and deplete your energy stores.  A well-executed triangle choke with the legs is a fair-good bet.  [future article on this later]  You should be confident in your technique however, which always boils down to training!  Keep training, and stay safe everyone!


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The Truth On Stun & Run Tactics For Self-Defense

Posted in Discussion Question, Martial Arts, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by chencenter

My concern, especially since I deal (primarily) with women’s self-protection, is the level of safety revolving around the “attack response.”  I teach that, when a confrontation is deemed a threat to your safety, pre-emptive striking (that is, striking before they do) is best.  Remember, the situation dictates the response.  Male or female, fear will be present.  Our bodies will automatically transition to a heightened state of alertness.  If a threat exists, and verbal communication/de-esculation fails – or is non-applicable to the situation, you must ACT!  If it’s a true threat to your Life, I pray that you do!

A question that raises some eyebrows, even with highly-experienced teachers is, “Hit and Run or Hit, Follow-Up (and/or Finish Him) and then, Run?”  This article was inspired after reading from Geoff Thompson’s book, The Art of Fighting Without Fighting.  He writes:

If you are forced into an attack situation – this should be an absolute last resort – make it a telling blow to a vulnerable area.  Explode into the opponent with every fibre of your being, then run!!  Many defence gurus advocate a second strike, a finisher.  If there is a choice in the matter, don’t do it.  The few seconds you buy with your first strike could easily be lost if you linger for even a second.

On this one point, Geoff and I differ slightly.  Although this is a “safe” answer, the situation must be defined.  Is this a strong male with any martial art background, or is he talking specifically about a female, possibly with no experience at all?  Does he/she have a route of escape or is he/she “boxed in?”

Just to make it clear  – I teach both aspects: Stun & Run, AND Stun, Finish & Run.  I believe that many (not all), but many of my female students could, if they properly employed the 3 Ts (Tools, Target Area & Tactics), ensure their chance of escape – They do this by exploiting the “aftershock”/time lag  (The time between when the assailant gets “clocked” and the time it takes him to respond from the blow) following a quick, stunning shot.

As long as students (male & female) are taught to think & train realistically on “how they are to react” it prepares and offers greater flexibility when encountering a real-life violent encounter.  Hit & Runs surely open up a window of opportunity, but has it been truly put to the test when a male attacker has the environmental variables (ex. no bystanders to intervene) to chase their victim down?  Does a follow-up shot put the attacker at a greater disadvantage or does it do the opposite – which is, more time/distance to grab, restrain and continue with his initial plans?

The lines are open! Let everyone know your opinion.

Even better than your vote, is a detailed comment.  Help your fellow students, and instructors by enlightening us on your thoughts on this very important topic.

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