Women's Self-Defense

The trained attacker will react only to a blow that without padding would do sufficient damage...
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In feudal times in Japan, there were various military arts and exercises which the samurai classes were trained and fitted for their special form of warfare. Amongst these was the art of jujutsu.....

Vulnerable Points of the Body

The head is, of course, the command centre of the body, housing the brain and most of the major sense organs, including the eyes, nose, ears and mouth, all of which are sensitive to pain and easily damaged. Blows to the head can easily render a person unconscious and if excessively powerful can cause brain damage or even kill. Deaths in combat rarely occur from being struck with a single blow and tend to result from the cumulative effects of severe beatings, often coupled with extreme exhaustion, as in the case of professional boxers. The effectiveness of knock-out punches results from the impact of the fist causing the brain to move inside the skull. This causes the individual to black out. The point or side of the jaw are the areas most boxers aim to hit since impacts here facilitate the shaking movement of the head that leads to the knock-out effect. Knock-outs occur occasionally in other sports, such as semi-contact karate when the odd accidental or uncontrolled blow lands again usually to the jaw. Basically, every case of a knockout blow causes concussion and minor brain damage, so experimenting by knocking out partners in training cannot be recommended.

The implications of the effectiveness of the punch to the jaw for ju-jitsu students concerned to develop their ability to protect themselves are obvious. In addition to being a very quick and effective method for incapacitating an attacker, it is also a target that is relatively easy to hit and one that is safe, from the point of view of applying ju-jitsu for self-defense. Moreover, it is safe in terms of the amount of damage that such a blow will inflict on an assailant; whilst a knock-out punch to the jaw does no one any good, an equally hard blow delivered to the temple or windpipe, for instance, could quite easily kill the person.


A blow to the eye or eyes by someone trained to hit can cause severe tearing of the skin as well as permanent eye damage, perhaps even partial or total blindness. The potential seriousness of attacking the eyes should not be underestimated; a complete loss of vision can result from eye damage incurred whilst fighting. Many boxers are forced to retire because the retina has become detached caused by taking one punch too many and many fights are stopped because of cuts on or near the eye since such cuts may constitute a great hazard to a fighter's health. Punching someone in the eye, especially without gloves, is an extremely vicious and dangerous form of attack, only for use in dire emergencies. The knock-out blow to the jaw must be preferred every time. Strikes to the eyes are designed for life-and-death struggles, where neither the well-being of the assailant, nor the legal consequences of any damage inflicted were of any concern to the person being attacked.


The eyes remain a very vulnerable target and can be effectively attacked in order to distract an assailant and apply a throw or a locking technique. However, it would be difficult to justify inflicting serious injury unless an attacker was armed. As the punishment should fit the crime, so the degree of force used should correspond to the seriousness of the threat an assailant offers. In the case of women, children or old people seriously threatened by an adult male attacker, aiming for the eyes may be the best chance for survival.

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