Effectively Using Elbows As A Weapon

Almost everyone has had some irritating person come up behind him or her and grab in a bear hug. This person may be a friend, some drunken fool at a bar or an assailant. Regardless of who it is, the main urge is to get the grabber off of you as quickly as possible. One of the easiest and most effective ways of doing this is to use your elbows.

The elbow is a strong, hard joint that makes for a fantastic weapon in self-defense. Unlike punches and kicks, there are few specifics to remember to make the strike effective. As with any strike, a good solid foundation is best so if you can, have your feet planted shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend the elbow and make a fist with the hand. This makes the elbow into a more pointed weapon, which causes the striking power to be focused within a smaller area. The closing and tightening of the fist strengthens the muscles and tendons that attach to the joint.

There are a variety of scenarios in which the elbow can work. The one discussed above in which someone you want to leave you alone comes up and grabs you from behind. If you are a fairly small person and the assailant is some big moose, you may be able to simply raise your fist and elbow upwards and then slam it with as much force as possible behind you.

If you and the assailant are basically the same size, you may need to step your feet and hips slightly to one side and then use the strike described above. If you have some idiot who can’t take a hint, once the elbow slams into the gut, follow it up by using the fist in a strong downward strike to the groin. Another step that can be easily added is to then bring the elbow up and strike the assailant under the chin. Strikes to the solar plexus (bread basket) or abdomen aren’t the only uses for the elbow in self-defense. They can become exceptionally strong strikes to the kidneys, jaw, temple, back, chin, face, kidneys, groin and neck.

While it can be very effective on its own, anytime you are able to add the torque and power of your upper body into the strike, it becomes even stronger. To do this, once your feet are firmly planted, twist your body as far as you can away in the direction opposite of the striking elbow’s side then quickly twist back and attempt to drive the elbow beyond the striking point and out the other side of the assailant’s body.

If you are making an upward strike, twist and bend at the same time and use your body’s torque as well as your legs to drive power into the strike. The other hand can also be placed against the knuckles of the striking side to give added strength and support to the strike.

The elbow strike can be modified as the situation demands. If the person grabbing you is a coworker, family member or not really meaning you bodily harm, you can keep the power down. If the person is a possible rapist, murderer or robber, then you can of course put as much pain causing power as you possibly can behind it. In this type of situation, don’t limit yourself to just the one elbow strike. Follow it up with some of these retaliatory strikes.

If the assailant is behind you, use the elbow to solar plexus, fist to groin followed by elbow to chin described above. You can also add in kicks towards the knees that rake down the attacker’s shin and smash the bones in the foot. Another technique for a person holding you from behind is after the elbow strike, drop your head as far down upon your chest as you can and then slam it backwards into the assailant’s face. This can disorient the assailant, cause a broken nose, split lips, as well as tearing and swelling of the eyes.

If the assailant’s head isn’t directly behind yours but to the side, you can still use your head as a weapon. You would just drop it in the opposite direction of where the assailant’s head is. You may be striking the side of his head but it will still be painful and work as a diversionary tactic. If he or she has you with their arm across your throat, you can turn into the bend area of their elbow and try to duck your chin. If possible, grab as big a bite out of their arm as possible. This isn’t a love bite either. You want to open wide and attempt to take a piece of it home with you.

Many will voice the concern about the possibility of HIV when discussing biting and the bringing of blood. My students are always asked which would they want to chance, the slim possibility of transmission of HIV via the mouth or the chances through forced intercourse? Is the possibility of death by HIV in the distant future not preferable to a definite death in the here and now?

The most important thing for anyone in this situation to remember is to not follow Hollywood fight rules. We have all seen in the movies and on television the hero or heroine of the show being beaten to a pulp suddenly get their second wind, get loose from their attacker and then stick around to the win the fight hands down. The sad truth is, they are paid to do this and there was a fight choreographer and a scriptwriter who set it up that way.

In the real world, there is no script except the one of your assailant’s making, there are no stuntmen or women and you aren’t getting paid big buck that you can take to the bank. The only thing you will hopefully come away with is your life. Don’t worry about pride or ego or checking to see how much damage you did to the assailant. Let him and hopefully his doctor worry about any injuries. If you can get away, do so and run at your best speed towards the nearest safe place

There are two basic principles in self-defense. Keeping and using your head as your best defense and he who runs away, lives to fight another day.

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