Multiple Steps in a Self Defence Attack Can Be Dangerous

by | Mar 7, 2023

Rather than be Negative Nelly, I would like to take a constructive approach by analyzing the challenges present in this self-defence video for defending against a Grab and Punch and offer some alternative strategies. Having multiple steps in a self-defence attack can be dangerous.

Thought #1: In any conflict, I prefer to first adopt a passive stance and attempt to de-escalate while moving and avoiding fixed positions. I keep my distance to prevent myself from being grabbed, while at the same time forcing my aggressor to move towards me, allowing me to anticipate their intended attack if I know how to read body language.

Thought #2: Don’t wait to be grabbed – the distance and knowledge of pre-attack indicators may give you time to move quickly to deflect and escape, deflect and strike, or trap the arm if grabbed, then react. Maintain your balance by moving forward, not adopting a “squared-off stance,” which compromises balance. If you are grabbed, you should act quickly since a punch will likely follow very quickly or simultaneously. You can’t perform Move A, then Move B and so forth because most aggressors will not attack with Move A, then Move B.

Thought #3: I also want to avoid putting my hands up close to my head to block an incoming punch that is more defensive and harder to turn into an offensive reaction. I prefer to jam out because if that punch comes with a knife instead, you will get stabbed in the side of the head. Jam out and move forward, putting them on the defensive. Do not think of it as jam out; strike as two individual moves. It is not Move A, then Move B; it is Move A1 and A2 simultaneously.

Here is an example with Richard Dimitri and myself. This video is from the SAFE Violence Prevention & Self Defence Certification library.


Thought #4: There is no time to waste on complex motor movements – jam out and strike, shred, or whatever else the situation calls for. Move forward and escape quickly when there is no longer a threat.

Keep SAFE!

Chris Roberts, Founder SAFE International Violence Prevention & Self Defence