Basic Self Defense Moves Everyone Should Know

September 04, 2020

Basic Self Defense Moves Everyone Should Know

If you are confronted by someone and fear imminent bodily harm, here are some basic self-defense moves that have a good chance of hurting and disabling an attacker to help you get away safely. Always use speed, power, and intensity to maximize effectiveness, and be prepared to follow up with other strikes as needed. Alternatively, using a self defense product like the MUNIO Self Defense Kubotan Keychain can be an asset.

Strike the Attacker using a Headbutt

Drop your head down and thrust the top of your head into the attacker’s face. TIP: Avoid using your forehead for the strike. It might seem easier, but you can end up with a nasty cut and a couple of black eyes. If you are grabbed from behind, tilt your head backward and forcefully thrust the back of your head into the attacker’s face.


Strike the Attacker’s Eyes

Reach out and swipe/rake/claw the fingers of one hand across one or both of the attacker’s eyes (from L to R, or R to L). You can use loose fingers (think friendly wave), or tighter fingers (think salute). You can also poke the finger(s) of one hand into one of the attacker’s eyes, or worse, grab onto both sides of the attacker’s head and stick your thumbs into both of the attacker’s eyes.


Strike the Attacker’s Throat

Open up a hand and move your thumb out away from the four fingers of one hand. Using the space between your thumb and index finger as the impact area, strike into the attacker’s throat and neck with speed and force. Hit and retract. The throat strike can also be done with a punch, hand chop, elbow, or forearm.

Strike the Attacker Using Your Palm

Tilt one of your hands back slightly and then, using your palm as the impact area, strike into the attacker’s face.


Strike the Attacker with an Elbow

Bring your hand and forearm inward toward your center and strike into the attacker’s face (or body) using an elbow as the impact point. This is one of the best strikes to use in close quarters. Elbow strikes also work well against attacks from behind, by striking behind and around your shoulder to the attacker’s head or striking behind and lower into the attacker’s body.


Strike the Attacker with a Front Kick

Keep your balance on one leg, and kick forward with your other leg, striking the shin, knee, groin, or midsection of the attacker. TIP: Simultaneously push forward when kicking to help create space between you and the attacker. Immediately retract your kick and re-stabilize yourself. (There are variations of this concept used to kick backward and sideways, but they typically require more balance and skill.)

Strike the Attacker Using your Knee

While balancing on one leg, simultaneously thrust the opposite knee up and forward, striking the groin, midsection, face, etc. TIP: For increased effectiveness, grab onto the attacker with both of your hands (ex. around the neck, on the shoulders) and pull down and inward on the attacker while striking.

Be Safe and Be Ready

These basic self-defense strikes are just a helpful starting point. Of course, there is no substitute for physical practice, which will unquestionably make you perform better. That’s the value of traditional martial arts and self-defense training.


The reality is that you can be attacked in many different ways. Our free video series, “Simple Self Defense Moves Everyone Should Know,” shows you various common street attacks, and how to use these basic self defense moves against them. You will also learn how the MUNIO Self Defense Kubaton Keychain can be a great advantage for you! 


Stay safe!


Phil Ventrello is the Founder of MUNIO Self Defense and the inventor of the MUNIO Self Defense Kubaton KeychainHe is a 5th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor of Combat Hapkido. Phil is a lifetime member of the International Combat Hapkido Federation, a member of the American Women's Self Defense Association, and has been inducted into Action Martial Arts Magazine's Hall of Honor for his outstanding dedication in the martial arts.

Also in Self Defense & Safety Tips

How to Avoid Getting Mugged
How to Avoid Getting Mugged

December 29, 2020

The 21-Foot Rule and Self Defense
The 21-Foot Rule and Self Defense

December 15, 2020

Do You Prefer a Pocket Knife or Pepper Spray?
Do You Prefer a Pocket Knife or Pepper Spray?

November 18, 2020