Pressure Points & Control Tactics


Most charts and diagrams of pressure points and control techniques are not helpful in street combat. If adrenaline is pumping, or drugs are involved, your attacker may feel no pain and overpower you. You may not be able to perform fancy moves you learned in a practice setting when confronted with a frightening, real-life situation. When your life and health are on the line, know the tactics you need to defend yourself against any attacker.

Attack the Throat

  • Drive back any sized assailant with a simple move. If you are grabbed from the front, or if an attacker is trying to corner you with a size advantage, drive your index finger into the pressure point just below the throat. Feel around the base of your throat with a finger tip. When you find the sensitive spot just above where your ribcage ends you've located your target.

    Attack with the index finger or the index and middle. Push forward and downward at about a 45 degree angle. Walk forward into your driving motion as far as you need to, and keep the pressure on until he is on the ground.

Enter With Pain

  • If your assailant is out of range, close the gap with a foot stomp or by attacking the eyes. Unless your assailant is wearing heavy work boots, you can break the tarsal bones of his foot by putting your body weight into a heel stomp. Attack the eyes with a whip like motion using all five fingers. Do not worry if your attack to the foot or eyes misses; simply continue forward, attacking the eyes, neck and throat.

Inside Attacks

  • Attack the eyes, ears and neck from "inside range." Inside (or trapping) range is when you are less than an arm's length from your assailant. Most people, even experienced fighters have trouble in this range; use your enemy's confusion at this distance to become the attacker. Grab the ear and crumple it like you are wadding a piece of paper. Pull the ear in any direction, and the head will follow. Or, you just might tear off the ear and end the fight. Attack the eyes with fingers and the thumb.

Control the Neck

  • Use attacks to the foot, ears, throat and eyes to set up an attack to the neck. Get hold of your opponent's neck with the crook of your arm and grab your wrist with your free hand. Use your body weight, not muscle strength, to move and control the neck. No matter how powerful your assailant is, he cannot withstand the pull if you encircle the neck and throw your feet out from under yourself. Drive your opponent's head into the ground, walls or hard objects. If your opponent resists too powerfully and you can't control him, let go of your wrist and use your free hand to work the eyes. Then return your grip to your wrist, and crank the neck using your body weight.

Low Line Attack

  • Attack the lower leg and ankle area if you cannot gain control of the neck. If your opponent is too tall or grapples you and you cannot get at the neck, drop all your body weight to the ground and try to stay on your feet.

    Any time you are in trapping range and you can't get the neck, drop down at high speed into a crouch position. Hug the opponent's legs together below the knee and as close to the ankle as possible. Roll onto your back or side with a swift and strong jerking movement. The goal is to slam the assailant's head into the floor or wall.

    Don't grapple on the ground. If you don't slam the opponent's head, get up and run away while he is down.


  • Attacking the eyes, throat, neck and head can cause permanent damage and even death. Only use these attacks in life and death situations.

    Be sure you are on the right side of the law. If you blind, maim or kill someone, you could be charged with a crime.

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  • "Shaolin Chin Na, The Seizing Art of Kung Fu"; Yang Jwing-Ming; 1982
  • "Secrets of Modern Professional Warriors, Explosive Metafighting Technologies With Rick Reynolds"; Threat Response Solutions;1994
  • "Combat JKD wich Chris Clugston"; Underground Streetfighter's Association; 1995
  • "Street Safe Volume 1 With Paul Vunak"; Bob Pierce; 1994
  • Photo Credit arts martiaux 3 image by Nathalie P from
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