How do you protect soft spots in a fight?

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by amateur, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. amateur

    amateur Orange Belt

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    Raised arms and lowered chin protect throat and solar plexus. Fighting stance protects what is between legs. But there are some other super soft spots that don't seem that protected to me in a fight:
    -Knees
    -Feet
    What if someone goes for those right away? There is even a way to break one's ankle right away in a fight. Watch the last seconds in the video below.



     
  2. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Is this a serious post?
     
  3. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Um...how many attackers are going to target your feet? Especially when you have shoes on....knees yeah it's a risk but an untrained attacked more than likely won't be trying to go after the knees.
     
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  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Feet aren't really soft points. They're hard for your opponent to damage in any meaningful way in a fight, unless they actually have hold of the foot. Knees are also more robust than you seem to give them credit for - look at all the strikes they take in MMA, the things they deal with in other contact sport, etc. Unless someone is really skilled, I'm not concerned about them going for my feet - while they are focused that low, I have a chance to work higher. (Someone skilled at sweeps would be an issue, but that's not about protecting the feet, but about protecting structure.) Knees are really probably only in danger from hard tackles and powerful kicks. Mobility is the best protection for them.
     
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  5. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Lift your foot off the ground.
     
  6. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    What he says is true (except the ankle part) but not in the way that it appears. The chances you'll be in bow stance long enough to protect your groin with your knee is almost zero. The last part is done to break structure and not bone. He's also not giving a realistic demonstration of that technique.
     
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  7. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    are you talking about a real fight or some ring fight
    .there's a lot of nonsense in self defence classes and movies about what will stop a determined attacker, and stamping on feet , kicking in the knee aren't among them, your only going to annoy them
     
  8. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Knees and feet are not soft tissue, but they can be targeted in a fight.

    However, there are some things to consider.

    Typically, at least in the West, people who fight in the street do not target either feet or knees. They tend to head-hunt or try to kick the groin or both. I do not think I have ever seen someone intentionally try to take out a knee or an ankle in a 'real' fight, and in the highly-simulated world of point sparring, such attacks are typically disallowed. I'm not saying it could not happen, I'm saying you just don't typically see it.

    Feet are generally protected by shoes in a real self-defense type situation. Ankles may be vulnerable and may in fact be injured, but in my experience, it's usually done by the fighter to themselves, stepping wrong and rolling or twisting the ankle, falling or being knocked down and landing on something, etc. In other words, collateral damage, not intentional damage.

    The knee is a real target, from the correct angle and with the right attack, that's for sure. But it is seldom targeted in a 'real' type of fight. I don't know why, but that's how it is. One thing is that knee damage is very difficult to recover from. If someone punches you in the face and you get a broken nose or a black eye, you'll heal. Bust the knee and you have some real issues and won't be back to normal for quite some time and will probably need serious surgical intervention.

    What I am trying to say is that the knee is a good and legitimate target in a self-defense situation, but I just haven't seen it used much, either in attack or defense.

    It is also a bit harder to train knee attacks, as you can't really do it full power on a resisting opponent. Hard to build up the skills needed.
     
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  9. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Agree. But would be really hard in the stance in the video.
     
  10. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    not disagreeing, more expanding,

    I had a chat with my sparing partner about his preferred defence to my kicks of sticking his knee out as a preferred targe that whilst this was as least as painful for me as him, doing so against some one toe kickng with a robust pair of shoes on would end badly. it is in fact only a good defence against another trained kicker. preferredly as bare foot one

    I'm sure it's possible, with a particularly well executed kick on a planeted leg, to do some long term damage, less so to actually stop them there and then, it's a rare sight even in MMA where the kicks are good, for people to fall over screaming with a busted knee,, now get them with a pair of steel toe caps ?
     
  11. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Stances are fleeting. They are but a snapshot in time. Keep moving.
     
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  12. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    Never had issues with feet or knees, even training low kicks and barefoot.

    Toes hurt easily, but that’s about it. You survive. Even if broken in a fight, probably you only notice long after the fight.

    Knees are especially fragile when hit from the side; “Muay Thai checks” have been good enough to deal with it. Also, a bent knee is much stronger than a straight one for a front impact.

    So, potentially you can be hurt (and never recover) does not matter what you do (especially for knees), but the probability is tiny.

    I would worry about ribs, if I wanted to worry about less common targets. People break ribs quite easily and it is a nightmare to heal and to leave with.
     
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  13. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Good point. Having experienced both, I would even say that a bruised rib hurts as much or more than a broken one. That will take the fight out of you with a quickness.
     
  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Yes, It is not the bone but the soft tissue that connects the ribs that really hurt. Being soft it can move so when injured every breath hurts.
     
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  15. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I do think this is where awareness plays a big role. If I have my work boots or hard sole shoes on I am pretty sure I can at least interrupt an attacker with a heel first foot stomp. Barefoot or in tennis shoes a stomp would be a waste of time.

    The knee is pliable in the direction it is intended to bend. Again, being aware and taking advantage of angles, direction, and weighting can make the knee a valid target.
    I remember being at a self defense seminar in Chicago that had several Martial Artist and people from the LE world. One of the MA guys went into great detail about knee attacks. He went off the rails when he kept talking about attacking a bent knee straight on. The room was quite humorous after a bit of his insistence that it was a good target. Finally a LE officer that weighed about 160lbs gave him his bent knee and said go for it. The guy tried about a dozen different attacks before the LE officer finally said his knee was stinging. The point is you have to be aware and "educated" enough to recognize when a target is and isn't valid.
     
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  16. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    With regard to stomps, whilst again I have never really seen them in an actual self-defense situation, we practice stomps a bit differently, such that the 'stomp' part is at the end of the attack; raking the shin all the way down is first, as a free lunch along the way. Our fumikomi is a cross-over stomp that can be delivered in a variety of ways and to a variety of targets besides just shins/feet. But nope, never did it and never saw it done in anything resembling an actual fight. Doubt I'd have the presence of mind to really try it myself.

    The knee, I absolutely agree with you. We attack with the knee; it's very strong in the directions it was intended to bend. Taken at other angles it can damage tissue, bring someone to the ground, etc. It's really neglected as an attack and also in defense because it is so seldom considered. And again, haven't seen it done in an actual altercation. The few times I've seen knees damaged that was it was purely accidental or a side-effect of something else.
     
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  17. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I have to agree with this. If we're limiting this to fights in which no weapons were involved, then facial injuries and scalp lacs are by FAR the most common injuries I see. Hand injuries would be next, which doesn't say much for the punching skills of most of these folks. Torso or limb injuries are really quite uncommon.

    That doesn't mean that attacks to the limbs are not worthwhile. I think what it likely shows is simply that most fights involve people who are untrained, and they just punch each other in the face a couple times before the fight ends.
     
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  18. amateur

    amateur Orange Belt

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    1. If you get stomped on your foot, it hurts a whole lot, even if you're wearing shoes. I know from experience.
    2. A push kick in the knee side can damage it permanently. I read it in Martin Dougherty's book: 'How to defend yourself, unarmed combat skills that work'.

    Also, to answer some other posts, just because it does not occur to many people to attack you there in a fight does not mean I want to rely on that.
     
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  19. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I could get attacked by a guy with a sword, and that would definitely make my day worse. I have no defense either. But the chances of that happening are about the same as being hit by lightning while taking a unicycle to pick up my lottery winnings. I try to practice hardest to defend myself against the most likely threats.

    FYI, that also means I have a working fire extinguisher in my kitchen. I'm far more likely to set my house on fire than I am to be attacked by anyone for any reason using any techniques at all.

    It's all about managing risk. Could someone stomp on my foot or kick my knee from the side in an altercation? Sure. Will it happen? I doubt it.
     
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  20. amateur

    amateur Orange Belt

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    The front foot is totally unprotected in a fighting stance. It's so easy to just stomp on it that it surprises me no one thinks of it.
     
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