Kung Fu Moves for Self Defense that You Probably Already Know

Believe it or not, you have all the physical skills needed to defend yourself. In fact, you’ve been practicing them your entire life.

You're better at self defense than you think

Illustration by Jason Lee

“If you look at police videos, street fights, or even ultimate fighting, you won’t see anyone doing technical martial arts,” says personal-safety trainer Tony Blauer. He pooh-poohs the notion that you need a black belt to defend yourself. “It’s just some kung fu guy selling you a bill of goods.” Skeptical? Consider these natural self defense moves you already know. Here are more ways you can be your own bodyguard.

The stair-climb groin kick

Illustration by Jason Lee

Lift a leg to climb the stairs and you’re doing what it takes to knee a foe in the groin. These are signs you're an easy target for a predator.

The seat belt elbow

Illustration by Jason Lee

When you reach across your chest to grab your seat belt, you’re throwing a right elbow. The faster you do this, the more force that elbow has. When you’re in the passenger seat, you’re training the left side.

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The melon eye-gouge

Illustration by Jason Lee

Every time you pick up a melon in a supermarket to check for ripeness, you’re making the same motion as sticking your thumbs in some bad guy’s eyes.

The push-up chest strike

Illustration by Jason Lee

Each time you do a push-up, you practice how to deliver a chest strike. “Say some guy grabs you by the lapel,” says Blauer. “Jam your fingers in the ‘melon,’ and when he grabs his face, do a push-up off his chest. You’ll knock him back several feet, and you can bolt for safety. Believe me, anyone can do that. You already have the muscle memory.”

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