• 4 Things You Need To Know About Kicking

    by: Dynamic Defensive Arts

    Kicking may seem like an easy enough thing to do.  After all, we’ve been kicking one way or another since we were kids playing Soccer, Kick Ball, etc.

    However when it comes to kicking for self-defense, there are more wrong ways than right ways to kick.  How you position your foot and/or toes, how to deliver effective power and speed, the correct angle of kick delivery - and not least of all - how to do all of this while maintaining balance is critical. 

     If you don’t deliver a kick correctly in a competition, you can lose the match.  If you don’t deliver a kick correctly when defending yourself, you could end up in the hospital or worse.  An attack on the street can force you to face multiple attackers, weapons or both in addition to several other life/safety threatening factors and any mistakes made can result in your attacker(s) gaining the advantage.

    The larger part of my experiences and training still have me believing that kicks should never go above one’s own belt line as there is a big difference between street defense and competition.  Kicking above the belt line, in my opinion, is extremely risky in a street attack. 

    Almost all kicks are a 4-step process.  Most people don’t think to break down the necessary steps of a kick to keep it quick, powerful, and most of all – in control.  The steps are not difficult, but would-be kickers should understand that the steps must be done in order as follows:

    1.  The Set Up. 
    Often this is simply picking up the knee of the kicking leg.  Almost all kicks originate from picking up the knee.  The angle of how the knee is picked up depends on the type of kick selected.

    2.  The Delivery. 
    This step is where power, speed, accuracy and balance need to come together not only for effecting the target, but also for controlling the kick during as well as after the impact.

    3.  The Recoil. 
    Recoil is where most practitioners can make a major mistake.  Targets move in the real world and Fight or Flight, fatigue, even anger can result in an uncontrollable kick - often resulting in the kicker falling forward – very often into the path of an opposing attack.  As said in Step #2, kicks need to be delivered with power, speed, accuracy, and balance so if a target moves, the kicker will not fall forward.  Rather they can choose to land forward or retract the kick altogether in favor of another response.  Just like any other strike, kicks should have sufficient recoil.  Much like cracking a whip, a kick has more shock wave, resulting in greater power, if it returns quickly after impact.

    4.  The Recovery. 
    This is simply returning the leg/foot to its original position.  If the foot is not replaced on the ground, a second kick will not have as much shock since the foot could not spring from the ground to help generate power.

    If you’re forced to defend yourself and you decide to use a kick, kick smart and don’t let emotion, adrenaline, or bad technique get the best of you.

    This is Jack from Dynamic Defensive Arts reminding you... "We don't do helpless!"

  • Springtime Defenses--Bring on the Rain!

    by: Dynamic Defensive Arts

    Umbrella Season has arrived

    Spring is here! Now that we are in April, I thought it might be a good time to discuss preparation for spring weather. After all, "April showers bring May flowers," so we need to prepare for wet weather. This is relevant for defensive tactics training because, as you know, our Improvised Defensive Tools (IDTs) are not designed to be objects of defense, but rather, they double as objects of defense.

    I suggest that now is the time to get out your umbrellas. Travel umbrellas are small enough that they can fit into the door pockets of vehicles and into a purse or backpack. You'll be glad to have it for two reasons: (1) It will help keep you dry, and (2) it may help keep you alive!

    All of my students know that a travel umbrella is light enough to wield - i.e. it can be swung rapidly - and is dense enough to cause damage to your attacker(s). An umbrella requires no special permit or license to have and can be taken almost anywhere - including your workplace - without fear of violating a policy.

    For those of you who are not yet students of Dynamic Defensive Arts, I caution you that this does require some specialized training to become proficient, and you must understand the legalities of using an object to defend one's self (or others) even if you know you are in the right!

    So get those umbrellas out and put them in an area that you have easy access to. I hope you won't need it for anything other than a shield for the rain.

    Good luck, and stay dry!

    This is Jack from Dynamic Defensive Arts reminding you... "We don't do helpless!"

  • The Bundling Method

    by Jack Pettengill - Dynamic Defensive Arts

    I have written about the benefits of using a pen as an improvised weapon.  If you choose to carry a pen, my advice is to purchase one of good quality – not necessarily expensive, just made of highly durable material if forced to use it to defend yourself.

    However, what if you haven’t yet researched a type of pen?  What if the pen you have is misplaced or gets left in your vehicle, etc.?  As my students are already aware, even the best trained people can get caught off guard.  My previous articles on this topic made two main points:  Plan ahead and invest in a good quality pen, and if you didn’t have one at the critical moment of attack, to use what you have at your disposal.

    In the case of generic pens and pencils, the more you have in your grasp, the better.  One pencil will snap in your fist on impact because of its skinny and weak construction.  But four, five, or six pencils bundled together in your fist will be stronger and won’t be as likely to break.

    Have you ever snapped a handful of dried spaghetti noodles?  The more you have in your hand, the more strength is needed to snap them all in two.  This same method proves to be true when grasping pens, pencils, or similar items.

    Several weaker objects are stronger when "bundled."

    The primary target areas for pens/pencils are the eyes, ears, throat, soft neck tissue above the collarbone, and if reachable, the groin.  Secondary target areas would be anywhere you can make contact that is not protected by clothing, such as the attacker’s forearms and hands.