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Self-Defense Against a Grab


Bernd (Bernie) Weiss, Ph.D.

The self-defense described here actually happened to to a man, herein called 'Bob', who had some training in a form of karate called Shotokan.

A much larger attacker stepped into Bob reaching to grab him with the left hand. In defense Bob grabbed the man's wrist with his left hand pulling the attacker into a right fist punch to the attacker's face. End of attack!

Clenched Fist Strike

The actual attack happened in broad daylight in front of numerous witnesses. The police were called and their investigation led to the attacker being arrested for attempted battery. Bob's actions were deemed to be self-defense and consequently he was not arrested.

Since Bob was training in karate at the time, he could punch without damaging his hand. In reality, a beginning self-defense student can easily injure his/her hand when striking with a clenched fist. An alternative striking action for the neophyte is a Palm-Heel Strike.

The palm-heel strike, shown in the picture below, simply consists of hitting the attacker with the bottom part of the open palm. This is much safer for the defender's hand and requires relatively little training.

Palm-Heel strikePalm-Heel Strike (recommended for the beginner)

The role of the attacker in the above pictures is played by Stacy Rasgon who, in real life is a graduate of L.A. Pierce College and is currently studying Chemical Engineering at UCLA. He is also a brownbelter at the Topanga-Valley Karate School in the L.A . area.

© 1997 Bernd Weiss

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