What are the Vulnerable Body Parts to Aim For?

We always hear the term “vulnerable body parts”, but what exactly is that?


The most important concept to martial arts is the vulnerable points. ‘Vulnerable’ means parts of the body where the most damage can be caused. These areas are more susceptible to pain. You can attack however you want but it’s safer and more powerful when attacking through these points. Vulnerability is in the eyes, mouth, nose, throat, knees, and groin. Memorizing this can help you attack the person with clean strikes, no matter the height or weight of the attacker.

One of the most common moves is kneeing or punching the attacker in the groin, which causes them to be disoriented and in pain. If the person is grasping on to you, then it will get them to let go of you with this move. An effective way of hitting the face is using your palm. Use the palm of your hand to strike the jaw or chin with as much force as possible, and at the same time you can also knee to the groin.

If someone attacks you from behind and ‘bear hugs’ you, spread your legs apart so the attacker’s foot is in the middle. This gives you more access to their knee/leg to grab. Bend down and hold onto the sides of both knees using both your hands. Then stand back up while you pull their leg up, so that they lose their balance and fall.

Another option is to punch the eye, nose, throat, or mouth. A punch on the nose doesn’t need a huge amount of pressure but can still result in major pain. If you put a lot of pressure, you can also break the attacker’s nose and that can be enough of a distraction to run away. Punching the base of the throat is fatal as it is sensitive and you can easily knock someone out.

If someone is holding your arm, remember the rule of thumb. Twist your arm to the SIDE of the attacker’s thumb and pull away forcefully. If you twist to the other direction, you will find that you can’t get out of the hold.

Another tip is to hold the index and middle finger on one hand and the pinkie and ring finger on the other hand. Then bend the wrist forward with as much force as you can. Just by doing that, you can bring the attacker down to their knees, very easily.

The other important idea is practice! Sometimes you might get lucky with striking someone and running away. Often times though, you perform the punch or kick the wrong way and end up injuring yourself instead of the attacker. Try practicing the moves with a partner, so that you can get an idea of what to do and how to do it and make sure you don’t hurt you partner in the process as well!

By: Harini Sangeetham


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