How To Escape A Shirt Grab

We have a video explaining this self defense move, of how to get out of a single handed, standard shirt grab:

With a single handed shirt grab, the intent is to display dominance. It can also be to control and restrict the movements of the victim. It is imperative to know how to escape this situation with the correct martial arts movements.

I've broken this down into 3 steps:
1. Create the Opening
2. Back Foot Thru, Turn Around, Butt Out, Head Out
3. The Crank

After you understand the basic steps, try connecting them in a fluid manner, but slowly. Once you become more comfortable with that, take it a little faster.

This movement has more of its philosophy roots in Jiu Jitsu, where the purpose and objective is to blend with the attacker's energy, and utilizing leverage and timing as a way to neutralize and counter the attack. 

But it is the forward intent of Kung-Fu that you need to commit fully to the move, and make it flow seamlessly, literally turning 3 steps into 1. 

See the video here: https://youtu.be/ZN2vbZfz5rc

Myths About Women's Self Defense Tactics

When it comes to women's self defense tactics and strategies, here are the common ones you tend to hear about:

1. Kick him in the groin!

2. Poke him in the eyes!

3. Scratch him!

4. Bite him!

5. Punch him in the throat!

Well, these MIGHT work. But really, it's not likely. What is more likely is that it will make the attacker more angry, and want him to further impose his will on her. What is more likely is that she will miss, or not generate enough power to do damage, thus further aggravating the attacker.

Instead, the following concepts are far more reliable:

1. Manage the distance to manage the damage. Either be all the way out of striking range (2 arms length distance away), or all the way in, clinching (like a hug), because strikes have very little effectiveness there.

2. Use leverage-based submissions to subdue them. This means techniques such as breaking the arm or shoulder (e.g. armbars, figure four locks, shoulder cranks) or chokes (e.g. rear naked choke, guillotine choke, & triangle choke). These submissions don't really look like they are attacks, but they wind up severely damaging the opponent. Breaking the arm/shoulder and chokes are universal ideas that apply to all human bodies. In other words, a punch or a kick's effectiveness depends on how much power is behind it and how much force the opponent can absorb. An arm break or choke will happen, regardless of how much punishment the attacker can take -  a break is a break and no oxygen to the brain is no oxygen to the brain!

These ideas are much more accessible to practice. The more you practice this in a simulated experience, the more natural these movements become. Here is an example of one of these practice sessions. Keep in mind, she has been training with private lessons for several months:

Women's Self Defense Video

A Yard is Hard, An Inch is a Cinch

Whenever we'd like to achieve something, either for ourselves, or our children, it is important to set goals. 

The problem is, often times the goals are either too over-reaching, or too vague. When we have goals that are too over-reaching, we often set ourselves up for disappointment. An example of this is trying to make a basket from half court, without even trying to make a basket from up close! When we have goals that are too vague, then, we end up with vague results. An example of this is saying you want to be good at Kung-Fu. Well, what does that mean, exactly? What does that look like? 

The solution is simple:
Make it specific, make it simple, and make a lot of them!

It's a lot easier to reach a smaller, simpler goal. It is specific, and within grasp. After you achieve that goal, make the next goal to build on top of that. The key is to make them small and achievable so that you feel success! It is very important that you feel success, and keep building on those successes! In the world of Behaviorist Psychology, this is referred to as the "Law of Successive Approximations".

This is why we have all the different belt colors in martial arts! 

Dr. BJ Fogg, a professor of Experimental Psychology at Stanford University, said to have "mini celebrations" for these mini victories! He said that it is very important that you reward yourself for any achievement that you make towards developing more productive habits towards your end goal. These mini celebration can be as simple as doing a little fist pump and saying, "YES! I DID IT!" And then move into the next goal.

Anything is achievable when you break it into small pieces. Too much at one time can lead to disappointment. Goals that are vague don't allow for a clear path towards what you want.

At Austin Kung-Fu Academy, we are all about everyone feeling those mini victories, on their path to the big one!