[The following is an excerpt taken from Tashida Kom’s guide, Self-Defense Tactics 101.]

Some self-defense instructors try to ‘wow’ potential students with flashy escape moves, high-flying kicks, and acrobatic throws which, more than likely, will do little to hinder your attacker and end with yourself getting injured, or worse.

Let’s familiarize ourselves with SSS—Simple Survival Skills. This is a system designed to keep self-defense tactics easy, memorable, and executable in as few moves as possible.

Grabs from Behind

If an assailant takes you from behind in a rear hold, your best retaliatory response is driving your heel—with all of your strength and body weight—on top of your attacker’s foot. A hard enough stomp will break some of the smaller bones in their foot, causing them to release their grip. Even without breaking any bones, the top section of the foot is highly vulnerable and impact will cause your attacker considerable physical pain.

Some instructors suggest aiming a ‘foot stomp’ at your attacker’s toes. Don’t! This is not a strike that will cause significant distress to an assailant. The toes are a smaller target, which reduces the effectiveness of your attack should you only partially hit them. In addition, targeting the toes can be problematic due to the type of footwear your attacker is wearing—heavy work boots with steel-toes or other strong footwear will prevent sufficient damage, rendering your defensive strike useless.

Danger Zone One. Story by Midnight. Art by Salaiix.