To get started let's establish the basics. All knee self-defense moves stem from two fundamentals: the knee strike and the knee stomp.
The Knee StrikeWithin this move alone, there are a couple different options you have to protect yourself. The knee strike is theoretically possible on any part of the assailant’s body but is especially effective when directed towards the thigh, abdomen, and head.
Knee Strike to the Leg
When aiming for their thigh, this move is also referred to as a ‘peroneal strike’. It is a temporarily disabling blow to the peroneal nerve, which is on the back side of the leg just above the knee. What you’ll want to do is flair your leg out to the side and behind to get to the back of the attacker's leg. Then, retract your leg and drive your heel to the back of the leg just above the knee. This will instill numbness and temporary loss of control to the leg and put you at an advantage in the situation. If they can’t walk, they definitely can’t chase you.
Knee Strike to the Abdomen
This move, in particular, is done a lot in the movies for intimidation purposes, or to help the victim flee the area. The idea behind this one is to thrust your knee into the assailant’s groin (yikes), stomach, rib cage or even chest. Done correctly and your attacker should leave you alone from now on. How to do this right:
- Raise your knee to a 90-degree angle
- Point toes behind you to avoid any foot injuries
- Bend the leg behind you while thrusting forward
- Swing your weight using your hips into the strike
- Thrust your hips forward and think about putting your knee through whichever part you’re aiming for.
Knee to the Head
This appears to be one of the most devastating blows to the human body anyone can deal. Knocking them out is a sure way to get out of a sticky situation. To perform this, reach through and grab the back of their neck and bend them over. As you’re bending them over, bring your knee to strike their head. After a solid hit to the head, it’s a safe bet they won’t be coming back for more.
The Knee Stomp:
Although you’re not using your knee to inflict injury, they are sure going to feel it. Many self-defense instructions point this area out to be one of the most influential and highly targeted areas of the body. If this self-defense move was a person, it would say: “Hey. I didn’t want to fight you, and I didn’t want to do this, but I have a personal bubble that you’re not allowed in.” To pull this off:
- Start with your feet shoulder width apart
- Pivot on the ball of your foot, turn your left heel around so that the heel is pointing at the ball of your right foot
- Lift the right knee up to a horizontal position and point your toes to the sky. However, at the same time turn your body side on to your attacker
- With the blade of your right foot, aim and strike the middle of the kneecap.
- Think about striking through his leg