The 9 Best Spots to Hit an Attacker in Self Defense

There are so many great self-defense moves to learn depending on how you are attacked. In my self-defense class I teach women and girls how to escape from choking, bear hugs, and to get out from under a man.  Of course if you can stop the attacker from every putting you into a hold this is best. Hitting the most sensitive parts of the body is just as important as learning to escape holds.

There are 9 points that I was trained to hit if I was ever attacked. These points are meant to disable an attacker by causing enough pain for you to safely move away from and if possible run away.  A perk of these points is that you don’t need to be a muscle builder to use them for self-defense. You just need the force of your body and momentum. Striking the most sensitive parts of a body requires pressure, so move forward when you strike to put all your weight into each hit!

1. Eyes – If they can’t see you it’s harder to grab you. A gouge or poke to the eyes is also extremely painful. Use both  thumbs to gouge their eyes causing them to tear up in pain.

2. Ears – Scratching and yanking down hard on an ear is immensely painful. With thousands of nerve endings in such a small space you can case a lot of pain to aid your escape.

3. Nose – Another area with lots of nerves, I was taught to use the heel of my hand to strike the nose and cause pain. If you know how to punch go ahead and do that or even try a karate chop to the nose.

4. Groin – A classic kick doesn’t need much explaining. Use your knee, punch, or even grab the testes and yank as hard as you can.

5. Knees – Since they only bend one way, a kick to the front or side of the knee can topple the attacker.

6. Solar Plexus – Just behind the stomach is a great big bundle of nerves. A punch or kick to the solar plexus will knock the breath out of an attacker. Hit with all you got and remember to move forward into your punch or kick to have a real impact.

7. Ankles – While ankles have a range of motion they are also more fragile than other joints. Slam your foot down onto an ankle or kick the ankle hard to knock the attacker off-balance.

8. Fingers – You can see on your own finger by just pushing it backwards a little that it hurts. While you may be tempted to grab all of the fingers you really just need to grab one or two. The pinky is the smallest and thus easiest to bend back.

9. Throat – A simple karate chop to the lower valley of the throat can take away the breath and cause choking. You can also jab your fingers into that spot.  This should only be used in extreme danger such as if you are being choked since it is a very sensitive area.

I became certified to teach self-defense in the summer of 2012 and have since taught just over 100 women and girls how to defend themselves in an attack.  As a survivor of assault on college campus and a child who was physically bullied in school I personally know how important it is that women and children learn to fight off an attacker.


Whether you are a victim of ongoing violence or have never had any problems you should learn how to defend yourself. Children especially can benefit from practicing self-defense both for safety and to feel confident in situations such as peer pressure or being lost.  We don’t just need to protect ourselves from physical danger, but verbal and emotional abuse. Domestic abuse affects everyone. 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic abuse and up to 60% of children in abusive homes suffer from violence.

I wrote a book about how women and girls can learn the warning sings of emotional and physical self-defense and the best ways to fight back in self-defense. “You Can Fight Back” is available for only 99 cents on

Get the paperback version at

Please share this information with the women and girls in our life.

Because of hate crimes LGBTQ youth should also learn.

Find a self-defense trainer at If you are near San Diego, CA call Leah at 760-487-8567 to schedule a self-defense lesson.

Get help for domestic violence by calling 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224(TTY) or visiting

What is you favorite self-defense or martial arts move?


  1. […] situation. It’s time to get tough and attack their vulnerable spots. A quick jab with your fingers to the eyes will keep them immobilized for several seconds, giving you time to flee the situation. A quick […]

  2. Robert Steven Vande Vrede · · Reply

    As a LGBT living in Charlotte, NC I am always afraid of harassment. I do not like the idea of taking self defense classes because I do not believe in hurting anyone, even if it means defending myself. I expect that someday I will be severely hurt for my actions and I am preparing mentally for that prospect. I just hope that my hurt will turn into something positive for both me and my attacker.

  3. […] are two critical parts of the face you must target to create maximum damage.  First are the eyes.  Obviously, gouging, poking, or scratching your […]

  4. Robert Steven Vande Vrede · · Reply

    I am LGBT and not very strong. I was harassed by a big guy once and I just screamed so loud that he ran away. I was lucky that time and hope it never happens again. What else can I do, please advise.

    1. Screaming and creating a scene is a good defense. Most attackers don’t want to get caughtand are lpoking for compliant victims. I recommend taking a self defense class. At my local LGBT center we offer classes. So look for something in your community.

  5. Im not a taekwondo artist but I have been receiving threats from this random girl that she can break down my bones or what.. She also black mailed me that she’s a black belt holder that makes me research on this such things.. Hoping that this would really help me from getting in so much trouble. Thank you,

    1. Hey! I’m sorry to hear you are dealing with a dangerous person. I hope you are able to resolve this issue and stay safe. You deserve to be safe and also deserve to receive help to do so.

  6. Jennifer Robinson · · Reply

    I have a 7 year-old son. He is very small in frame (only 45 lbs), close to nearly half the weight of his peers. These are realistic, effective and simple enough moves for him (and myself/47 yr old Mom) to carry out should the need ever arise. I have instinctively used the thumbs to throat move to successfully overpower a male attacker in the past. He was much bigger & stronger than me and very aggressive. That move temporarily made me stronger. Enough to push him back easily (no lie!), while effectively taking the wind out of him. These are simple moves, that every one should take the time to both learn, and encourage others who may be vulnerable to do the same. THANK YOU for caring enough about the safety of others to take the time to write this article! I will pass on this very valuable information to others. I promise to follow up w/ training from a professional such as yourself. I live in Virginia, so unfortunately it can’t be you. Thanks again!

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m so glad you were able to fight him off. Yes, please find a class or instructor and encourage your loved ones to attend with you. Hugs! 🙂

  7. A.Brooks · · Reply

    A lot of this info regarding eyes, nose, throat I have taught my daughters. This information seems well founded. Good advice.

    1. Thank you for commenting and for teaching your daughters they have a right to defend themselves. 🙂

  8. […] across an attackers eyes and then use the blunt end to hammer strike! Remember to strike the 9 Most Vulnerable Spots on the […]

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