Self Defense

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?

22 thoughts on “The 9 Best Spots to Hit an Attacker in Self Defense”

  1. I am 79 and don’t have the moves and agility i use to have in the Marines. I still can break a 2″ by 8″with a chop easily. Several of them in fact. I don’t want to seriously hurt anyone… just make them go away. Collar bones, wrists are easy to break. What about the side of the head or anywhere on the head with a CHOP?? I still pretty confident with a chop. If I can leave I will always exit first.


  2. Reblogged this on silverapplequeen and commented:
    I was taught this stuff in 1978, in Sex Ed/Health class. I was also told that the best weapon a woman could have was her BRAIN … any other weapon (such as a gun) could be taken away from her & used against her.



  3. Great advice! I’ve been study karate since 1971, and this list is one I would distribute to my students, without question. Thanks, for sharing it!


  4. I’m kinda lucky in having avoided these tough situations for the most part. The only time I’ve ever been a victim of this ended up being almost funny rather than scary. And we used some of your points of course.
    I got attacked when I was with 2 girlfriends while we were walking home from town late at night. And we were attacked by 1 really drunk guy who could barely stand. Not quite the self-defense scenario you usually hear about and learn to protect against.
    He was very aggressive and pervy though. Grabbed my ass and tried to put his hand up my skirt, grabbed my friend’s top and tried to pull it down to see her breasts and then pushed her into a wall when she resisted.
    At that point we started hitting this guy with our bags. Luckily we all had quite big and heavy bags and this guy was so drunk he couldn’t handle it. I managed to hit him in the leg quite hard and he tripped over backwards. Before he could react or get up from the floor, my friend Laura (the most aggressive of us) quick ran up and kicked him in the balls while he was spread eagle. That just completely ended his night. He curled up and started moaning and howling, and we ran away to safety.
    So basically, he’s the one who needed the self-defense I guess. But still. We were pretty pleased with how effective we’d been.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. 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,


  10. 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! 🙂


  11. 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!


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


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