Women’s Self Defense Article 3: Vital Points

For this article, I am going to cover some vital points. It is especially important to focus on striking vital points if your opponent happens to be stronger than you. You do not want to get into an exchange of blows but rather strike points that do lasting damage buying you time to escape.

One martial arts technique I like to adopt, is to divide the body into six gates. The division is made by drawing a line down the center of the body, or basically thinking of the spine. Now each side of the body is mirrored. To draw the horizontal lines, draw one line across right below the chest and another beneath the hips. This will leave 6 boxes which represent the six gates. You can get a better understanding for the six gates by researching Wing Chun Kung Fu.  Here is a simple diagram of points to focus on.


Gate 1 and 2




Gate 3 and 4

Solar Plexus



Gate 5 and 6




Besides where to strike, you also want to practice how to strike. Let’s start with the first vital point, the eyes. When striking the eyes, it is not very effective to use a punch or kick. You want to either use a finger jab, or rake through the eyes somehow such as with a Tiger claw.  Try different ways to see what feels the most natural for you. The more natural the movement is, the easier it will be to defend yourself with it.



The next target is the throat, and although a punch would work, it is still not the most effective strike. The punch could get caught on the chin, which luckily has a knockout point of it’s own, so it is easier to us a chop or a half fist (a.k.a the leopard’s paw). The most effective strike for the nose would of course be either a punch or a palm strike. To learn to defend yourself well, you want to practice being able to strike these various targets from different positions in an efficient manner. Keep the strikes simple and quick. Fancy looking movements generally are not very effective. Even when they do work, they often take a high amount of skill to pull off against an aggressive opponent.


You will want to work various drills to make your techniques effective. Get with a friend and have them try to grab or strike you in various ways. See what the closest vital point is to strike, and how best to strike it from the position you wind up in. It is also worth noting that it does hurt some if you are not use to hitting things. It would be a good idea to practice these strikes on a heavy bag so that you can conditions your fist, forearms, and shins for striking a little bit.


One final tip is to never depend on a single strike to do the job. Try to string together two or three strikes all aimed at vital points so that if one fails, hopefully the next will hit it’s mark. If you can not hit multiple points, try to at least hit the same point multiple times. You want to make sure to do enough damage to buy you the time you need to get away, other wise you risk simply making them mad and making your situation worse. Strike fast, often, and it in vital areas and you should be able to escape most street situations.. Practice the same techniques often to build speed and work the heavy bag to develop power. Good luck and Thank you for reading the 3rd article in our Women’s Self Defense line up!