There is a kick you need to have in your self-defense arsenal. It isn’t flashy and you mostly likely won’t see it in any action movies. However, the pain and ability to injure to a degree is incredible, in addition to the fact that it takes minimal training, athletic ability or high level of physical attributes.
This kick can be found in many different arts, ranging from French kick boxing, known as Savate, to the rapid low line kicking art from Southeast Asia called Panajackman. It is easy, direct and versatile, regardless of what art or culture you see display it.
The formal term is an “oblique” kick, but if you call it a shin kick, people will get the idea really quick. We’ve all ran our shin into an end table, or corner of a bed at least once, and have realized how much pain can be summoned with barely any effort. We can use this knowledge, and this swift shin kick offensively or defensively as a move to quickly get away, or a precursor to a myriad of follow up combinations.
Kicking with your toes, or the point of your foot is an option, but in order to cover more surface area, kicking with the side or instep of your foot is much more effective. As shown in the picture, I like using the rear foot because of it’s increased power, and feeling more balanced when I throw it. The target is obvious, but make sure you aim for the middle of the opponent’s shin to yield the most pain.
Talking about pain, another important fact about this simple move, is that we can “injure to a degree”. Meaning, controlling the exact pain you give an attacker when punching them in the face is difficult, however, using a move like this, intensity of the pain can be dialed up or down, depending on how painful you want the strike to be.
Because it is thrown at the low line, under most people’s awareness and peripheral vision, you can strike when you want, with little defense. You can vary up the intensity, but also get in a couple rapid shots before the person finds a way to get out of the way of the next.
Taking the idea of “injuring to a degree” to the extreme, the kick can be changed slightly, and by using a downward stomping motion, this kick can now be used to inflict damage to the point of making the attacker immobile. This is accomplished by stepping through the knee cap in a brutal angle right through the knee which can be seen in the pictures.
Brutal, yes, but it is nice to have a move which can be applied to many different situations. I’ve instructed body guards and bouncers to use this quick shin kick to move a belligerent fan or bar customer easier out the exit. I’ve also taught women to use this, as any small female can literally break the leg of any stronger male who might attack them. Having this ability to change up the intensity and even result makes this simple move unique, and puts it in that small class of moves which you need to learn.