I looked at one of my self-defense classes, which displayed an array of different types of people, as some were big, some were small, others tall and still other short. I had both females and males in the class with varying occupations ranging from law enforcement to stay at home moms, executives to different blue collar workers. I taught them all the one move, you must have in your self-defense arsenal…
What is the move which will effect anyone, regardless of their size, gender, strength level or even pain tolerance I asked. Everyone looked at each other, curious if anyone was going to offer a guess.
“It’s the eye jab”, I said. Jabbing someone in the eyes is the one move which can literally disable any attacker with the minimum amount of movement on our end. Now “how” we do it, is important, but first grasp what I just told you: A quick eye jab can disable anyone regardless of how strong or big an attacker is. There are few self-defense moves which can claim that label.
Bruce Lee even built his “Jeet Kune Do” combative theory around this elusive move. Recently, we’ve seen “unintended” eye jabs being used “too effectively” in mixed martial arts fights, as they have now been outlawed and come with hefty penalties. If this simple move can take down highly trained MMA fighters, I think it is something we should all take a serious look at.
I believe we’ve grown up seeing too much punching, when in reality, punching takes more time to develop, while still relying on being just as strong or even bigger than your opponent. That is why there are still weight classes in boxing and mixed martial arts. Size and strength do count for quite a bit, and using an eye jab can circumvent that need to be stronger and bigger.
Performing an eye jab is easy, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to practice it. The steps to complete a successful one is to first stand in a bladed stance with one leg in front of the other. Next, use your front hand (ideally your strong hand, as it is stronger and more coordinated, hence accurate) as it is closer to the target. Then, flick out your arm, “whipping” your hand and fingers at the eyes. This is not like a “karate chop”, nor should you be “pecking” at their eyes. Simply snap out your fingers like you would snap out a rolled up towel.
If you don’t have a heavy bag or even a partner to train with or against, hang a piece of paper from the ceiling and snap out eye jabs to develop your distancing and timing. Although one good eye jab can take down the most hardened attacker, it is important to also have a couple follow up moves ready to go, such as a front kick, elbows and knee strikes.