Self Defense Awareness Month: Strike To the Groin
Updated: May 28
Cojones. Huevos. Junk. Family Jewels. Nuts. Nads. Balls. Testicles. Ok, now that I have your attention, I bet you can guess the theme of this week’s self-defense video. It doesn’t matter what slang or anatomical name you choose to call it, a man’s groin presents a significant weakness that can be exploited in self-defense. Intentional strikes to the groin are against the rules in every single competitive sport on the planet, and for good reason. But it’s the actions that are against the rules in sport, that should be considered best practices for the street.
While it is possible to do permanent damage if you deliver a solid kick to the groin, the reality is that men get accidentally hit in the balls all the time without suffering permanent damage. Moreover, it should not be the intention of the defender to permanently damage the groin, but instead to deliver an aggressive, powerful kick to the groin that inflicts enough pain to stop, stun, or slow an attacker long enough to allow for time to escape. And there is a definite distinction between the two.
Here are 3 common misconceptions that women often have about delivering a kick to the groin in self-defense:
1. He will drop to the ground right away, writhe around in pain, and possibly puke.
This is certainly a possibility but it in no way is a guarantee. There is no such thing as a guaranteed fight ending strike. Anybody that tries to argue otherwise has very little experience on the street. There are a lot of factors that go in to how an attacker responds to a strike: the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, protective gear, adrenaline, mental illness, high pain threshold/tolerance. Because of this, I suggest that you plan on sending many different strikes to many different areas of an attacker’s body in order to increase the chances that he’ll be slowed, stunned, or stopped long enough for you to get away. Best-case scenario (outside of obviously not being in such a position in the first place) is that you send one strike and can run away to safety. Worst-case scenario is that you have to launch an all out assault of strikes to vulnerable areas of his body and fight tooth and nail to buy yourself an opportunity for escape. Being prepared for the worst-case scenario is the best way to prepare for survival.
2. He will catch my foot or leg if I kick him in the groin.
I can’t say that this is downright impossible since pretty much anything is possible on the street. But let’s just say that it’s highly unlikely he’ll catch your foot or your leg if you follow the instructions I give in the accompanying video. Kicking explosively up and through your attacker’s legs and immediately recoiling the foot and leg back behind you into a fighting stance will make it extremely difficult for him to catch your foot or your leg. I’ve certainly never seen it happen in training, sparring, or heard of it happening on the street. Again, I can’t say that it’s impossible, but the potential reward you stand to gain in a fight for your life if you land a solid kick to the groin definitely outweighs the slim possibility that he’ll catch your foot.
3. Grabbing, twisting, and pulling the groin with your hand is the best way to target a man’s groin in self-defense.
Grabbing, twisting, and pulling the groin is a valid self-defense strategy. Here is why I prefer a kick to the groin over a groin grab if both are available.
You can generate a much stronger strike with a kick then with a grab.
You can remain further away from your attacker with a kick, making it harder for the attacker to grab, choke, strike, tackle, cut, or stab you.
You aren’t “attaching” yourself to your attacker with a kick, making it easier to turn and run quickly.
An impact generally results in more pain than a squeeze since it’s easier for a body to adjust and tolerate a constant pain
You can keep both hands up protecting your face when you kick.
A kick can be effective even if the attacker is wearing a protective cup.
A kick can be effective even if the attacker is wearing restrictive pants.
The video that accompanies today’s article will teach you how to deliver an effective strike to the groin.