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Self-Defence: Potent Points - Atemi Wasa - Striking

Knowing When and Where To Use Atemi Wasa (Striking) or Potent Points For Self-Defence

Atemi Wasa (Striking), knowing how to hit in Self-Defence is not sufficient. You have to know your Potent Points, when and where to hit.

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In Self-defence Boxers Have The Best Punches

Boxers are very good at hitting. But any good boxer will tell you that, for a punch to be effective, it must be done correctly. If not, you may as well be hitting your opponent with a pillow.

For example, learning how to hit takes at least some practice. For a straight punch, you have to learn not to bend your wrist and to hold your finger inside your thumb. Not the other way around. You should also make sure your thumb is not pointing forward.

Good Atemi Wasa is Similar to A Boxing Punches

There is also a different way to hold your hand for each application other than boxing punches. There is a knife hand, pointed knuckles, and palm strikes for example.

Potent points are not pressure points. Ponant points will at least temporarily disable someone. Effective potent points will do much more.

Once you have learned how to do a boxing punch you can apply what know to all the other stricks. The principle is the same it is just that your hand is in a different position

For Kicks

Then there are kicks. A Kick is a kick and provided you do it with force and you don't point your toes most people can do a kick effectively.

But knowing how to hit is only part of it.

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When And Where To Hit Potant Points

Knowing how to strike is just part of it. It seems obvious but it is not to most people I teach.

  1. If you are going to hit somebody you had better be prepared for the consequences.
  2. Even if you are in fear for your life you still have to deal with the emotional and physical results of defending yourself. On top of that you are no matter how just your cause or how necessary you deem your action, you will have to confront the authorities (teacher, police) and explain your actions. Hence this forces students to ask if any action exceeds the intended harm.

    Self-defence should not and is never in reality taken lightly.

    Even thinking about using Atemi Wasa (striking) requires asking the question:

    Is it Worth It?
  3. Not everyone is the same:
  4. It's no good hitting someone in the eyes or nose or ears or any part of the head, if you can't reach it

    It's no good hitting someone anywhere around the body if you don't have the speed or build or both to make it effective

    Even if you can reach an appropriate potent point you have to have practiced, often, at the right angle and speed and method of contact to make it effective.

    Even thinking about using Atemi Wasa (striking) requires asking the question: Can I REACH the potent point and Make it Hurt or Effective?

    In other words:
    Can I do it?
  5. “Aim carefully and Plan to escape to safety!!!”
  6. If you don't plan your escape then Atmi wasa may do nothing more than make an attacker angry

    Even thinking about using Atemi Wasa requires asking the questions:
    Do I have a feasible exit to get away?
    If I think I can do it and get away with it what should I do next?

    In other words:
    Can I get away with it?

This all seems like a lot to have to think about in an emergency situation but fortunately, especially if you have practiced, such thought processes need only take a fleeting moment

I have a rule that I, not only teach but harp on about to all my students. Men, Ladies, and children.
There are only 2 places that you can use what you learn in Judo:
  • in the Dojo
  • and
  • when you are "Very, very, very" scared.


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