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The Natural Defenses of the Body

by Simon Russell

The body has been designed to protect important parts. Without going into too much detail for a basic self defense article we will cover basic body design.

If you stand in a upright position with arms at your sides we will assess the bodies basic protection. The areas that tend to get bumped or knocked tend to be on the outside of our limbs. These areas tend to be covered with hair. Hair is not the best protector but still supplies a layer of cover between ourselves and the external environment. The main arteries and veins again tend to run on the inside of our limbs. The outside of our limbs also tend to have the highest concentration of muscle. The design places the weaker and less resilient parts in a protected area not all that easily accessible. The limbs bend easiest towards the less protected inside part. This again exposes the tougher hairier part of the limb and protects the softer parts. The neck does not benefit from as much protection as the limbs. The chin is a protector but that differs from person to person. Although a quick turn of the head creates a natural barrier using the chin and the shoulder.

The body is designed in line with gravity. The body is designed to better protect itself from attacks in a downward angle than those rising. Again look at the position of weak areas, arm pits, groin, and throat. Armpits are always protected unless the arm is raised. Even then they are naturally protected from downward attacks by the shoulder. The groin is naturally protected by the legs. We all know the self defense move of a solid groin kick. It is however normally achieved only on a unsuspecting person. A slight leg manoeuvre can easily protect the groin. The neck is protected by the head from most angled falling attacks. As has been demonstrated above, the body is better built to withstand downward attacks than rising. So from a victim's perspective, should we not be looking at countering an attack with upward strikes. Hence the use of the old fashioned groin kick.

Have you ever wondered why people are ticklish? When tickled the person responds without thinking. It is often a quick and sudden move. Where are the main ticklish spots, the neck, arm pits, waist and under the feet. These are weak spots on the body. A ticklish response is a natural defensive move by the body. To flinch when something is thrown at you is another good example of a subconscious body defense. Often the arms are raised to protect the head. This is done instinctively and that is what self defense should be about.

Every Martial Arts system can teach effective self defense techniques that work. The only problem is that it takes effort, dedication and hours of repetition to learn them. The body has been expertly designed to cater for day to day mishaps to aggressive attacks. What we need to do is get in-tune with our natural ability. Why go out and learn a unnatural skill when one can perfect or slightly adapt a natural ability we have been practicing with since the day we could move as an infant.

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