A front hair grab is a highly effective technique used by bullies and abusive Dark Hearts to intimidate their insecure victims. The attacked person feels they have no way to fight back because of a history of giving in or the attacker’s size seems insurmountable. As for attackers, a hair grab makes them feel powerful because it says, “I’m in control” or “I have ‘a handle’ on this person.”
What most attackers don’t know is how vulnerable they make themselves with a hair grab. With one arm up high, the attacker’s body becomes vulnerable to kicks and punches. (Oh the things you can do to an exposed rib cage!)
But there’s also one technique that pits most of your body weight against an attacker’s wrist, so their size doesn’t matter! Take a moment right now to see how far back you can make one hand bend backward over your forearm. I’m flexible, and I can’t hardly get it the lower part of my hand to bend beyond a 90 degree angle. Imagine the pain of abruptly forcing that wrist further than it wants to go.
Wait. You don’t have to imagine it. Just watch the video. That’s real pain happening.
Here’s how to to it:
- One hand, then the other smashes the attacker’s grabbing hand onto your head — do not interlock fingers (SEE photos at bottom of post)
This does two things: stops the pain of the hair pulling and traps the attacker’s hand onto your head in a way that will lock the wrist into place for the next move.
- Strong side foot slides straight back – keep hand smashed to your head!
This is a set up move only. It doesn’t cause pain or better trap the attacker’s hand. Remember when Indiana Jones takes out his bull whip and first draws the handle back behind his head in anticipation of the whipping motion? Same thing here.
- Instantly (as fast as the “choo” part of an “ahh…choo” sneeze) follow up the foot slide with a bend forward at waist as head and chin tuck down until you can see your back foot — keep hand smashed to your head!
This is the part where Indiana Jones whips his bull whip forward. Your body motion and hand trap will torque the attacker’s trapped wrist backward into such pain that he will think it’s breaking and ripping inside.
To avoid the pain, most attackers will – without thinking — drop abruptly and painfully to one knee, maybe both. If you are lucky, the knee will hit so hard the attacker will be hurting now in two places.
- Release the hand and run to safety … or … ahem … otherwise deal with the situation.
To work, the entire release technique should take less than a second to perform (or the attacker will counter before you can make it work effectively). This release from front hair grab self defense technique requires a partner to get the full effect. Also recommended are: a doctor’s OK to exercise with abrupt moves, good balance, and supervision by a trained instructor.
NOTE: Realize the training partner who is playing the attacker will feel like their wrist is breaking, so two things will happen: 1) you could hurt each other by being too gung-ho and trying too hard and too fast without sensible control and without initial slow-motion practice, or 2) you two will be so timid about the pain, you’ll use too little speed and power for effective practice. Thus the need for a trained instructor to help.
Hey, I can only do so much from this end of things!
Some things that will make the self defense move ineffective are:
- Wrong timing – it must be one fast, smooth, and flowing action to work
- Unsure balance – it won’t help much if the step and head motion make you lose your balance
- Incorrect posture – many students who try this for the first time don’t step deep enough, step too deeply, or stick their butt out too much. The idea is to set up and whip forward, not stick out backwards
- Failure to take chin down to chest and look toward the back foot — this is the key move to make it work
- Bad hand placement — the fingers must not interlace and the wrist of the attacker must be free to bend.
The photos below show proper hand positions:
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