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MASTERCLASS PRO takes our Masterclasses to the next level.

Learn how to take the individual self defence techniques and strikes you study in our Masterclass feature and merge them into natural and effective combinations in MASTERCLASS PRO.

Study how you can mix and match different upper and lower body strikes, with different ranges and angles of attack.





Then dealing with a second attacker with a HEADLOCK FROM THE SIDE.

Scenario: Deployed as an in-fight solution, this simple yet highly effective and brutal sequence of three strikes is designed to deal with the most common of assaults; the circular hand strike towards the head, or if you like; a punch or a cheap shot. This is then followed up immediately with a groin kick and a forearm strike towards the facial or head area of the aggressor.

Adding to this, we’ve covered handling a secondary attacker coming from behind with a headlock from the side.


From a hands up position with hands partially overlapping in front of you and away (to create a shield in front of your face and preventing the aggressor to get too close), send your forearm matching the circular hand strike diagonally outwards with your elbow low and wrist high (securing a longer shield with the forearm covering your head height).

This is an aggressive strike movement, hitting hard with the outside bony part of your forearm near the wrist against the opponent’s wrist. Picture your forearm as a blade that wants to chop their hand off. Don’t hold off with this strike. It’s NOT a block or a soft shielding motion. Executed with your elbows locked at c. 90 degrees or so, it is aimed at inflicting sufficient pain to open the palm (if it holds a weapon) if possible.

The other hand remain in front of you to protect your face or stay ready to strike if necessary.

Recoil the striking hand immediately to the starting position upon impact.

Picture: Starting position to strike outwards towards a circular punch. The strike goes c. 45 degrees out and forward to aggressively meet the punch to connect near the wrist.

HOW TO DO THE KICK TO THE GROIN (back leg or legs in a line).

This kick is renowned (or notorious, dependent on which side you’re on) for its brutal and show-shopping efficiency.

The groin kick does however have its considerations and limitations that you need to be acutely aware of.

Firstly, it should be executed at a closer (hand-striking range or just out of it) to optimise the surprise element of it. Starting the kick at too long a range simply allows the opponent to move away or, if skilled, defend against it and it puts you in an unbalanced and less defendable position until you land the kicking leg. The relative closeness of the kick also adds to the surprise element as it’s done downwards up, out of line of sight of the opponent.

In this scenario, your opponent is already on the groin kicking range, making the kick a potential great option.

Secondly, the groin area is not a big target (author note: putting away any male insecurities and simply making it comparable to other target areas. Also note: it’s effective against female opponents too). This is especially true if the groin area is not open and readily accessible to be kicked. It can easily be missed in a dynamic fight.

Thirdly, even if connecting solidly with the testicles, this may not be sufficiently effective. If the target person is under the influence of intoxicating substances, the brain may not register the pain until a long time later, when the substance effect has worn off. Striking a groin with great accuracy and power just to receive a non-reaction is not the best encouragement in a fight. No pain. It’s going to be tough one.

Picture: The groin strike.

HOW TO DO THE KICK TO THE GROIN (back leg or legs in a line).

This kick is ‘simple’ - but only if you allow it to be.

Generate power through speed and release the kicking leg by ‘stomping’ the base leg forward onto the floor in front of you (centreline) with a small step to close to the right distance, make some forward body momentum and remove all the weight off the kicking leg. Keep your hands up and in front of you throughout to defend your upper body and in readiness for hand strikes to follow on.

As you prepare to land the ‘stomp’ the kicking leg should already be in a forward swinging motion, in a direct line towards the groin. The ‘motivation’ for the kick should be to slice the person into two halves, from groin to head - like a volley football (soccer) kick (only on a smaller two-ball target). The kick should be fast, explosive, loose - and excessively brutal. The connection point is the lower to mid part of the shin, with the toes pointing backwards to tense the shin for the impact. Kicking with toes or in-step can easily miss the groin if it’s slightly pulled back if the kick is detected.

Recoil the leg back to the line of your base leg in readiness to deliver the double forearm strike. You can now propel yourself forward into the strike using the power of both legs.


This is a simple close or medium range and very powerful bursting in movement where your symmetrical arm position is striking both towards the aggressor’s neck at the jawline (or more aggressively, turn the elbow more up to target the larynx) or side of face and towards any circular-style hand attack directed towards your head, agnostic as to whether the attacking hand contains a sharp, edged or blunt weapon or not -or, in fact, whether a punch is struck or not.

This strike is designed to deliver this devastating strike aimed at their neck or side of face in order to continue with further strikes or just to create distance to escape. Your follow-up strikes will be determined by the ferocity of your double forearm strike, the physics of the impact and the backwards movement of your opponent in terms of distance. It could be close range elbows, a medium range hand strikes or longer range kicks that become applicable, based on the strike impact and your continued forward movement.

This double forearm strike can be a solution to someone starting with hard-to-block multiple circular hand strikes towards you to get safely on the inside of the punches, as an in-fight solution where you want to get really close to use further strikes or just to create space and time by sending your opponent back. It can also be done as you move forward after a groin or front kick whilst changing the range to close-quarter fighting.

Send your shoulders and arms forward and outwards as you turn your bony outside part of our forearms towards the attacker with your elbows low and fingers outstretched.

This movement should cease when you have no forward mobility left in your shoulders, with the open palms of your hands facing each other and approximately shoulder width apart, creating a pyramidical shape with a foot-wide opening at the top. Do not lower your wrists, unless you drop the face-striking wrist to target the larynx. This can crush the organ with life-threatening results. Do not have a narrow gap between your hands. The shoulders, elbows and wrists and the entire arms should be completely rigid, creating two solid longer symmetrical striking objects.

Aim (by being shoulder width between your hands)your arm matching the attacker’s striking hand to connect near to their wrist with the outside bony part near to your wrist. The connection point will however be determined by the angle of the attacker’s arm. This is irrelevant to you, as you cannot know or process the exact attacking angle anyway until it’s too late; you just aim to design the biggest possible tool (your forearm) to block/strike back with.

Simultaneously, aim the other forearm with the same angle to connect at the side of the neck just below the jawline (or larynx if breather force is required). If it connects by design or by a lowering of the attacker’s chin on their face (likely to happen), this is highly effective too.

The forward movement of your head should be aimed towards the attacker’s striking shoulder, with your head slightly lowered, ending up close to the shoulder to create the biggest possible distance away from any edged weapon either in the hand, maybe also being accidentally released from the hand by your strike.

The double forearm strike is commenced by the shoulders, not by stepping first - as moving a smaller body part (shoulders and arms) are faster than the full body (by stepping). Only step forward if you lose balance forward as you strike. If so, try to land forward with the foot matching the aggressor’s striking hand, leaving your opposite leg behind, centred onto the attacker and available for further strikes (e.g. to groin).

Expect an effective double forearm strike to move an opponent backwards on impact, so if your tactics are to continue with further strikes, continue your forward motion to remain on a striking range.

Picture: The double forearm strike.


This attack is conducted by a secondary attacker, but the technique is applicable to a primary attack too.

With a slight misnomer (the attack is more likely to take place from behind you, with the attacker ending up on your side only once you’re head-locked) and being a more ‘innocent favourite’ from many young people’s school years, the head lock from the side is one of the first defences taught in many Krav Maga schools.

Aimed to either control you, maybe for further hand attacks, possibly even involving a secondary attacker, or as a flowing prelude to take you down to the floor by a trained martial artist, the attack is something requiring an immediate response, especially as it involves constriction of the neck.

Your response can therefore be appropriately severe (as you will discover).

Note: If caught unaware and by a trained practitioner, it’s highly likely you’ll be on the floor before you can fully commence this defence.

Optimise the defence by:

Rebalance yourself by stepping forward with the leg opposite to the attacker’s side. This will happen naturally with any physical impact. Try to land 90 degrees to where you where, with both feet solidly on the floor, akin to the wide leg position of a deadlift in the gym to maintain a good base.

Simultaneously to the step, move to place the hand closest to the attacker up and between your head and your attacker’s face, thumb facing downwards and fingers in a claw shape. The other hand goes immediately towards the attacker’s groin, ready to hit.

This full motion is similar to a front crawl in swimming, except for the hand shapes, done standing up.

The near hand to the attacker should as quickly as possible gouge one eye (ideally teh far one) with your fingertips, using the thumb to also press the nose backwards, then attack the groin to generate the natural inclination of the attacker to bend forward when struck in the groin, increasing the pressure on the eyes. You must gouge the eyes with the tips of the finger(s). Pressing the face or forehead has no discernible effect. Do not leave the hand in the groin area to prevent it being caught and pressed in by the opponent squeezing their legs together.

Picture: Starting position to commence the fight back after a headlock from the side.

Now, elevate yourself as you continue to gouge, by pressing the attacker’s head backwards until the head is locked fully back, then press the head downwards.

Aid their falling movement down to the floor by lifting the groin-striking hand up (removing the headlock arm in the process, if still locked, by a sharp downward scoping motion with the hand), then continue to strike the chin with open palm strikes until the attacker is floored.

A more aggressive option are clenched first strikes against the larynx. This can be lethal and carries a higher degree of legal self defence justification threshold, maybe against multiple attackers, male on female or clear disparity of power.

Crudely, imagine this falling movement as taking the testicles away and feeding them to the attacker to consume by mouth. Crude and rude, but a memorable metaphor.

Step towards their head as the attacker drops down, avoiding being kicked and making sure you can keep striking the chin for as long as possible, also preventing pressure on your back as you move.

Continue with attacks if you can’t escape or quickly remove yourself from the situation and run away.

Sounds raw and brutal? A headlock from the side is a potential lethal force attack as it sets up a potential choking motion. Your reaction can be significant in return.

Further strikes to follow-up are available if required and will be covered in further Masterclass PROs.

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