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Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
One technique?

If you were allowed to use just one physical technique in an inescapable fight, what would that technique be?

This is not to say that the technique you name is inherently superior to any other, as it may simply be one you personally find you do well or have a high rate of success with. So no right or wrong here. I’m just curious to see the cross section of technique we deem as our “big guns”.

Mine would be my left hook / slap.

All the best,


Jon Sloan
Jon Sloan's picture

Has to be the right cross/palm heel for me. I've always felt it to be solid but after Geoff's Masterclass and the 100k technique challenge it gave me an added confidence in its stopping power.

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture

Head butt.

I'd try to lull the person into a false sense of security by apologising for whatever the issue is, shake their hand and then pull them onto my head butt.  I've seen this done a number of times in crowded pubs/clubs and work very well.

Sneaky, effective and possibly a bit dodgey.

Gavin J Poffley
Gavin J Poffley's picture

Would have to be the right cross to the head (Ideally the jawline or the nose) for me.

It is the most natural and instinctive strike for me and has good range, speed and stopping power. I also find it most effective to deliver while holding the opponent's arm with the other hand.

Ives's picture

That would be a choku-zuki (anywhere between throught and eyes roughly) for me. All alone it would preferrably be a gyaku-zuki, but ideally a jun-zuki introduced by a mae-geri (anywhere between the knee and the chest roughly would be ideal, depending on clothing).

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson's picture

Interesting that the responses are all 'un attached' hitting, rather than a grab and punch  ...

Leigh Simms
Leigh Simms's picture

I would say either a Side Kick to inside or outside of the Knee. 

danpt's picture

Probably an entering palm strike to the chin/face with a check at a counterbalance point, say elbow, shoulder or hip.

Jon Sloan
Jon Sloan's picture

Paul Anderson wrote:

Interesting that the responses are all 'un attached' hitting, rather than a grab and punch  ...


Ha Paul, I suppose I should have clarified that. Yes, there would be attachment from me as far as I could get it.

Abhijeet Ashtikar
Abhijeet Ashtikar's picture

For me it would be either 1. Punch/ palm heel strike to the chin / below nose or 2. Knee strike / kick to the groin. 

I am really not able to decide on only one technique!! :-P

telmac1's picture

A close spit into the face followed very quickly by a palm heel...naughty and not very nice but extremely effective as taught and ably demonstrated by one of our visiting SBS chaps when I was in Malta with the Navy. The local recipient was shocked, soiled and unconcious. enlightening!

nielmag's picture

THis is a very interesting post.  I have a question.  I know its nearly impossible to know exactly what the creaters of kata intended to do, but it seems the style I practice, most of the katas have quite a few shuto uke's (pinans, bassai dai, kanku-dai).  Would the reason it is so prevelant be that it is a very effective, almost universally applicabe,  initial technique, a shuto uko/forearm strike to the jaw/neck?  For my personal technique, im torn between a low side kick, or a right cross/gyaku zuki to the head.

Drew Loto
Drew Loto's picture

I'm very fond of the shuto-uke because of its versatility as a defensive or offensive technique.  Am I cheating by choosing something that has such diverse applications?  

Shoto's picture
I'll rely upon multiple empi techniques..I guess
miket's picture

My answer is to say that any answer is both position and context dependent (smiley).  Obviously, the context will determine what is truly useful-- number of threats, presence of weapons, environmental context, angle of attack, threat awareness, and the threat context would all bear on a final answer.  Point:  I might use a different 'one thing' if tackled compared to a sudden rear naked choke.

The question seems to assume afrontal, threat of which I am aware of.  So, if I had to pick just ONE thing I tend to privelege, I would list an 'eye jab' as either the opening for a crash entry to close quarter range (control scenario); or as the opening to a hard follow-up (i.e. palm heel) followed by running (escape scenario).  I also like the slap, however, and the basic shin bark.


Paul M
Paul M's picture

I'd go for the powerslap then flee if possible!

christophergam's picture

my first strike would prob be a lead hand slap/plam or eye jab

Neil Cook
Neil Cook's picture

Deffinately the right cross ( gyaku ziku) with rear uppercut as a close second.

simon s
simon s's picture

Good question. For me it would have to be elbows, followed by knees. 

Anywhere you can touch, you can hit with an elbow. Powerful at short range and a finisher wthout doubt.

JWT's picture

As Mike says - it depends on context and position etc etc..

For me it would be Shuto Uke - any part of the whole movement! smiley  I would be looking for (and indeed be expecting from the other person if I wasn't making it) some form of 'attachment'  with the other person.

Th0mas's picture

Yes a great question... that surprised me when I realised I didn't have a gut response.

Left hand grab and right hook to the jaw or forearm smash to the chin... stepping through and following up with the opposite arm to take/smash down.. depending on the situation and body positioning.

Wastelander's picture

This is a really tough question for me to answer!  If I had to choose just one striking technique it would probably be empi-uchi--it can be used as a cover, it can be used to deflect incoming strikes, it can strike from multiple angles and it can strike while clinched.  That said, the likelihood of me NOT also using knees, palm heel strikes or throws is pretty low :P