Self Defense...
Back Knee Kick & Groin Grab


The groin is one of the bodies battle fault areas -- a sensitive area to strike. In an ideal situation your attacker would be standing in front of you and you could use the standard front kick to slow him down. In preparation for a less than ideal situation.  Letís now take a look at three pain inflicting strikes to the groin techniques.

The Back Kick

1.      Lift your knee up to a horizontal position in front of you.

2.      The foot and toes should be pointing up -- bent upwards.

3.      At the same time, you should be looking over your shoulder at your attacker.

4.      Take aim and thrust your heel into the groin, and quickly back down to the ground to keep your balance.

In all the techniques you are learning here at SDN, more is better, so give it all youíve got.

Too close for comfort

Below are two simple techniques to use if you find that you are too close to use a front or back kick. They are called "Knee to the Groin" and "The Groin Grab." They may come in handy someday, so stop, listen and learn.

Knee to the Groin

1.      This technique is almost the same as the front kick (explained in another article). Instead of connecting with the foot, lift your knee up into the attackerís groin, hard and fast.

2.      For support, and if possible, grab hold of your attacker. Grab with both hands by the upper arms or chest, and pull as your knee connects with the groin. This adds a bit more power to the maneuver.

That's just about all there is to it.

The Groin Grab

1.      If your attacker is behind you and close enough, reach out behind grab his groin and squeeze hard.

2.      Donít just pinch... close all four fingers against you palm.

You need to understand that in order for this technique to be effective, you must get a hold of at least one testicle. Itís the squashing of the testicles that cause the pain.

These techniques work best when your attacker is caught off guard. Use the element of surprise, and itís important to "time" the techniques well. Also, his legs must be at least slightly apart and stay that way until after you make your move.

Let's summarize

         The back kick: Knees up, toes pointing up, look, take aim, and heel into the groin.

         Knee to the groin: grab attacker with both hands by the upper arms or chest, pull as your knee connects.

         Reach out behind grabbing the groin, squeeze.

         Timing and surprise are important with all these techniques, and his legs must be apart. 


This is a fairly simple, yet powerful, sidekick to the knee technique. You will do two experiments, so you understand what you are learning. Plus three important tips.

One of the best ways to stop an attacker, is to disable his mode of transport: damage a leg, knee or foot, so he canít stand, canít walk, canít run, and therefore canít hurt you. Letís start with the technique itself.

How to break a knee

1.        Start with your feet at shoulder width (stand normally).

2.        Pivot on the ball of your foot. Turn the left heel around so that the heel is pointing at the ball of your right foot (where your big toe meets your foot).

3.        Lift the right knee up to a horizontal position, pointing the toes up. At the same time, turn your body side on to your attacker. Notice how easy and natural it feels after turning your heel first - your knee on the left leg doesnít twist.

4.        Now, with the blade of your right foot (the foot youíve got off the ground), aim, and then strike just on top of the kneecap. Select the easiest/closest kneecap to strike. The blade of the foot is the long outside part. Use the middle of the blade, between the little toe and the heel.

5.        Continue forward, folding the knee joint back in the direction that it doesnít normally bend. As you can imagine, this is no good for your attackerís knee - it will break!

6.        Give it all youíve got!

Shoes with a good hard solid heel and base will help you to cause maximum damage.

Put your shoes on, go outside and find a "pole" to practise this on. Work on speed, accuracy, and be thinking about timing, and surprise!

Important tips

If you like the idea of folding an attackerís knee joint back, you need to know two things:

1.        Your attacker must have his weight more on the leg/knee you plan to strike. Or he could have just enough time to lift his leg up and away.

2.        Your attackerís leg must be straight. If it is bent, even a little bit, it will be much harder to fold it back.

Another important tip

Always plan to connect ALL strike techniques about one-foot or 300mm PAST the real point of impact. This will add power to the technique.

Try the following experiment on yourself.

1.        Stand on one leg (without falling over).

2.        Lift your other leg up and bend it so that the foot is in front of the kneecap of the leg youíre standing on.

3.        Now, bend the leg youíre standing on until you feel the muscles in your leg tighten up and take your weight.

4.        With the foot in front of the kneecap, very lightly tap the bent leg, on the kneecap.

To get the knee to bend back you would need more than a hit with a foot, more like a Mac truck. So you now understand that a bent leg is no good.

Do step one and two again, this time, in step three, keep your leg straight.

1.        Stand on one leg.

2.        Lift the other leg up and bend it so that the foot is in front of the kneecap of the leg youíre standing on.

3.        Now, straighten the leg youíre standing on.

4.        With the foot in front of the kneecap, VERY LIGHTLY, tap the straight leg on the kneecap.

Gigantic difference isnít it. You need to know this difference to be able to carry out this technique with maximum results. Remember, the idea is to demobilize your attacker long enough for you to get away.

The above fold the knee joint technique is a clear winner if done correctly. However, in my opinion, itís a little too complicated, and therefore, risky for an untrained person to use. If you feel confident in your ability to pull it off, by all means, go for it! If you are even a little unsure, thatís OK! Take a look at a few more articles on this, the Self-Defense Now website. You will find a technique that you DO feel comfortable with.


If an attacker canít stand up, then he isnít very dangerous. Contact fully on top of the kneecap and continue forward, folding at the knee. Whether a leg is straight or bent is very important to the success of this technique. Give it all you've got and then get the hell out of there! If this technique seems too complicated or risky, read a few more self-defense technique articles.

A special thanks to Self-Defense Now for allowing us to use the above article! The Self-Defense Now website has all kinds of practical tips and techniques on self-defense. The Self-Defense Now website can be found by following this link: