Part 3- Attacks From The Side
By Ronald van de Sandt
Editor's Note: This is the third article
in a three part series. Part
2 discussed several common attacks from the front against
someone seated in a wheelchair. Part
1 discussed self-defense responses to a push from behind.
This article, and the others in the series, was the result of being confined
to a wheelchair for a period of time, an experience which gave me a better
understanding of the martial arts as well as an appreciation for those
who are handicapped. I realized also that while some "attacks"
are unique to those in wheelchairs, others are similar to those experienced
by anyone sitting in a chair, on a bench, on a train or subway, or on
the floor. In studying self defense techniques for those confined to wheelchairs,
I was surprised at the number of defenses that I recognized as coming
right out of the karate kata I had practiced for so long.
This article discusses how to defend against attacks from the side, where
the attacker is usually trying to restrain the person, or tip the wheelchair.
Often there is insufficient time to use seemingly complex defenses, so
presented here are a variety of defenses, both simple and complex.
Defense Technique 1: By far the simplest technique is a crane
head strike (back of wrist) or a rear crane beak strike (finger tips)
to the knee, or groin (here shown), depending on where to the side your
opponent is standing. Here
the defender is sitting in a chair to show the similarity of defensive
techniques that can be applied to someone sitting in a wheelchair or in
a standard chair.
The inside of the thigh, just above the knee, is one of the most sensitive
areas for a crane beak strike. If he's close enough, an elbow to the knee
can also be devastating. Pinching the inner thigh near the groin area
usually causes the opponent to back away very quickly as well.
Defense Technique 2: An attack comes from your right side. Here
again, as the attacker reaches for you with his right hand you can counter
with a crane head strike (back of wrist), a rear crane beak strike (finger
tips) to the knee, or groin, or pinch to the inner thigh. As the person
responds, hook your right arm under the opponent's right elbow while also
grabbing his wrist with your left hand. Now pull with your right arm and
push with your left to turn your opponent so he falls over your lap.
Defense Technique 3: Another response to a potential attack from
the right side is to initially respond as in #2 above. In this case, however,
as the person bends forward, reach up with your left hand to grab the
back of his neck (or hair) and pull him forward toward your lap. As you
do this allow your right hand to come up under his throat. Your left hand
can then grab your right wrist to affect a choke.
Defense Technique 4: In this defense as your attacker is reaching
toward you with his right hand, intercept and grab the arm with your left
hand while also executing a right palm heel strike to the opponent's groin.
Immediately move your right hand between your opponent's legs and begin
to lift and pull your opponent towards you using both arms. The attacker
will end up lying across your lap (here shown from the side).