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Defense Against A Rear Bear Hug Attack -
Part 1

By Prof. Gene Roos

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of articles on defenses against various kinds of bear hugs. In this instance the attacker is moving into the defender and grabs him as he is going forward. Following articles will include defenses against static attacks -- against a bear hug around the upper arms and around the arms at the elbow level.

There are several types of rear bear hugs. It is a common attack. One type is a static attack where the opponent just grabs around your upper body and arms and pins them to your side. In another type, to which the defense is shown here, the attacker has momentum. He or she charges you from the rear and grabs you.

With this type of attack, the defender’s movement illustrated below diverts the attacker’s momentum and adds to it – the attacker falls past your body. This defense is very powerful and swift; the more forward momentum the attacker has, the more effective the defense is.

This type of defense is found in many jujutsu systems, in aikido, and is also imbedded within some karate kata.

The attacker moves into you from the rear and grabs you from behind in a bear hug.

Defender right foot steps at 45 degrees to the right with his right arm outstretched (little finger up) at the same angle.

Defender bows at 45 degrees to the right with his left hand coming up at a rear 45 degree angle. The attacker slides across and down the right side of the defender.

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About the Author:

Prof. Gene Roos, 10th dan Ju Jitsu, and 4th dan in judo, is a member of the Board of Directors for the America Ju Jitsu Association. He is a frequent contributor to In 1958 was awarded Shodan (Judo) and won the Regional Judo Champion. In 1958 & 1959 was Judo State Champion. His instructors include: Harold Brosious (Ketsugo), Dennis Palumbo (Hakko Ryu Ju Jitsu, 8th Dan), George Kirby, & Shizuya Sato (Ju Jitsu), Wally Jay (Small Circle Ju Jitsu), Dr. Sacharnoski (Hard Style Ju Jitsu & Ki) and Master Mochizuki (a student of Funakoshi, Kano, & Ueshiba). He is also the author of a series of upcoming books on Aiki jujitsu as well as a number of videos including: "Aiki Jujitsu" (a three video tapes series with manuals); "Deadly Attacks" (defense against 30 knife, gun, stick and empty hand attacks); "Deadly Attacks- part II" (defense against an additional 30 knife, gun and empty hand attacks); "Deadly Attacks III" and "Devastating Throws and Other Deadly Attacks " (defense against 30 advanced combat throws, knife attacks, stick, and a rear shotgun attack), For more information see:

To find more articles of interest, search on one of these keywords:

self-defense, jujitsu, jujutsu, aikido, rear bear hug, defense against a rear bear hug

Read more articles by Prof. Gene Roos

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