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Instinctive Body Reactions

Making your unarmed combat skills more effective.

Every human being reacts in a specific and instinctive way if unexpectedly attacked by an aggressor.
The pure instinct to survive forces our bodies to make a physical movement, to react. We may call those
movements – Instinctive Body Reactions / IBR /.

People react in this way without any kind of training/preparation, it just happens. Everyone will do it and it
doesn`t matter if you are trained in the martial arts or not.

If someone surprises you, your first reaction will be some kind of IBR, some kind of reflex forcing
your body to do the right thing to protect yourself and minimize the damage. The stress of the
situation will cause the loss of fine motor skills / loosing control over limbs and ability to do
technical complicated movements /.
Then after you adapted to the situation and have some kind of control over it and your feelings you will be
able to do movements / methods you have done so many times in the training hall.

By observing people who never did any kind of martial arts training and/or children we can make a
statement that those movements are:
* done instinctively / unconscious movement /
* easy to do / based on pure gross motor skills
* easy to remember and perform during stressful situations
* individuals do not need any form of training/preparation to do them
* with small modifications in performance, these instinctive reflexes/reactions are very
effective in a realistic and violent street confrontations/self defense.

To easier understand those instinctive reactions of human body and to modify them to more effective
combat/self defense skills you have to understand in what way people may attack you. You have to
analyze every part of every possible aggressive movement the attacker may turn against you. But –

An aggressor has only 2 possible ways of attacking:

1. Attacks with arms
2. Attacks with legs

All attacks with arms are done by using:

1. Linear movements: straight punches, chokes, grappling, grabbing hair or chest etc…/
2. Circular movements: swing, slap, uppercut /

Basic movements/attacks in each group are based on the same principle. One principle in each group of
So my idea/statement is that you need only few / 2-3 / instinctive movements at max to effectively
defend yourself against all those attacks. Difficult to belive?

Just read the following information and you will understand.

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All linear movements/attacks function on the same principle. Their goal is to get to the target by
the shortest/fastest way possible.
The only difference is how the hand is formed and what part of the body is attacked.
The body/arms move always in the same way.

So if those movements are in principle of function the same, you will need only 1 or 2 at max movements
to defend against all those linear attacks.


How would you react if someone unexpectedly attacked/punched towards your face from the front ?
If standing in some kind of high risk stance with your arms up and talking with people you would react by
fencing with your arms, trying to take the attack away and slow it down. Slightly turning to the side from
the attacker and stepping backwards.

This is an Instinctive Reaction of your body. Everyone will react in similar way when attacked
unexpectedly. The interesting thing is that the attacker doesn’t have to hit you to gain this kind of reaction.
A feint is enough to force/make you react that way.

To make this natural and instinctive reaction more effective in self defence/unarmed combat just
change slightly the way of performance by doing it in more offensive/explosive way.

Standing in high risk stance ATTACK the attacking arm with a set of slaps trying to be more
offensive/aggressive then the attacker.
The first 1-2 slaps done to the attacker’s arms will change the path of his movement which will turn him to
the side. Just continue with 5-6 more powerful slaps to his back/neck trying to get to the back of his head
as fast as possible.

With this kind of Instinctive Body Reactions you will be able to defend yourself against all the
different linear attacks from the front.

Doing a set of such explosive slaps to someone’s face will force him to turn to the side away from the
slaps. He will also lift his arms to protect his face and will probably try to run away from your movements.

It is also very important to remember that one slap at the specific area of his face/head or neck will
make him groggy or knock him out. / Sensitive Areas of the Human Body /


Swing and slap are based on the same principle of action. The difference is how the hand is
formed at the moment of contact.
So if somebody unexpectedly would try to swing a punch or slap on you would instinctively React by
lifting your arm / closest to attack / to stop or slow down his movement.
Because this is a both surprising and scaring movement to avoid to get hit you would also turn and
bend your body slightly. Possible a step or a few steps away from the attacker.

If the aggressor attacks from the side or behind your body will ”force” another Instinctive Reaction.
You will probably swing your arms to the side/backwards trying to take his arms away, turning to the side,
taking a step/steps backwards/to the side with your body bend away from the attacking movement.

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If knocked down the stress of the situation, pain and fear of getting hurt will instinctively force
your body to crunch like a baby. You will make a C-back with your body, pulling your knees up and
arms protecting your head.
The attacker will probably be there trying to give you a few solid kicks.

From here it is possible with just a small turns and modifications of the position to survive on the ground.

The realistic position which takes in to consideration your equipment / full equipement for
police/law enforcement officer and/or winter clothes for civilians /.


One of the most/best ”protected” areas of men’s body is the groin. This is very easy to see and
understand by observing the reaction people gain by just feinting a kick to somebody’s groin.

The pre instinct force the body to react by pressing knees together, pushing hips backwards and
arms slightly down and body forwards. Sometimes also by picking up the leg closest to the

To improve your unarmed combat/self defense skills we have to realize the difference between realistic
combat and martial arts. When in danger people forget almost everything they learned in the training hall
and instinctively react in specific ways.


Presented above are a few basic reactions instinctively forced by your body while influenced by
danger, fear or pain.
Those instinctive reactions with just SMAL MODIFICATIONS are very effective movements in any kind of
unarmed/armed combat and should be basics in each self defense/combat training program.

What kind of modifications?

To understand, modify and use those simple natural/instinctive reactions can make our unarmed
combat/self defense methods very simple, easy to learn but much more effective.
So to learn how to survive on the streets using Instinctive Body Reactions will probably be the best and
easiest solution.

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