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Eye Gouge Study – Technique Of The Week

To many self defense systems, the eye gouge is one of the common go-to moves when protecting yourself from an attacker. Although eye gouging is illegal in MMA, they still happen. Today will be a study on the eye gouge, drawing information from MMA and other sources to improve your self defense game.

Eye gouge UFC

What is an Eye Gouge

An eye gouge is an action to poke an opponent in the eye with the use of a your fingers.

Eye Gouge Techniques

Jeet Kune Do Finger Jab / Eye Jab

In Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, one technique that is often looked at is the finger jab. A technique slightly modified from Wing Chun’s bui jee.

Bruce Lee’s finger jab is slightly curled with all the fingers flushed together to prevent injury. The execution of this technique is similar to a jab in boxing. Primarily targeting the eyes and trachea of your opponent.

bruce lee finger jab eye gouge

Fu Jow aka Tiger Claw

Fu Jow or tiger claw is maybe one of the most popular techniques taught in women self defense work shops. Fu Jow has a kung fu origin, fingers are spread out and curled to a 45-90 degree angle.

The advantage of the tiger claw is that it covers a wider target area than the finger jab. Below is a video example of a tiger claw eye gouge in what seems to be a “rough and tumble” situation (not a self defense situation).

*Rough and tumble is a fighting style that involves “anything goes,” such as biting, eye gouging, and etc. click here for more information on rough and tumble.

Eye Flick

Technically not an eye gouge, the eye flick is an open back hand technique that involves flicking the back of your fingers towards the opponents eyes. The goal is to cause irritation or minor damage to the eyes while following up for a finish.

Thumb In The Eye

The thumb in the eye is best done after your palm makes contact with your opponents face, then guiding your thumb into the eyes. More useful in the clinch and grappling range.

When & How To Eye Gouge For Self Defense

  • After a stiff arm
  • As an alternative to a stiff arm
  • Off the Pawing Jab
  • While Clinching consider an eye gouge follow up after pushing the head or face when creating space
  • While Grappling only consider eye gouging from a dominate position such as the mount, guard, side control, etc. Don’t rely on eye gouging as a form of escape.
  • As a pre-emptive attack while the threat is still interviewing you as a victim. (as soon as you recognized the assault is viable.)

Stiff Arming & Pawing the Finger Jab

Below is a video highlight of Jon “Bones” Jones Pawing and stiff arming the finger jab. Not sure If they are intentional and accidental, but does provide a good reference on using the finger jab.

Common Reaction After Getting Eye Gouged

An eye gouge should be enough to end an attack or open an opportunity to escape. But for some reason if you need to follow up here are some common reactions after getting eye gouged.

  • Turning away/around
    • Kidney Punch
  • Same side hand tends to rise and cover the damaged eye
    • Kick or punch to the liver
  • Bending forward facing the ground.
    • Rabbit punch (back of the head)
    • Kick or Knee to the face

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Spinning Back Kick – Technique Of The Week

The Spinning Back Kick is not a necessary tool to have in most combat sports or in self defense situations. But honing in on this technique is a power move that will have a huge impact on your stand up / kickboxing game.

Spinning Back Kick - Technique Of The Week

What Is A Spinning Back Kick?

A spinning back kick is a thrusting power kick usually aimed to the body or head of your opponent. The back kick is thrown by the rear leg using a 180 degree spin, turning towards your back side. Its the the most powerful kick you can throw.

via GIPHY (Conor Mcgregor drilling teep to a spinning back kick)

The spinning back kick’s initial momentum comes from the same leg your kicking with. After your rear foot presses off the earth, that same leg will slightly retract while simultaneously turning your lead foot, leg, hips, shoulders, and head 180 degrees. Extending and landing the back kick as soon as the 180 degree turn is complete. Your opponent should be in your peripheral vision slightly before contact.

Some Key Points To Consider when Throwing the Spinning Back Kick:

  • The kicking leg should travel in the straightest line possible
  • Keep your body as vertical as possible
  • Learn how to throw the kick without winding up
    • without turning foot in first
    • without turning your body too far ahead of your kick

If its your first time learning the back kick i recommend turning your foot 90 degrees while stepping to the side before initiating. This will make the execution easier and clears your back kick to travel at a straight line.

Once you start getting the hang of the back kick, learn how to executing it without stepping to the side or turning your foot. Tightening up any telegraphic movement and improving your ability to back kick at a moments notice.

When Should You Consider Throwing the Spinning Back Kick.

  • After a Jab
  • After a Straight Right

Learning to follow up with a spinning back kick with just the two option above will greatly increase your back kick’s capacity and opportunity.

Common Spinning Back Kick Mistakes

  • Head and body swings wildly (bad for balance and following up)
  • Kick landing after completing the 180 degree turn (too slow)
  • Leaving body behind / leaning too far back (bad for balance and following up)
  • Kicking leg flared out (bad for balance, accuracy, speed and power)

Fighters with a Strong Back Kick Game

Muslim Salikhov

Cung Le

Benny The Jet Urquidez

Joe Rogan

Spinning Back Kick Compilation Video

Other Resources To Consider:

Taekwondo

Sanda / San Shou

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Splitting The Jab – Technique Of The Week

In kickboxing, boxing, and MMA, the jab is the most common attack we have to deal with. With Variable angles, set-ups, and follow-ups, the jab can be difficult to counter. But with a little training and timing, splitting the jab can do wonders.

Definition

Splitting The Jab is defined as a counter, by slipping your head to one side while throwing a punch on the other in order to counter the jab during its execution.

Drills

Developing the mechanics – Practice splitting the jab by using a partner to extend a jab continuously in a robotic form. Execute the technique at every other jab.

2 Man Drill – Choreograph an exchange drill where the feeder counters with the jab while the receiver defends it with a simple parry. Execute the technique at every other jab instead of the parry.

Isolated sparring – Spar only using the jab. In addition, either partner can execute the technique at any time.

Advice

  • Easier to execute off of slight head movements.
  • Initiating an attack in order to draw out the jab is easier to time.

Common mistakes

  • Executing from a backwards lean.
  • Body is too bladed (if countering with rear hand).
  • Over-reaching.

Pros

  • Has lead to many KO’s.
  • Catches the opponent Stepping in.
  • Aggressive counter.

Cons

  • If failed, you can be left in a bad position.
  • slipping is vulnerable to head kicks.

splitting the jabe - technique of the week

Splitting the jab works well in boxing, MMA, kickboxing, and in the street. One of the most used counter punches in combat sports.

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