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Dealing with the "Sucker Punch"

One of the most common attacks is the sucker punch or roundhouse punch which is lauched suddenly or unexpectedly.

The sucker punch is the initial attack in many bar fights, mugging attacks, road rage and other situations where tempers get the best of us.

If there was a way to "see" the sucker punch coming before it was actually headed your way it certainly would be easier to defend.

In threatening situations I teach my students to watch the shoulders of the would be attacker. If the shoulder suddenly drops or lowers there is a good chance that it is the beginnings of a sucker punch.

Since most sucker punches are thrown in a roundhouse fashion, there is usually time to respond if you can increase your reaction time to them. Dealing with the actual punch is easy if you have the time to avoid, evade or block the attack.

Usually a simple high or rising block directed to the side of the attack is enough to stop the initial sucker punch. Quick follow up technique are advised because once the fight is on there will be a continuous flow of blows (or grabbing) by your attacker.

I like my students to use the stop hit during this attack as demonstrated in Street Self Defense 101 Volume I. This counter is never expected and has devasting effects on the attacker, many times ending the fight right there.

Shihan Michael Pace

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