0116 – Tools of Unarmed Self-Defense: Your Feet

Our feet give us the same kind of advantages over our knees that hands give us over elbows.  At the same time we have to accept some of the similar shortcomings.


  • Feet give us the most range of any of our unarmed tools
  • Located well below the line of vision easy to put into use when we apply the concept of working up, down, right and left
  • Are usually available when our hands are not


  • Stability
  • Lack of vulnerable targets when we are standing


Shin Kicks


  • Used when we are grabbed from in front or when the targets up top are unavailable
  • Simple motion just like taking a step
    • we strike with our foot to the rear by lifting it and swinging it directly forward
    • We strike with the toe of our shoe repeatedly as if our shoe is an axe and we are chopping down a tree.



  • Primary target is the shin directly above the top of the foot
  • Targets of opportunity may present themselves depending on the position that we may find our attacker and ourselves in
  • In many states kicking the head when the head is on the ground has been ruled by case law to be lethal force

Foot Stomps


  • Particularly useful for grabs from behind
  • Either foot can be used
  • lift the foot off of the ground and strike with the heel of the foot straight down with the weight of the entire body


  • Primary target is the foot of the attacker where the laces of the shoe are located, the instep, but any part of the foot may do
  • Targets of opportunity may present themselves when the attacker is on the ground and you are standing or if you are on the ground and the attacker is standing or kneeling at your feet



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