How to Use Your Legs & Feet in Self-Defense

Learn how to use your legs and feet to defend yourself against an attacker in this self-defense video from Howcast.


Up next in Basic Self-Defense Moves (45 videos)

Want to feel safe when you're out alone? This online self-defense course from Howcast teaches you how to thwart any kind of attack. You'll learn how to throw punches; how to attack an assailant's eyes and nose; how to use your elbows and knees as weapons; how to escape a wrist hold, choke hold, bear hug, or being pinned to the floor; how to use everyday objects as weapons; how to defend yourself against knife attacks; how to pinch an attacker effectively; and much more.




Okay so now we are going to talk about how you use your legs and feet when you are attacked. Two main things, first the distance. It's very important when facing, that you make sure that you have the proper distance otherwise you are not going to be able to kick properly. If I am here, for example, I am very far from her, I can not kick her efficiently. So first its the distance, okay? Now we are going to focus on the target. Put one foot in front, like the right foot in front, please? So what I am going to do, is I am going to focus on the front kick. Meaning that I am going to use my foot and I am going to kick by putting my foot on the front, I am not going to move it to the side, its going to be this way, this motion. And the way I normally teach this like in imagine, you have a little drawer here and you want to push the drawer in and then you have to come back to the same position, this way. Exactly. Do it again. Exactly. So look at her, she is doing this, pushing and coming back to the same position. This is basic and it is very important because if you do this and go backwards, that means that you are losing your balance, okay? So when doing that keep in mind that you have to kick and come back. Okay? So that's using your front kick. Okay. Were to attack with the front kick, I can attack her knee. I can attack her shin bone, I can even her belly or i can attack even her chest. But the most important thing is that you keep that motion in mind. Okay? That's when using the foot from the front kick. But what if I want to do a round house kick? So what I'm going to do is I"m going to do this little twist in the beginning. It looks very simple but it is very important, okay? You twist to the side, do it a couple of times, just twisting. Exactly. And after that, after you practice that you are going to kick, see the rotation in the foot, do it again. Exactly. So again, I'm going to demonstrate the kick, see the rotation its very important that you rotate, otherwise you might hurt yourself, by kicking but not rotating. Your knee can be damaged by that movement. Okay? So that would be like a roundhouse kick. Okay? And then we also have, how to use your knees. So the knees would be when you are in a closer distance, okay? Again, if I am at this distance I can not knee her efficiently. Unless I jump, okay, but that's very risky for a self defense scenario. So you have to get closer to be able to knee her okay? So in this case you can see in the beginning, okay? I have the distance I can even use the front knee to knee her, okay? This is the proper distance. So again the targets, now, lets focus on the targets. I can focus from the kick, I can focus on the front, I can focus on the shin, I can even focus on the inside, okay? The leg. This is from a front kick position, okay? So if I want to do a roundhouse kick, I can have the side of leg, okay? The side of the leg, or the inside of the leg. So if she puts her foot in front, this foot in front please? Exactly. I would have, okay, this nice kick by using either my shin bone, on this area of the foot. Okay? Its the same. Focus on the little twist because that is the most important. That's how you get motion one. You kick and come back, okay? And the targets for the knee. One, the front. Imagine that you are going to give a big step, okay? You go, step, okay? A big step and something is in the middle. That's how you want to see it. Boom! That's it. And you can see that I am hitting the front of her leg but I can also use the side of her leg. Boom! I can kick that away, the same motion. Boom! Big step. And I can use the inside too. The same idea, okay? Big step. okay? Again? Boom! From the other side. So I would kick this, boom! Again, big step, boom! And that's how you can use your feet and your legs safely from a self defense point of view.


  • Carlos Jimenez

    Carlos Jimenz was born in the Canary Islands (Spain) in 1980. He began his martial arts training at the age of 12 practicing the soft art of Aikido. Aikido taught Carlos wrist locks, flexibility and proper coordination. His early training also includes gymnastics along with Muay Thai Kickboxing and the Brazilian Martial Art Capoeira. In 1999 Carlos discovered Kajukenbo and Filipino Martial Arts. He has been practicing Kajukenbo since then and also tries to combine it with pressure points. He is also a licensed acupuncturist.