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The Pain Resistant Attacker



Here are the categories of attackers in which there are always a few who can tolerate pain to some degree.
  • Attackers who have large fat or muscle bulk.
  • Attackers who are intoxicated on alcohol.
  • Attackers who are under the influence of drugs.
  • Attackers who are out of control with rage.
  • Attackers who are mentally deranged.
  • Attackers who feel pain but like it.

People with extreme bulk

People carrying excessive fat or muscle bulk are often tolerant of certain pain techniques simply because their mass prevents proper application, or it literally pads the pain receptors.

Whether you’re applying a wrist-lock or raking your fingers across an assailant’s eyeballs, his brain receives “ouch” signals by a type of pain receptor called nociceptors.

Some parts of the human body have many of these, while other parts have only a few. The eye, for example, has more than the chest, wrist or back.

Case in point, a person suffering a heart attack complains of a dull ache in the chest while a person whose pointy finger is suddenly wrenched in a direction it isn’t supposed to go, screams and utters every blue word in the Book of Swearing.

Anytime you deliver force over a relatively large area, for example, a kick to the assailant’s back, fewer pain receptors are activated than when you apply that same force to a smaller area, such as a heel kick to his gums.

Some people under the influence of alcohol and drugs experience a dulling of the consciousness, and some people in a state of extreme rage or mental illness experience an over-riding of the consciousness.

This means that there are some in both groups who might not feel broad-surface pain but will feel acute pain signals.

Remember the axiom: Where the head goes the body follows. With that fighting concept in mind, practice techniques that:

  • push the big attacker’s chin up and back.
  • push the back of his head forward and down.
  • take advantage of any weight shift to force the big person down in whatever direction he’s leaning.

These concepts are also applicable when dealing with normal sized people who are impervious to pain.

What is important when dealing with people impervious to pain is the same thing that is important when dealing with any hostile person: When something isn’t working for you, you need to switch tactics.

Logical? Not always. Perhaps you’ve heard the stories of panicked people in a burning building pushing against a locked door over and over until it’s too late to take another avenue of escape. The same thing can happen when an adrenaline surge takes over your rational thinking.

You hit a violent person, say, in the chest. When that doesn’t get the desired effect, you keep hitting him there, over and over.

Of course, you might eventually wear the guy down, but since he isn’t feeling the blows, the window of opportunity is wide open for him to attack you in some fashion.

People intoxicated, high, enraged and mentally ill

There is a wide-range of responses to pain within this general category. Some feel a little and others feel nothing.

There are many reasons why a person will grimace and smile as you give him your best shot. He might be smiling simply because he is drunk or high and doesn’t feel it, he might have had a violent past and is conditioned to pain, or it could be some sort of sexual issue with him. It might even be a blend of all these things.

Train to keep attacking

It’s important to train in such a fashion that you don’t become unnerved when someone doesn’t react to your best joint lock, palm-heel strike, or roundhouse kick. Here is why.

Say you apply a joint lock on a nasty drunk, the same technique that made your classmate dance funny-like on his tiptoes. Not only does the intoxicated man not react, he looks puzzled, as if he isn’t sure what you’re doing and what you want from him.

You look puzzled, too, as you wonder why the technique isn’t eliciting the usual yelp and chest slap. Then, because you allowed half a dozen seconds to pass during your confusion, the drunk smashes you in your puzzled face.

When a radio talk show host doesn’t say anything for a few seconds, it’s known as “dead air,” and considered a bad thing. When you pause or hesitate in a physical confrontation while the threat is still, well, a threat, that too can be a bad thing.

To prevent this, you must train physically as well as mentally to keep on the offense until the seemingly invulnerable person is under control.

Say you kick the man in the thigh twice, neither blow drawing so much as a grimace. Although you see his lack of reaction, don’t pause to wonder what went wrong.

Instead, immediately hit targets where there are more pain receptors, targets that shock the brain, or targets where an injury greatly reduces the recipient’s ability to attack.

Pepper Spray

Regardless of what the ads claim, pepper spray doesn’t always work on the street, and never is this truer than when the threat is violent with rage, mental illness, or high on booze or drugs.

Pepper spray is only a tool. Don’t count on it as the end-all defense, especially against pain-resistant people.

Consider the Groin

When a student gets whacked in the groin in class, he drops into fetal position and begins channeling Nancy Kerrigan: “Whyyyy? Whyyyy?” But in the street, striking an aggressor in the groin gets mixed results.

Sometimes he curls to the sidewalk in agony and sometimes he doesn’t give the hit a passing thought. The problem is that there is no way to tell by looking at someone as to how he will react to a groin hit.

The groin is a good target; just don’t stop to watch for a reaction. It’s better to flow into a second, third, or however many techniques it takes to stop the threat.

The Kenpo Art of Exercises


1. Kenpo Art of Punching (Straight Punch)

a) Stand in position as illustarted, with both fists clenched, and at the side of your waist. Make sure
that your palm sides are facing upward.

b) Throw a straight right punch.
Remember, as you throw your right punch,
twist your right arm half-way so your palm is facing downward, (as shown in the picture).

c) Bring your right arm back to the same position,
then throw your left arm in the same way as before,
ensuring that you twist your arm to change the direction of your palm.

Practice this method of punching left and right until your fists become strong.

2. Punching With Side Fist

a) Stand sideways as shown in the picture. Raise your left forearm to just below your chin.

Your right hand should be clenched into a fist and held against your waist.

b) Strike the board with the side of your left fist, and then bring your arm back rapidly to the initial position.

c) Repeat exercise for ten strikes with each arm.