Let's say, if I am mostly untrained (with strength below-average) and I have a hypothetical strategy involving delivering fast and continuous attacks to the vital (weak) points of the body (not 100% effective, and includes a few accidental useless strikes / slaps), used in a self-defense situation.

Is it likely that the opponent will become temporary baffled so that I can have the chance of delivering a few injury-inducing critical blows among the partly-effective strikes, given that the opponent has no realistic sparring / combat experience? Some resources say it is possible that this strategy will work by forcing the opponent to continuously bounce between the Observe and Orientation phase of the OODA Loop (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act), and therefore unable to proceed. In other words, this raises a psychological barrier, temporarily preventing the opponent from using his physical advantages.

And if this does not work, are there other tactics that might partially compensate for the inability of delivering completely effective strikes caused by lack of training and strength?

  • 2
    I don't know why you're talking about vital points. Mostly your question deals with rapid fire strikes delivered to your opponent before your opponent starts fighting. In that context, that's actually not a bad thing to do. When Wing Chun fighters win, it's almost always because they did their rapid, continuous chain punches straight to the face of the other guy. They lose more often than not when they go to chi-sao kinds of defenses. And in real street fights, more often than not, the one who punches first is the one who comes out as the winner. Not many are able to recover and counter. Mar 22, 2022 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


This is unlikely to be successful.

Most vital areas (which in my mind are literally the same as vital points/kyusho) are really hard to hit. You don't need strength to hit them but you do need good technique and that only comes through training.

Let's be absolutely clear about the parts of the body we are talking about though.

There's the eyes, the neck, the jaw the solar plexus, the liver and kidneys (floating rib area) the groin the thighs and the knees. These all need to be attacked in slightly different ways and at different angles. You can't just flail wildly and expect to hit one of them effectively.

Most people can't even throw a punch safely without training. What you're suggesting is a step beyond that, you want to punch quickly and hit some part of a person accurately enough to do them damage.

Quick attacks are hard to pull off. Again it requires training. Accurate attacks are also hard to pull off for the same reason.

In Shorinji Kempo

(a martial art I practise that specialises in hitting vital areas) We talk about the five elements of atemi (hitting a body)

These are:

  1. Target (the part of the body you are going to hit)
  2. Angle (some points eg floating ribs and solar plexus only work if you hit them at say and upwards angle)
  3. Speed (as fast as possible)
  4. Distance (punches and other strikes have very limited range as they have a minimum and a maximum range)
  5. Kyo-Jitsu (This one is a bit hard to explain but basically you need a good punching structure in your stance and a way to get past opponent's dodges and blocks)

Other martial arts have slightly different ways of looking at this, but what I am trying to explain is that even from a vital point/vital areas perspective you still need a good physical technique.

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    I think the main point comes across like it should: Hitting accurately with a punch is as difficult as it gets from a sports science perspective, both cognitively and in terms of coordination: It is a complex, whole body motion that has to hit a 'randomly' moving, resisting target fast, from the right distance and angle, with secondary tactical requirements (self-protection). The amount of constant adjustment, coordination, and footwork needed is insane if you start to think about it. And that does not even count in multiple punches. Mar 23, 2022 at 9:03
  • Although, from a self-defense standpoint, delivering a flurry of blows, especially if you're prepared to run right afterwards, isn't necessarily a bad idea since te average untrained combatant will be easily overwhelmed. Mar 23, 2022 at 11:54
  • Agreed, but you need training and practice to pull this off.
    – Huw Evans
    Mar 23, 2022 at 12:13
  • :) At least some sessions of getting used to just whaling away on a heavy bag and not hitting in a way that results in broken fingers or wrists. Mar 23, 2022 at 12:48
  • Yes at a minimum
    – Huw Evans
    Mar 23, 2022 at 14:14

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