The illegal move in MMA that’s perfect for self-defense
From the earliest days of Mixed Martial Arts, one move that has always remained illegal is the eye-poke, and for good reason.
After all, the eyes are most delicate and vulnerable part of any human being in a fight situation, with contact of any kind likely to induce pain and potentially blind an opponent, either temporarily or permanently.
As a long-time MMA coach who oversaw the career of Chuck Liddell among many others, John Hackleman knows only too well how devastating even an unintentional eye-poke can have in an MMA fight.
”They drop quickly. They grab their eyes and they drop. Even if you hit them in one eye, they are going to drop to the ground. It hurts and it’s scary, and it disrupts their vision.”
As such, Hackleman argues that makes it a perfect move in a real-life self-defense situation.
He recommends that if you find yourself in a potential physical confrontation on the street, to adopt a stance with your arms up and partially extended to protect yourself and create distance, with your hands open and your shoulder also raised to protect your chin.
The fact that you are not making a fist makes you seem less of a threat and more passive and aids your efforts to try to verbally de-escalate the situation, insisting that you don’t want any trouble.
However, if you do have to engage, all you need to do is extend your open fingers towards your attacker’s eyes.
Hackleman notes that it’s somewhat similar to throwing a jab but cautions that you should keep your fingers slightly bent in order not to risk bending them backward or breaking them, while also utilizing a slightly downwards, raking motion.
Power is not required here and instead, it’s better to rapidly repeat the eye-poke motion multiple times over a short period of time to raise your chances of making contact effectively.
Of course, it should be stressed that a move like this is dangerous and really should only be used in the most serious of self-defense situations.