Palm Strike, Fighting Dirty
(Photo by Joshua Chinsky)

Fighting Dirty: 5 of the Dirtiest Moves to Use in a Scrap

DON’T DIE OR KILL ANYONE DISCLAIMER: These fighting dirty moves are for life-threatening situations only. You can do some real damage. If your life depends on it, do NOT hold back. Remember, there are only a few things worth fighting for, and your wallet isn’t one of them. Be smart.

Throat Shot

Throat Punch fighting dirty

The trick is NOT to load up. It’s not about power, it’s about a distraction that you follow up with other strikes. “Loading up” will give your opponent time to react. Keep your hand open, palm down and in a 45-degree angle. Keep your elbow against your body. You don’t want your opponent to know that you’re about to strike. Suddenly explode your thumb into his throat and immediately follow up with closed-fist strikes.

Eye Gouge

Eye Gouge is an effective move when fighting dirty

Defense: The trick is to be relentless and to go from zero to one hundred instantly. Example: Somebody has both hands wrapped around your neck and is choking you. Put your thumb on his eye. Immediately push your thumb in with explosive force, as deep as you can. Your mind doesn’t want to do this — I mean, you are pushing somebody’s eyeball into his skull, for crying out loud! (Escape tip if this ever happens to you: If you were to put your thumb on my eyeball, I would immediately twist my head to the opposite side. If there is space behind me, I can simply pull my head backwards out of your reach and the pressure is off.) 

Offense: When in a standing position, open your hand (preferably your non-dominant hand), point your four fingers forward, keeping a slight bend, and throw a “jab” to his eye line. Chances are that one finger will go into his eye. As soon as you connect, follow it up with a closed-fist strike from your dominant hand. Keep going until the threat is not a threat anymore.

Knee Twist

knee twist move

You don’t want to kill this person, but you need to make sure he stops attacking you. If every time you drop him he gets up and continues to attack, this might be your go-to move. When you drop him onto his back, stand in front of him and grab a leg — let’s say, his left leg. Now visualize — with your right hand you grab his toes (not foot, but TOES for maximum leverage) with an “underhand monkey grip,” while forcing his foot into a 90-degree angle from his leg.

Place the palm of your left hand on his heel. Step with your left foot over HIS left hip and place it against his body just above his hip. Grab it strong, keep that same hold, and now rotate your upper body with explosive power to the right. It will dislocate his knee and tear the leg up, or else break his shinbone. 

Stomp the Cojones

stomp on his balls

Fighting dirty? What is worse than a kick in the pills? A foot stamp while the opponent is on his back, delivered with your heel right between his legs. (I guess he deserved it?) No explanation needed! Please note that you can combine the knee twist with this move for added value.

Palm Strike To the Back of the Head

Palm Strike, Fighting Dirty
(Photo by Joshua Chinsky)

Use this in a LIFE-THREATENING situation only, since you can hurt a person really badly. Walk up behind the bad guy and palm strike him in an upward 45-degree angle to the back of his head. In fighting they say: “The punch you don’t see coming will probably be the one that knocks you out.” This is because the brain and body aren’t ready for the impact. Know that most people who train for full-contact martial arts are used to getting hit from the front, never from the back. Your opponent’s equilibrium is not ready for the impact. Surprise!

On top of the fighting dirty article above, Bas Rutten is a frequent contributor to Skillset Magazine and a total bad-ass. Check out more of his articles in back issues of Skillset available at or on the air at Skillset Live!

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