5 Basic Self Defense Moves to Learn


Here I will give you tips on 5 basic self-defense moves that are easy to remember and easy to execute. It is a little variation of moves made to create distance and moves made to harm.

Here’s a quick rundown of the self-defense moves you’ll be learning today:

  • The Roundhouse Kick
  • Push Kick
  • Overhand Right/Left
  • Thai Clinch with a Knee
  • The Uppercut

5. The Roundhouse Kick

basic self defense moves - The roundhouse kick

When executed properly the roundhouse kick is a very good attack to cause a good amount of damage. And it is also easy to train at home. To execute properly you will need to tilt your foot almost 180 degrees to open up the hips. Then you create power by turning your whole upper body around to use that momentum to throw the kick. The leg should be slightly bent and you should aim to hit your target with the shinbone. Really easy self-defense technique once you get the hang of it.

By throwing this kick to the opposition’s legs you can make them fall, which can give you time to run away. If you would throw it to the opponent’s body you can hit internal organs. Resulting in them just falling like a sack of potatoes. I would however mainly use it to try to kick someone out of balance. Or kick someone in the head if you’re that flexible. That will almost certainly result in a knockout. A really basic self-defense technique.

You can practice on this kick by just performing it in the open air. Make sure to do everything in one move and just let it flow. Something that’s also good to practice is trying to stand still where you imagine the kick will hit, this will further develop your balance when performing it. Basic self-defense moves.

4. Basic Self-Defense Moves | Push Kick

basic self defense moves - Push kick

This kick is mainly for creating distance between you and your opponent. Say for an example that they have a knife then this kick is perfect to push them away then run. It is extra effective if you time it when they rush towards you as you will knock them off balance much easier.

You perform this kick by bringing your kicking knee up to your chest then thrust your foot in a forward motion towards your opponent’s upper body. A slight pivot to the foot you’re posting on can help to generate extra force. You can also modify the kick a little bit to perform a front kick. The principle of the front kick is the same only this time you focus on hurting your opponent so the kick should land with a snap instead of a push.

This technique is optimal to practice against a wall. Where you can throw the kick with the left leg and push away off the wall, then do the same with your right leg.

3. Overhand Right/Left

The overhand punch is perfect for generating much power over a long distance. If someone trying to pick a fight with you start to grab for something in their pocket or if someone pushes you this technique is great. It allows you to shorten a lot of distance quickly and potentially knock the opposition out. This is absolutely a must when making a list of 5 basic self-defense moves to learn.

To perform this move in the way I prefer. You first step forward and slightly out with the lead leg so you can get a little bit of an angle. Then you move your head a little bit out of the centerline and make sure to keep your chin tucked. Use the momentum of stepping forward with your lead leg to keep driving your whole body then you throw the rear hand in a wheel-like motion. You should stay pretty relaxed in your shoulder and let the momentum of your whole body do most of the work.

This technique you can practice in the open air. Or you could throw a basketball or football up in the air and try to hit it, this will also improve your striking accuracy.

2. Thai Clinch with a Knee

The Thai clinch is a very good way to control an opponent while delivering knees and elbows. Good Thai boxers spends hours and hours perfecting this technique which allows them to totally dominate their opponent. While holding this clinch and delivering knees to the body at the same time you can cause a great amount of damage. You can also deliver knees to the head which will most likely knock your opposition out.

To perform this technique you will need to grab a hold around the neck of the aggressor and either lay your hands on top of each other or weave them into one another. Whatever you feel comfortable with. Keep tight in your whole upper body and have the hands positioned a little bit over the neck towards the head to easily break your opponents’ posture and control them. Then deliver a knee to the head while you push his head towards your knee.

This technique is optimal if the opponent is close to you and unarmed. Don’t do it if he/ she has a knife, that will only enable him/her to come closer to your vital organs and potentially cause a lot of damage. Practice this in the open air. Or you can practice it with an elastic exercise band. By sticking it to the top of a door and then using it as resistance while performing the movement.

1. Basic Self-Defense Moves | The Uppercut

basic self defense moves - the classic uppercut

The uppercut is probably the most effective technique to use if the aggressor is standing close to you. When performed correctly and landing on the right spot you will most likely knock your opponent out. To perform correctly you stay slightly heavy on the lead leg and twist the rear leg and your whole upper body while throwing the punch.

This move is commonly used by the professional fighters and has had many knockouts throughout history.

This move is easy to train in the open air.

I hope you’ve learned some basics when it comes to self-defense moves. Now make sure you practice to get the moves right. We made an article of great kickboxing combinations to learn, so while you’re at it, have a look!

Eric Wennergren

My name is Eric and i'm 25 years old. Country of residence: Sweden. I'm very interested in different forms of Martial Arts, mainly MMA. And i Also compete myself in different Combat sports. Mainly I'm om a mission to educate people about Combat sports.

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