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Devastating Oblique Kick To Take Out An Attacker’s Knee

Simple But Devastating

The simplicity of this kick is exactly what makes it so effective. When adrenaline is rushing through your system this is exactly the kind of simple and effective move you will be able to remember and execute in the heat of the moment. This self-defense technique targets the knee, which as you know is a very vulnerable joint. Not only is it anatomically vulnerable, but it is rarely defended by an attacker who is much more worried about a punch to his face.

Breaking It Down

As Paul says in the video, it doesn’t get much simpler than this, and since most common fighting stances put one leg (the lead leg) in front of the other, most attackers will be sending you an open invitation to take out that lead knee.

The key to making this move successful is to strike the knee right when your opponent shows signs of throwing a punch. By making the move quick you will strike him first, taking out his ability to stand and deliver the punch, but keep in mind, this is not a lead-off move. Your attacker must be distracted in order to use this little self-defense trick.

Practice Tips

When you are practicing this self-defense technique be sure to have your partner keep his knee bent and aim for his shin. The knee is very sensitive and even at practice speed landing your foot on a locked-out knee can cause a lot of damage.

With that said, go practice this technique. It’s way too easy not to learn and adds one more self-defense technique to your bag of nasty fighting tricks.

About the Author

Paul is a Jeet Kune Do master who learned under Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee’s main student and training partner). He is also a master in several other arts and is so well respected in the industry that he was hired by the Navy to teach his hand-to-hand and knife fighting skills to the Navy SEALs, including the elite SEAL Team 6.

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191 thoughts on “Devastating Oblique Kick To Take Out An Attacker’s Knee”

  1. Basic moves like this are pretty much what I stick to. Train the hell out of your basics and you can handle the average idiot.

  2. I really like these simple tips. Over 30 years ago I learned basic army infantry tactics. Lol just enough to get me in trouble. These moves are basic and easy to do. I’m starting my 3 year old granddaughter on some basic moves. Mostly to just get her to learn how to roll and fall. She loves to play. And this just helps her play. It will also, give her the “what to look for” as well. It won’t hit now but in a couple of years it will. Thanks for the help. Steve

  3. I always enjoy the practical instruction and valuable insight that Paul Vunak provides.Paul really knows what he is talking about and this oblique kick is a very valuable “tool” for the toolbox along with the ear slap,the headbutt and several others.

  4. Paul Vunak:

    You might not remember me, but I remember that we both trained at Tiger Kenpo in Long Beach CA. Glad to see that you’ve gone as far as you have. I went on to train with Randy Williams in Wing Chun and Shihan Ron Johnson in kumite ryu jiu jitsu. This is a great technique that I will incorporate in my arsenal. Peace to you!

  5. Thanks Robert. I’m a woman in my 80s who is being intimidated by a large black man who lives in the low cost apartment complex near me. I feel much more confident when I run into him now that I have seen a few of your videos. I’ve been practicing. I live entirely on SS or I would be purchasing more videos from you. Wish I could but know that your fighting techniques have really made me more comfortable when I’m out and about. I know the police can’t help me anymore because of “political correctness” now. Thanks again for your help. Barbara Wells

  6. I’ve used this move and even when I’ve missed the knee and hit the shin it worked at getting my attacker away from me. Like he said most folks aren’t thinking about defending their legs.

  7. I purchased those videos decades ago. Eventually it comes down to what Bruce Lee had been preaching all along, keep it simple but effective. As a matter of fact Bruce recommended four basic moves for all situation. Knee kick as described above, groin kick, eye jab and biting.

  8. hi.. Bob some of your info is good.. I study the art of GOJO RYU karatedo classical.. and it is much better at in close stopping teqniques for a normanl street fighter being so accurate and even for a seasoned martial artist,, in a heated bout you don’t get the opportunity to set up for a move like that. having, setting up the leg for a strike. much better targets that will be presented when a threat steps in to grab.

  9. Wicked! Makes my knees hurt just watchin. Booom! Im a short but mighty 95 lb babe just lookin to take out the next homey that looks sideways at me. Think Ill do a crotch grab and throat punch after I cripple him.

  10. It is a highly effective more that works off how most aggressors would approach you…one leg leading, so no “set up” required (per Rick below)…taking the leading and weight bearing leg out at the knee creates major damage to the knee with months, if not years, of recovery after surgery to reconnect the ligaments that hold the knee together. I creates the classic “football knee” injury on one quick move. I learned it in the US Army in 1972…it’s a proven technique…been watching to see if anyone would demo it. Also not see yet is the nose cartilage/brain palm sweep…a fatality strike for life/death scenarios only. It was alluded to in one of the cd series, but not clearly demonstrated…perhaps due to the liability of showing “unknowns” how to do it/kill… “bigpimpin” below! Priorities: one- escape and evade to fight again; two – defend yourself against attack then execute one; and 3-see two and attack first, fast, and fiercely when under threat with highly probable attack, execute one and contact authorities to report attack and last location of disabled attacker. Don’t stick around unless lots of unbiased uncommitted witnesses to corroborate your version of the event…even then, if your identity is not known or discernible (don’t get into and leave in your vehicle), it may be wise to just leave….police will check with witnesses…may corroborate for you without confrontation. This is not offered as legal advice, just my own personal opinion and perspective on things. 🙂

  11. Great move.Just a matter of getting in close enough to administer it effectively. Thanks Bob and Paul.

  12. For an old guy like me, a simple technique. If i had to raise my leg above the knee any higher I’d be in trouble. Thanx…….

  13. Nice but can u come up with something for us are to steady on our feet. I have to use a cane to walk but can take about 5 good steps, but balance is some what of a problem
    it sure would help. my back is fused in 5 places ,with 68 screws, 6 rods, and 2 struts,,….. sure would be nice my left arm is about 40% useful by right hand I can still take your nose off, got good grips. anything will help

  14. Thanks, I appreciate the review it’s been years since I have been actively involved in using ‘automative reflex’ defense moves.
    Thank you for the reminder, I have enjoyed the review.

  15. This is a great technique! Easy to perform and very effective. Even seasons bad guys do not see this coming.


  17. I have two bad knees and as a result I am not as fast as I yousta be,but I think I can manage some quick simple blows,thanks for caring and sharing these moves.

  18. I use a similar move but ONLY in have to situations. It’s a straight forward toes to the knee. If they step toward me I push the knee backward on the leg as they step in when ALL their weight is on that knee. It causes theit body to lunge forward. If you do the 1 2 you use their body weight to apply preasure to the punch. In fact you really don’t have to punch just put your fist in the right place. Foot to the knee, fist to the face. Bada Bing Bada Bamb Over. Thanks again for another easy move.

  19. Another great move to know, but hopefully won’t need to use it. Thanks again for an informative video. Cheers.

  20. Bob I’m loving the moves I’ve learned ! I feel like a well oiled Machine ! with that said I hvnt had anyone start crap with me but if they do I’m ready thanks too you I’m confident that I can hold my own on anybody & Thrive & succeed I don’t look for trouble that’s the key if u don’t start stupid shit with anyone ! But if there looking for someone to pick on I’m there man I can’t wait to try these Self defense Tactics !!! Thanx Bob !!!!!

  21. Thank you again for yet another handy move. The knee is a great target, takes out the ability to move easily if at all. Again thank you

  22. Very effective! Great technique.. no matter how big they are.. kick a guy in the knee, and he is going down in pain.

  23. Great move mean time helps keep your hands free to defend ones self by making knees buckle thanks.

  24. Hugh Lamb, 7th Degree Blk Belt Hapkido; 5th Blk Belt Combat Hapkido; 5th degree Blk Belt S/Karate; 1st Degree. Blk Belt Ninjitsu and a 10th Kwan in Muay Thai. Have used the Oblique Kick in a combat situation and have been using the kick for longer then I care to remember. Great lead off move!!

  25. This is an excellent move. It may disable your attacker and it will hurt like Hell. Thanks Semper FI