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Self-Defense From A Seated Position

Fight Back

Today’s post comes to you from one of FightFast’s most popular videos, Defense in Confined Spaces. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about self-defense from a wheelchair, so we found tips from an instructor who has a lot of great seated position moves to share. Vladimir Vasiliev’s insight really pertains to anyone in a seated position, so even if you’re not in a wheelchair, you can still use these.

A lot of self-defense is shown in a wide open space on a padded mat, and while it’s ideal for getting the point across, you’re most likely not going to be attacked in that kind of space. Attackers wait around corners, between cars, in your home, etc. I don’t know about you, but my house doesn’t have a whole lot of wide open spaces unless I move some furniture around. This whole video is chock-full of these situations in tight spaces.

Vlad has a minimalistic approach to self-defense that saves energy while inflicting the most damage. I think his techniques in this video are perfect for anyone, but I’d really like to focus on what he has to offer regarding the questions from our readers.

Getting Into The Mindset

An aggressive attacker is going to try to make you feel small. They do this by towering over you and frankly, underestimating your mindset and confidence. We’ve talked a lot in previous posts about the mindset of self-defense. Here, we need to remain cool and collected, so practice executing these moves in this mindset with an aggressive “attacker” before taking it to the streets.

Think about what you have to work with:

  • One hand?
  • Both hands?
  • Do you have anything in either hand? A book? A pen? A bag of groceries?

What do you have to work with? You can use pretty much anything against an attacker. Where are your hands? Are they above or below your attackers?

Your Attacker Has Already Underestimated You

They are trying to use their height against you, so use that to your advantage. They HAVE to come down to your level! When they do, you use their top-heavy weight to get them off-balance.

There are a few initial moves you can use here, depending on abilities and where everybody’s hands are.

  • You can go for the insides of the arms he/she is using to hold his/herself up, chopping inside of the biceps or the elbows.
  • You can take the hands out with a simple hammer-fist to the top, taking away their ability to make a fist.
  • If you’re able to roll back in your chair, and their hand or hands are on the arms, you can roll back and take them off balance while opening up their body for more pressure points.
  • If you have an item in your hand, you can use it to sweep the hand out from under them then shove it in their face or neck (or you can do this with your hands).
  • If they have you by the front of your shirt, you can grab their right sleeve with your right hand or chop any one of the many pressure points in their inner thigh or groin.
  • AND you can use any combination of these!

Take The Offensive

The next step is to gain physical control by:

  • Twisting the wrist/arm
  • Grabbing the hair
  • Putting the side of you hand under the nose and pulling upwards
  • Twisting the neck
  • Closing the fingers in a drawer
  • Chopping the throat
  • Gouging the eyes

I Think You Get The Point

I’m sure there are more. You can really get creative here! And again, you can use many different combinations of these.


Things To Remember

The number to call if you suspect or are a victim or elderly abuse is 1-800-677-1116, or go to this website. If the threat is immediate, call 911. Always have a back-up plan and practice these moves. Get really good at them and the next time you face your bully they’ll think twice before abusing you again.

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57 thoughts on “Self-Defense From A Seated Position”

  1. I have just recently dealt with a bully at the library he likes to pick on the elderly people just to make himself look tough. And now believe it or not the library wants me not to come back as I had made this bully cry like a baby oh well…. Oh by the way I’m 77 years old and this guy was in his 30s. He understands me perfectly now.

  2. To Jerry G. Of course the library will not let you return. You stopped an a hole, making you the perpetrator and the bully the victim. Plus at 77, don’t you realise that you are there to be robbed, bullied, attacked etc. That poor bully will probably need counseling. That’s the direction the gumball crowd leans. They expect you to be frail and take what they may think you deserve. I’m 65, and I’ll respond the same way. Hats off to you. ( watch they don’t use you for anti bully harassment).

  3. I am 79years old. In my youth I did learn karate. Although I am not in a wheelchair I am grateful for these hints on how to fight-back while sitting.
    Your self defense lessons are always great.