Back to Back Issues Page
How to Defend Against a Punch
April 19, 2006
Hi ""

Here's your latest edition of the Warrior Concepts Self-Defense Newsletter.

From the Desk of
Jeffrey M. Miller
April 18th, 2006

This issue's feature articles are...

  • How to Defend Against a Punch

  • A Quick Background of Shidoshi Miller

  • New Opt-in Lists for Specific Groups

  • A Fully stocked Pro-Shop Coming to!

If you received this email from a friend and would like to subscribe, just click on this link. If the link doesn't work with your configuaration, simply cut and paste it into your browser to be taken to the subscription page:

As always, there's lots to talk about, so...

Let's get started...

Defending Against a Punch

by Shidoshi Jeffrey Miller

Without a doubt, the most commonly asked question or request made, either at a demonstration or in a self-defense class is...

"What would you do if he tried to punch you?"

And, while everybody from the basic self-defense instructor to the adrenal-response guys - from the "White Crane Kung-Fu" practitioners to the bar-room brawler - all have their own ideas and "favorite" techniques, the question itself is not an easy one to answer.

Sure, there are literally thousands of techniques and step-by-step "how-to" methods that have been passed down since God-knows-when, but...

Even with a question as simple as "how do you defend yourself against a punch," there is more to it than meets the eye.

It's All In The Details

Whenever I'm asked this question, or any of a million just like it...

...I begin asking some questions of my own.

These questions, called "locator questions" in some circles, help me to give the individual the best answer that I can given the nature or the circumstances.

Now, let me just say right here that...

...I believe that very few people actually know what they're asking for when they pose such a question.

Just as I believe that...

...very few people know what they need when they go looking for real-world self-defense training.

Which explains perfectly well why so many so-called "self-defense experts" are teaching what they are and getting away with it.

The truth, as known by anyone who has had to deal with a criminal attacker or even an enraged friend or family member who decides to take things to a physical level, is that fights - including self-defense situations - are NOTHING like the training in most programs. They are neither...

  • Step-by-Step

  • Fun

  • Easily controlled

  • Left-brain "logical"

  • Static, or...

  • Or anything else that conveys a static, "just-do-this-and-all-your-worries-are-over" mentality

In order to answer the question, we must first...

See What's Really Going On

Yes, it's true that, ultimately...

...a punch is a punch is a punch.

But, what kind of punch is he throwing at you. In fact, the following is an incomplete list of questions that, when understood, will forever change the way you think of and train for real-world self-defense.

Questions that I ask (and you should too!)...

  • How is he punching (hooking, jabbing, etc.)?

  • What's the target (face, side of head, chest, stomach...)?

  • Why is he punching you (he's mad and you're there, to surprise you before taking your wallet, you took his girlfriend)?

  • Where are you (crowded bar, deserted ally, your back yard, etc.)?

In fact, the list goes on and on. And, each of these variables can, and probably will, change the answer.

As a place to start though, it would be helpful to look at...

The "Basics" Of A Punch"

Remember what I said? That a punch is a punch is a ..."

That's true. But, regardless of whether you're being punched, or you're the one doing the punching, there is more to a punch than just throwing a fist into space.

In fact, there are 4 sets of variables that, when understood, allow you to see both...

1) What you might be up against and therefore what you MUST train to be able to handle, and...

2) That the more you know - the greater number of options you provide yourself with - the greater your chances of success in any given situation.

Striking Variables

  • Range
    • Long
    • Mid
    • Close

  • Level
    • High (Face/Neck/Head)
    • Middle (Chest/Ribcage)
    • Low (Stomach/groin)

  • Angle
    • Hooking (right cross, uppercut, etc.)
    • Straight/Piercing (jab, shove, karate-type, etc.)
    • Clubbing (backhand slap, flailing fist, backfist, etc.)


  • Delivery Method
    • Lead (lead hand/lead leg steps)
    • Cross (rear hand/lead leg steps)
    • Lunge (rear hand/rear leg steps)

When we look at the so-called "basic punch" under this new light, we see that, instead of their being just one "punch"...

..."there are really 81 different combinations of the 12 basics that go together to create any given strike that we might have to defend against!"

An example as one way that these variable might go together is:

A mid-level, cross-delivery to the ribs, using a hooking punch from close-range.

Another might be...

A low-level, hooking uppercut to the stomach from the attacker's rear hand as he lunges in from long-range.

This does not mean that you have to learn 81 different defensive moves. It DOES mean, however... MUST learn to understand how to avoid the different types and where you will be safe against any particular type.

This of-course still doesn't take into account the situation and circumstances surrounding "why" the assailant is punching you in the first place. Nor does it address the environmental factors of where the attack is taking place as well as such things as usable aids (weapons, etc.) and the like.

So, how do you defend yourself against a punch?

My first suggestion to every beginner is...

Be too far away for him to be able to reach you effectively.

I know that sounds simple but, just don't let him get close enough to be able to land the punch, or at least the one he's good at.

Every attacker has one or two preferential tactics and techniques that he likes to use over and over again. Some prefer straight, speed punches, while others choose to wind-up and slam you with a hooking "hay-maker" that packs everything they have into one, be-all-to-end-all knockout strikes.

If you want to be able to give yourself an advantage and some much needed time to respond - regardless of what he's throwing...

...don't do what most martial artists and self-defense programs teach...

...DON"T stand too close and make it easy for him to reach you!

I don't care how good your blocks are. And, unless you're being ambushed, cornered with nowhere to go, or you're the bigger, stronger combatant - blocks are a really bad idea.

So, put some distance between you and your assailant - and KEEP IT!

You'll not only give yourself some extra time, but you'll also force him to come at you based on your rules NOT HIS.

That being said, if you want to learn more about "what isn't" being taught in most programs...

...about other important topics that you must be aware of if you are to be able to effectively protect yourself in a dangerous situation with the LEAST amount of wear and tear on yourself as possible...

...then you really need to read my book...

"The Karate-Myth: Why Most Martial Arts and Self-Defense Programs are Wrong and How to Be Safe in Today's World!"

You can get more information about it by clicking on this link:

Does all this seem overwhelming? It should. That's why a fight or criminal attack is something to be avoided...

...regardless of what color your martial art belt is or how much experience you have.

That's why I produced the Danger Prevention Tactics video. It covers all of the important avoidance and evasion techniques that will allow you to escape from a dangerous situation or prevent them from happening to you in the first place.

Get your copy by clicking on this link:

REMEMBER: Make sure that your link is active (blue and underlined) and that your email software has not broken the text. Especially check to make sure that the full (".html") ending is intact.

A Quick Bio About Shidoshi Miller

Many of you know me only through the website and/or this newsletter. Others know me through actual training, either as one of my hometown students or as a participant in my seminars and camps.

What most of you don't know is how I got started in this whole self-defense/martial arts mastery "thing."

I was a very non-athletic kid growing up. In fact, you might say that I was quite the nerd - with few friends - and little to no self-esteem or confidence.

I was the target of just about everyone from the school bully to an overbearing stepfather, with little hope of reaching beyond my own status or "place" in life. In fact, by all intents and purposes, I should be nowhere close to where I am in the scheme of things.

Thanks to the heroes of my childhood - people like my grandmother and grandfather - who taught me that I could be anything that I set my mind and my intent to, and the vision that I held in my head of somehow becoming like my superhero role-models - righting wrongs and helping those too weak to help themselves, I found my way into law enforcement.

Seeing the need for much more than what I received as "official" training, I began a search for people who knew what real self-defense was like. People who knew how to "not die" in a violent confrontation.

What I found, in both my eventual mentors, and the martial art that was to become more of a way of life for me, was a sense of power, confidence, and control that I never dreamed possible.

Disgruntled as a police officer at not being able to "protect" those who needed help the most, I retired from law enforcement to share the knowledge that was passed on to me. This way, I can help others by teaching them how to help themselves so that they never need to see a police officer writing their name in the "victim" space on his report (if they were still around to care).

Now, through the help of a worldwide network of friends and some very close students and partners, I am able to help more and more people - men, women, and children - to experience that same feeling of confidence, power, and control that comes from facing your fears, overcoming limitations, and learning the lessons that allow you to live the life you've always wanted and to protect that life from anything that might threaten it.

Welcome to my world!

Shidoshi Miller

Your Input Is Important!

Why wait for this newsletter to reach your email box to stay informed about the subjects that matter most to you?

The WCI Forums! consist of 40 subsections and enough topics for just about everyone interested in some aspect of Self-Protection, Personal Development, and Warriorship as offered by Warrior Concepts. We have individual forums that cover interests including:

  • Each of the Phases of Effective Self-Defense

  • Child-Safety

  • Women's Self-Defense

  • Module-based Training for WCI's Hometown Students

  • Parents-Only Section

  • Warriorship

  • Mikkyo and Life-Skills

  • Traditional Shinobi (Ninja) Training, and...

  • much, Much, MORE!

WCI Forum! membership has grown rapidly over the past several weeks and the discussions are really starting to heat up.

So, get in on the action and help make this one of the most active, informative, and useful discussion areas on the world wide web!

Get your membership to the WCI Forums by clicking on this link:

What's New!

This Newsletter is Splitting Up!

No, I don't mean that it's going away. What I DO mean is that I will be creating several sublists over the next week or so that will allow you and others to opt-in to specific lists that will each focus on a highly targeted subject.

Currently, the subjects that I have in mind include...

  • Black Belt Parents (with help on child-development, etc.)

  • Ninpo & Budo (for the traditionalist)

  • Women's Self-Defense

  • And more!

Tell me what you want in the way of specific information. If there are enough of you who want a particular topic covered, I will create a newsletter JUST FOR YOU!

Watch in the next issue or so for the links where you can subscribe to the ezine that will have the perfect information for your interests!

Are you registered for this year's...

Spring Ninja Training Camp

June 2nd - 4th, 2006.

Join me and several other senior black belt instructors for a weekend of intense training...


You just can't get a better training deal than a WCI Ninja Training Camp. Just look at all you get...

  • 18 hours of training (valued at over $450 alone!)

  • Lodging in spaceous cabins (valued at $75)

  • 5 Delicious home-cooked meals by the facilities staff (valued at $50)

  • A commemorative Camp T-shirt (valued at $20)

You get a complete seminar package, including lodging AND meals, with senior black belt instructors in the art of Ninjutsu - people who know what it takes to protect yourself from a dangerous attacker and empower your life for success.

A $595 value for only $199!


  • There are no rank requirements (That means Ninja Camp is open to everyone regardless of belt rank, experience, or prior martial arts experience. Everyone, from beginners to advanced black belts, will get something from this powerful weekend that will literally accellerate your training!)

  • An Excellent 1st Experience for New Students (What better way to explore the realm of the Ninja's "martial arts of winning" than to immerse yourself into a weekend of training in topics that normally takes years to get to for the average student. You will literally do MORE in one weekend than most students experience in two or three years of regular class training!)

  • Expand Your Network of Friends (For many students, our annual camps are the preferred way to stay in-touch with those training partners that are spread out across the globe. The friendships you develop in this art are deeper and more-connected than most that you will ever experience!)

  • Direct Training Under the Guidance of Shidoshi Miller (For many, the WCI Annual Ninja Training Camps are the vehicle by which they can train directly with Shidoshi Miller. Camp provides a means for serious students to apply for and have the Shidoshi as their personal teacher!)

Camp Special!

Save $25

This Week Only!

Remember: You're already getting a training experience valued at almost $600 for $200. Register by Monday, May 1st, 2006, and save another $25!

Use one of the buttons below to register through our secure PayPal server:

To Pay-in-Full

To Register with a deposit of $50US:

Not Sure Yet?

No problem...

You can get Full details and a downloadable flyer from the Ninja Camp information page at:

The PayPal links are NOW ACTIVE so you can register right from the web site. Or, if you prefer to register for this intense weekend of training in the ways and skills of the Ninja Warrior by phone, simply call the Academy at (570) 988-2228 with your card information.


In addition to all of the great stuff to be had and do at camp, the 1st 20 students registered will also receive a FREE copy of the Camp video! (and we're almost there, so...) (Another $40 value! - at the camp discount price)

Also mark your calendars as...

Fall Ninja Camp is scheduled for November 3rd - 5th, 2006. Want to come for half-price? Regi.ster now and save $100!

Go to the camp page using the above link and click on the appropriate PayPal button to register.

Full Online Store Coming to!

Watch the site over the next few weeks as we get our new online store up and running!

You'll be able to get quality items for your self-defense and martial arts training needs in one location - and from someone you can trust.

The store will offer subscriber discounts, specials, and more - just for my students and clients.


Here is my promise to you.

I, like everyone else, would like to make a few bucks by selling stuff online. However, my first priority is to make sure that you get what you need in the way of quality information, resources, and aids. So...

I promise that everything that you find in the WCI Online Store will have been tried, tested, used, and/or reviewed by me personally. That way you'll know that you're getting something that works the way it should.

Again, check the site at over the next several days and weeks to watch the new store coming into being for YOU!

What's New...

As I mentioned in the last issue, there are some brand new resources online at

Many of these include resources especially designed for parents and child caregivers. Among them are two fr.e.e special reports:

"10 Really Stupid Things Parents Do to Place Their Child in Danger Without Evening Knowing It!"

Here's the link:


"Child Safety 24/7"

Here's the link:

NOTE: Make sure you check the link before you click or cut and paste it. We've been finding that some of the email readers have a tendancy to cut text at the wrong places. Our members have reported that the "ml" at the end of our links (should be ".html") is often cut and moved to the next line of text.

If this happens, or you get an error message like "Page Doesn't Exist", please check the link - especially this part. If it's missing, just add it to complete the string and that should fix the problem.

Also, I'll be adding several other resources this week, including:

  • A 7-part email course on "How to Defeat the Bully Without Fighting"

  • A report and eCourse on the "10 Steps to Effective Self-Defense"

...and more.

As always, if you're looking for something specific, send me something using the contact form on the website or post it on the forums (you can also send me an email there!).

Well, I think that's it for now.

If you didn't make it for this months free webinars (online training seminars), You Really Missed a Lot of really great material!

If you did miss it, you can always get the recording which will be ready and available soon. But, remember... can't get the benefit of being able to participate directly and influence the content of this powerful new training opportunity with your personal questions if you don't participate!

I'll be scheduling next month's webinars in a few days. One of them will be on the concepts of Kamae or, what some people might call "stances."

Is there something you'd like me to cover as the second topic? Let me hear from you. This is YOUR chance to get what you need - fre.e!

Until Next Time!

Wishing you Peace, Happiness, and Safety...

Shidoshi Jeffrey M. Miller
Founder & Director
Warrior Concepts International
Self-Protection & Personal Development

362 Market Street
Sunbury, Pa. 17801

(570) 988-2228

"Master Your Self - Master Your Life!"

Do you have something of interest? A comment? Suggestion?

Drop me a line using this link. Please remember to stay focused on one point and, if your comment is NOT for general publication, you MUST state that in your message. Otherwise, all correspondence with me will be considered free for use in whatever way I may deem appropriate for public use.

MailBag Submission to J. M. Miller

Back to Back Issues Page