We can suggest a good way to carry your hands when you’re standing waiting someplace, like for the Max for example. This is a way to keep you casual in appearance but ready to respond whether the response you use is a block, a strike, or both.
We call this the Ho Hum stance. The upper hand is close to shielding the throat and is high enough to strike quickly at face level if you need to. The upper forearm is crossing the chest in a way that protects the solar plexus. Think of the hand as stroking a beard or thoughtfully holding a chin. The low hand is also ready to shield the groin or deliver a quick groin strike to an assailant. Think of it as being the resting place for an elbow. For this to work well you need to hold the pose very loosely and relaxed. This is because you can move more quickly from a relaxed but ready state, and you will appear to be more casual and non-threatening.
In our illustration, Ms. Black is ready and balanced in a suggestion of the “cat stance.” Her knees are slightly bent and her weight is slightly back (more about the cat stance later). Alert to everything around her, she can strike, kick, or move away with no wasted motion. Practice this in a mirror. Look as casual and non-threatening as possible.
A serious combination of strikes can be delivered quickly from this position. When you are comfortable in this position you will realize it is both a position for protecting yourself and a position for going on the attack. For example if you are in danger a groin attack from this stance can give you a moment to escape.
As a senior, the groin attack should be something you think about a lot. This is because during the first 55-95 years of your life, to this point, you probably thought of it as “unfair,” “dirty fighting,” “cowardly,” for “sissies,” and other denigrating characterizations. This will take some time to extinguish and reformulate. The changed perception must be profound, forced, and adopted totally. Weave the priority of a groin attack into your overall philosophy of self defense.
In the following illustration a groin slap is being delivered from the person on the left who started from the Ho Hum stance. She dropped down and since her right hand was already near the target the groin slap was direct and immediate. This really is a lightening quick, backhanded whip-like slap not a punch. The person on the right has not yet started to react. Imagine they are both standing on the same plane.
A groin attack is clearly an attempt to cause pain to the groin area of one’s opponent. The technique can be quickly incapacitating due to the large number of sensitive nerve endings in the male sex organs, as well as females. There is nothing funny about it.
An attack to the groin is considered to be a “low blow” not only in the literal sense, but is probably the origin of the metaphor. In polite society a low blow is seen as unfair or improper and ordinarily is often considered dishonorable. Strikes to the groin can cause serious damage. This is so well known that groin strikes are almost universally forbidden in martial arts competitions, including boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts competitions where full-contact strikes are normal and permitted. We regard a senior in danger as no longer in polite society, and since groin strikes are known to have an immediate debilitating effect on an attacker they therefore ought to be high on a senior’s list of self defense moves.
A groin attack can allow a much smaller or weaker person to temporarily disable an assailant, making escape easier. When one’s opponent is at close range, a knee attack to the groin is easy to execute and difficult to defend against. It is often, though not always, effective and requires practice to develop a workable technique. Remember, a safe escape is a senior’s top priority, not infliction of damage or pain.
For more information on self defense techniques specifically for seniors we recommend Ken Boire’s new book, Self Defense for Seniors. Order online at <http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=self+defense+for+seniors> , or go to any online bookstore.