Want to learn the fine points of headbutting someone into oblivion and how to avoid hurting yourself in the process?
How about using your head to amplify takedowns, set up strikes, and dominate the clinching range?
It’s all covered in this video on the Self Defense Tutorials channel in a video called “How to Use Your Head as a Weapon.”
But maybe you don’t have the time to watch this video right now, so let’s recap the main points in this email.
First of all, let’s talk about what NOT to do!
There’s a headbutting scene that’s been in a thousand movies: some big guy, usually a burly biker, rears back and slams his forehead into someone’s forehead and the other guy drops like he’s been shot.
It looks something like this…
You DON’T want to do this!!!!
If you hit someone with your forehead to his forehead then it’s a fair contest. Two identical bodyparts clash, and the person with the thickest forehead and the most Neanderthal genes wins.
(Plus, even if you ‘win’ you’re still going to hurt your head. At best you’ll have a headache, more likely you’ll cut your forehead open, and in the worst case your brain bouncing around inside your skull means you just gave yourself a concussion.)
So forehead-to-forehead is a high risk proposition.
If you must headbutt someone then you’re much better off making it an unequal contest.
There are two principles you want to use here.
- Use a structurally strong part of your head without as many nerve endings against a more vulnerable target, and
- Keep your neck as structurally strong as possible so your brain doesn’t slosh around as much.
What does this look like in real life?
You’ll do a spearing headbutt, where you’re using the top of your head against the vulnerable jaw and nose area where it’s easier to knock someone out.
It looks like this:
Notice how my back, neck and head are in a relatively straight line so that my neck doesn’t get injured and my brain doesn’t get damaged bouncing around in my skull.
But the head can also be used for a ton of other applications in a stand up fight.
For example, if you’re at close range and you put your forehead in your opponent’s neck area the right way you can disrupt his base, weaken his punches, set up your body shots, and totally dominate the clinch and takedown game.
In the photo above my friend Ando has his head in the pocket of my jaw and neck, and is dominating the fight. At this point he has far more striking, clinching and takedown options than I do.
Speaking of takedowns, you can also use your head as a battering ram to amplify the power of certain takedowns.
The double leg is a powerful technique. Augmenting it by slamming your head into his solar plexus makes it even more powerful (but you’ve got to do it right or you’ll hurt your neck).
Have I convinced you that the head is a useful tool yet?
While it’s true that you don’t want to be head butting your sparring partners when you’re boxing, you can definitely use your head in your clinching, takedown and grappling practice.
If you want more information on the details of this technique then I would refer you back to the initial How to Use Your Head as a Weapon video I referenced, which you can either watch by scrolling to the top of this article or on Youtube by clicking here.
Good luck with your training.
How to Knock Someone Out – The best targets to KO someone in a fight, along with a ton of video examples of actual knockouts.
The Best Takedowns for Self Defense – When it comes to self defense not all takedowns are created equal. Here are the best ones to start with if training time is limited.
The Most Important Jiu-Jitsu Move for Self Defense – Here’s the one move that you need to start drilling and practicing right away to keep you safe on the street.