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Clinch Lesson #10: Defense Against Bear Hug #4 - Rear Grab (instructional video included)

This is the 10th lesson in our Clinch 101 series.

Getting grabbed from behind is always a scary situation, but if they grab you under your arms, you have a few striking options.

If an assailant grabs you from behind - under your arms, drop your weight (squat), and begin twisting violently to loosen their hold. Work to turn all the way around (facing assailant) to create more striking options).

If you cannot turn around, use these strikes:

  • Deliver rear elbow strikes with both arms to assailant's face.

  • Deliver repeated head butts backwards towards assailant’s face.

  • Repeatedly stomp the top of their feet with the heel of your foot.

  • Continue twisting violently and dropping your weight while performing these strikes, until the assailant lets go.


  1. If the assailant picks you up, repeatedly lift your knees up to your chest and thrust them towards the ground as hard as you can, dropping your weight quickly. Then, continue twisting and striking until you are free.

  2. Once the assailant lets go, run away to a public place (i.e., into a store, etc.), and get help.

Below is a quick demonstration video of how to use rear elbows to defend against the rear bear hug - under the arms.

If you're interested in learning more essential self-defense techniques and strategies for yourself and your family, check out my book, "The Short Fight," available on Amazon via this link:

As a bonus, you'll gain free lifetime access to my video library, containing over 100 self-defense and fitness videos, accessible at 

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Until next time, Stay Safe!

Lawrence Castanon

Author, The Short Fight


Rear Bear Hug Under the Arms

#theshortfight @theshortfight

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