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Clinch Lesson #9: Defense Against Bear Hug #3 - Rear Grab (instructional video included)

Updated: Feb 25

This is the 9th lesson in our Clinch 101 series.

This clinch or grab, where the assailant has a a rear bear hug over your arms, is the most difficult to escape from. This is because you are not facing the assailant, and they are pinning your arms, leaving you few options to attack. These two problems make it difficult to see targets, and strike the assailant, thus making it a common grab for abductors.

How to defend against the rear bear hug clinch over the arms:

  1. Drop your weight (squat), and begin twisting violently to loosen their hold.

  2. 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.

  3. Work to turn all the way around* (facing the assailant) to create more striking options).

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

*If you cannot turn around, use these strikes:

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

  • Deliver repeated rear hammer fists and/or grab/squeeze assailant’s testicles (if male).

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

  • If the assailant’s hand/arm is within biting reach (i.e., covering your mouth), bite and hold it as hard as you can.

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


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

Below is a video of how to utilize the rear headbutt and hammer fist, when the assailant has the rear bear hug - over your 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:

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Until next time, Stay Safe!

Lawrence Castanon

Author, The Short Fight


Rear Bear Hug Over the Arms

#theshortfight @theshortfight

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