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What Are Anatomical Weapons?

What are anatomical weapons?

Simply put, anatomical weapons are weapons created using our body parts. For example our hand (part of our anatomy) is just a hand, but clench it into a fist and strike someone, and it has become an anatomical weapon. There are two types types of anatomical weapons, upper body anatomical weapons, and lower body anatomical weapons.

Examples of upper body anatomical weapons include closed fists, heel of the palm, flexed elbows, forearms, forehead, and many others. Examples of lower body anatomical weapons include instep of the foot, heel of the foot, shin, and knee, and others. All of these body parts can be used as a weapon to defend yourself. In my book The Short Fight, I teach you many essential anatomical weapons, and their functions.

I teach upper body anatomical weapons first because they are safer and require less coordination than the lower body weapons. You must be able to maintain a firm stance on the ground when fighting. This is a crucial key in being able to defend yourself successfully.

While kicking may be more powerful, you take the chance of losing your balance and falling to the ground any time you lift your leg to kick. Trust me, you don't want to be the smaller person on the ground with a larger/stronger person on top of you raining down strikes onto you (been there, and its not fun!).

The fastest way to get good at striking is with high repetitions. You should get to the point where you can throw hundreds of punches in a workout session. This will help you build up the neuromuscular coordination necessary to be able to throw the punches "instinctively" in a fight. It will also help you to strike without fatiguing (running out of gas), when in a fight.

If you are a beginner, you can start by throwing fifty strikes and take breaks as needed until you reach fifty (i.e., five sets of 10 punches with a one minute rest between). Gradually build up to one hundred strikes. Practice the same strike (i.e. hammer fisting), until you can perform 300 of them, before adding a different type of strike (i.e. palm heel striking).

Write down your sets and reps and date it (I keep a log of all my workouts and you should too). The next time you train you can see how many sets/reps you did the last time and will want to meet or exceed that amount. Build up your sets/reps gradually (i.e., move up to four sets of twenty-five, reps etc.), and allow for rest days to avoid injury (beginners should rest every other day). Before you know it you'll be throwing hundreds of punches in your training.

A couple of other tips for building up your striking prowess in a short amount of time:

  1. Strike in the air slowly to get the body mechanics (good technique) down. Slow is smooth and smooth becomes fast.

  2. If you have a mirror available, use it to see your techniques, and correct errors.

  3. Start striking in a stationary position, and eventually move around when striking (i.e., shadow boxing).

  4. Eventually you will need to hit something to build up your power. Hitting a heavy bag (standing or hanging) is ideal. If you can't get access to a heavy bag, buy a punching pad (i.e., focus mitts) and fasten it to a solid wall.

  5. Having a partner to train with will help with moving around, and holding focus mitts to improve your footwork and range.

  6. Watch the free videos here at to learn how to perform the techniques correctly.

Good luck! as always if you have any questions, message me.

Visitors, if you're interested in learning more essential self-defense techniques and tactics, get my book, The Short Fight, on Amazon at

Members receive free lifetime access to my video library that contains over 100 self-defense and fitness videos, and my free weekly self defense and fitness blog lessons, available at

Want to get in the best shape of your life? Check out our fitness training programs here

Until next time, Stay Safe!

Lawrence Castanon

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