The Stomp Is an Effective Martial Art and Self-Defense Technique

I'm often surprised to see people come to the aid of a relative or friend who is on the ground being savagely attacked with half-hearted attempts to pull the aggressor off by the shoulders. I'm reminded of an extremely violent video that was making circles around the Internet where a man was brutally beating and stabbing a woman on a sidewalk of a large metropolitan area with many people standing around not knowing what to do. (And obviously, one person stood there filming the entire incident.)
I do applaud the few who did take action and attempt to stop the man as he continued to beat and stab the woman who was literally bloodied all over. Anyone who studies combative arts and warrior ways would not stand by, especially filming for YouTube, but would get involved to stop the brutal beating and attempted killing. But that's a bias I have and share with many other warriors. Why train if you do not use your training to stop wrongs and evil?

But let's get back to the point of this article. Why run up and try to pull someone who is attacking someone on the ground off by the shoulders? This is especially true when I see women trying to pull a larger man off of a friend or relative without the strength to do so.

This is what I teach people in my classes and seminars. First, I have them attempt to pull a larger person off of a fellow participant in a scenario of helping a friend or loved one who is being raped or attacked and they are on the ground. Usually they do just what I mentioned above, try to grab the person in some manner and pull the person off. It's usually unsuccessful, and sometimes I have the attacker turn on the helper and take them down, to illustrate that their attempt was not the best course of action.

Then I teach them a way to help another person without putting themselves at risk. In almost all cases where a person is on the ground attacking someone, a limb will be sticking out. I start the scenario again with myself being the helper and find the available limb, usually an ankle and I simulate stomping on the ankle by stomping right next to it. Hands, elbows, ankles, and knees can all be great targets to stomp. For the most serious situations, stomping on someone's head can stop an attack, but can also be lethal. Even a smaller person can generate a huge amount of force by with a stomp. I have people practice stomping just like crushing a can underfoot.

A couple of keys to effective stomping are to have your weight over the object you are stomping, crouch slightly to get your weight into the stomp, and keep your leg slightly bent so you don't hyperextend it while performing the technique.

Stomping is easy and does not take much practice. It's effective and can be used if you are the one in the altercation or as I've described to help someone else. Work stomps into your practice and you'll have an effective tool if you ever need it.

Alain Burrese, J.D. is a writer, speaker, and mediator who teaches how to live, take action, and get things done through the Warrior's Edge. He is an expert on conflict and mediates and teaches conflict resolution and negotiation. Alain combines his military, martial art, and Asian experiences with his business, law, and conflict resolution education into a powerful way of living with balance, honor, and integrity. He teaches how to use the Warrior's Edge to Take Action and Achieve Remarkable Results, as well as resolve conflict and negotiate. Additionally, he teaches physical conflict skills in his Hapkido and Self-Defense courses, lectures, and seminars. Alain is the author of Hard-Won Wisdom From The School Of Hard Knocks, the DVDs Hapkido Hoshinsul, Streetfighting Essentials, Hapkido Cane, the Lock On Joint Locking series, and numerous articles and reviews. You can read more articles and reviews and see clips of his DVDs as well as much more at and

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