Kiado-Ryu Karate


Apr 15, 2024 - Feature of the Week

Smart Defense Part 3, Posturing

Picking up from “Smart Defense Part 2, De-Escalation,” what if an assailant does not want to calm down but “mix it up” instead? Let’s take a look at our options.


Run. Just get away from the situation. Such a withdrawal from a potential conflict is a sensible tactic. There’s no disgrace in retreating from the turmoil. Retreat, in fact, is a common military tactic. It’s better to save the day than lose it. In an “Active shooter” incident, the main reaction is “Run and Hide.” If such a decision is made, Kiado-Ryu philosophy is to get away as far as possible from the shooter. Also, if you have to run, run in zig-zag patterns. Bullets travel in a straight line and the farther away you can get from the shooter the better.


Stand and Repel. If you can’t run or decide not to run, then “Stand and Repel.” Put on your fiercest face and most intimidating expression and scare the attacker to death. Remember, predators hunt the weak and flee from the powerful. They want easy take-downs and kills. As one mountain man explained, lions understand that if they get hurt in an attack, their life is over. They know this and avoid a conflict they know they can’t win. Instinctively, they move away from danger—danger being a powerful, loud, intimidating, dominating, fierce, courageous opponent. In their minds it is better to move away from the prey and save the day … and their own skin.

Personal Kiado-Ryu experience has proven, time and again, that manifesting a powerful posture and intimidating force is highly effective. Remember, predators don’t want to get caught, so don’t present yourself as a weakling begging to be abused but, rather, present yourself as a powerful destroyer of predators, i.e., your assailant.

How do you make yourself powerful when threatened by an attacker? Here’s one method. While keeping distance (two to three arm links) from the assailant, extend your wide-open hand by elevating it to your opponent’s face; emit the fiercest face you can, and scream “Back Off!” so loudly that people can hear you on the other side of the world and do so with the rage of destruction in your eyes looking into his. In other words, scare him to death and let him know he’s going to have a dangerous fight on his hands if he attempts to harm you, a fight he will lose.


Attack If Approached. If the foregoing tactics do not work, it’s time to unleash the dogs of war. You want to live? That’s what you have to do. It’s your life. Sometimes we have to fight to keep it. If we don’t want to fight, what’s the result? The result is that we’ll have no life.

The Kiado-Ryu System of Martial Arts teaches the five best targets to attack on the human body. These are Mind, Eyes, Neck, Knees and Groin. Attack whatever target is available using kicks, punches, armbars, single palm, double palms, thumbs, fingers, finger nails, karate chops, elbows, fists, hammer fists, knees, teeth, stomps, pens, pencils, hair pins, credit cards, whatever. etc.

1. The Mind. If you can beat an attacker using just your mind, that is the best victory you can ever have. How powerful it is to stop an aggressor in his tracks simply by using your mind!

2. Eyes. These are the first physical targets to strike.

Research estimates that eighty to eighty-five percent of our perception, learning, cognition, and activities are mediated through vision (

When the eyes are struck or attacked, the individual becomes instantly weakened, concerned, and vulnerable. Hit a 350lb. man in his eyes and he’ll drop to his knees like a block of stone. The eyes are, arguably, the most sacred part of the human body and certainly the most sensitive.

Anything can be used to strike the eyes: fingers, finger nails, pens, pencils, sticks, cell phones, caustic chemicals (ammonia and drain cleaners are one of the most damaging), edges of books and credit cards, tooth brushes, bobby pins, etc.—pretty much anything.

3. Neck & Throat. These are the most lethal targets on the human body. Striking the eyes can easily win a fight by discouraging your opponent but striking the neck and/or throat can send him to his grave. Kiado-Ryu students are taught the fine points of how to strike the neck and throat.

4. Knees. Striking the legs just above the knees can easily stop an attacker but they won’t take his life. They will, however, prevent him from chasing you. A car with no wheels can’t drive and a man with no legs can’t walk. Primary weapon is a back kick, just like a horse would use.

5. Groin. Most females believe that striking a man’s privates is the first thing to do. This is an erroneous belief. What if the man is drugged and can’t feel a strike or kick to his privates? What if he’s wearing a protective cup? What if he has no private parts? The groin can be an excellent target but it is 5ᵗʰ on the chart for a reason. Eyes and throat—these are the best targets to strike if possible.

An assault is war. To survive a war, i.e., an assault, you’ve got to protect yourself and or your family by attacking and damaging the attacker. Shakespeare’s Hamlet has the perfect advice. The word bear’t means “make sure that.” When Polonius (the father) lectures Laertes (son) regarding protecting himself as he moves away from home he says …

Beware Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.

In simpler words, if you’re attacked and must fight to survive you must “overwhelm your opponent by releasing the dogs of war and the hounds of hell on him!” In such a case the “Smartest Defense” is a lethal Defense. It’s your life. Protect it. The only way to do that is to cripple and/or destroy your attacker. Sad but true … and correct.