Defense Against Headlock Punches - US Army Combatives

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Defense Against Headlock Punches - US Army Combatives

This page looks at a defense when an attacker has you in a headlock and is also punching you. This self-defense technique taught in US Army Modern Combatives training.

For more unarmed self-defense techniques, please visit the main US Army Combatives section.

Technique Instructions - Headlock with Punches

  • When you are behind the enemy and he has control of your head, he must release one of his hands in order to punch.
  • (1) Step 1 (Figure 5-25). With your front arm attempt to grasp the enemy’s punching arm and push it back, feeding it to your other arm. Grasp it from behind his back at the elbow.
  • Step 2 (Figure 5-26). When the punching arm has been controlled, secure a grip on the top of the hand that is around your head, and place your hip against the enemy’s side. At the same time, step and look away from the enemy, extending your body to break his grip. Hip pressure will keep him from following.
  • Step 3 (Figure 5-27). Keep his hand pressed tightly against your chest, and with the foot closest to him, step backwards to place yourself standing behind him with his hand still captured against your chest.

Reference Sources

  1. Information from Public Domain Document, Combatives - FM 3-25.150 (FM 21-150),, Added - 07/07/15

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