Eye Rake - Self-Defense Technique

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Eye Rake - Self-Defense Technique

This page looks at the martial arts technique known as an eye rake. This technique is often used in a self-defense situation and involves a person scratching, clawing or raking an attacker's eyes and face with their fingers or finger nails. The eye rake usually consists of an open hand with fingers wide apart in order to maximize the width of the raking strike. The fingers are often curled in slightly in order to utilize a person's fingernails during the rake.

An eye rake can also leave scratches marks on the attacker's face in order to help police identify the attacker. In addition, any skin or blood under a person's fingernails might be used as DNA evidence against an attacker.

However, this technique should only be used in a real self-defense emergency because an eye rake could potentially blind an opponent. In addition, the use of this technique in almost all martial arts sparring matches would be deemed illegal.

In order to reduce the potential for training accidents, many martial arts schools practice eye strikes against the eyes of BOB (Body Opponent Bags) versus "live" students. Or they practice against students who are wearing large plastic face shields in order to protect the student's eyes and face.

In Karate, this technique is known as Kumade (or Bear Hand). It is often called Tiger Claw in Chinese martial arts.

For more techniques, please visit the main Self-Defense section.


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