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Self Defense/Off balancing opponents


Hello Mr. Macyoung I'm curious as to how one can make an opponent lose their balance and how this can be applied in a self defense context (if that makes sense)? the basics perhaps? Also where can I find any examples on video? Books concerning off balancing opponents?

Start with some terminology

Making someone 'lose their balance' isn't hard. In fact, if you apply enough pressure to cause the person to step, you've done it.

In that page/link I talk about three reactions to losing our balance -- but I've since divided it into four

1) Reestablish base (step)
2) Move body parts to counter balance -- especially extend arms (to redistribute the weight and slow down the fall so you can better do #1)
3) Grab onto something
4) Put your hands out to cushion your fall.

We can go through all four options in less than a second. We do this all the time. A LOT of the time, it works. We don't fall down that much. This is important because we're not just losing our balance a lot (we are), but we intentionally move out of it hundreds of thousands times a day. It's called walking, sitting down, bending over to pick things up and reaching out to get something. We do it and get back into balance without even thinking about it.

Getting someone off balance is EASY!

Keeping them from getting it back is the challenge. You either need to counter his within one second counter OR go in with a pre-planned counter.

For example put your foot in the way and push him over it -- and in a direction -- so he can't get a foot out in time to save himself before gravity takes over. That's a mothering fast take down. So is sweeping the leg as the guy is stepping.

Then you have throws -- which are a lot slower and more complicated to do -- but if you can set them up and execute are usually more effective than takedowns.

Thing is there are literally thousands of ways to do this. Any martial art style that does throws can teach you the general idea. But it's hard to learn by just watching videos or reading books

There are literally thousands of ways to do this

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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