Escaping The Bear Hug

Escaping The Bear Hug


by Keith Pascal


I think the key to making any of the following suggestions work is the timing … then when of trying to counter a bear hug. Keep that in mind as you read these tips.

Imagine that a big hulk (minus the green, body make-up) has got you … well, he just about has you. He has invaded your space, his arms are encircling your torso, and is about to clench his fingers together in a locked fist.

What do you do to escape?

Note: Remember the timing. If he has you locked and knows how to lift and swing your body, then you might not be able to effect some of these moves.


What Can You Reach?

Is this guy grabbing from the front or the rear?

From the front, you have all sorts of options before he grabs you. Think eye jabs, groin kicks, and so on. Anything that you can reach that is a vulnerable spot.

From the rear, you might have to limit yourself to what you can reach with your foot … shin or knee, before he gets too close.

Hugging But Not Locked

When he gets close enough to effect his bear hug, you have a small window of opportunity. From behind, you can palm strike his groin/ (If you know it, think of the move from the first form of wing chun.)

From the front, you have a head-butt to your opponent’s nose. I bet you could crush cartilage without hurting your head.


Bear Hugged and Lifted

Once your opponent has you locked, all of your efforts become more difficult.

Still try head-butts, shin stomps knee kicks, and groin shots … but now, you have to combine them with arching your body, in an effort to get some wiggle room.

Tip for the Advanced

If your opponent has you lifted off the ground, all is not hopeless.

Can you swing so your hips get behind your enemy? If you can, then you can straighten your body … and effect an escape fairly easily.

If you have questions about this last move, I may be able to help ….

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