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dhogsette's picture
Hair Grab Bunkai for Pinan Shodan/Heian Nidan


We usually think of hair grabbing as part of youth or adolescent schoolyard bullying and fighting. However, assaults against women often involve hair grabbing, mainly because women generally have long hair (or hair long enough to grab) that is easy to grab and pull. Women on women assault often includes hair grabbing (women know it's easy to control someone by grabbing the hair...), and sexual violence against women involves hair grabbing as a way to intimidate and control the attacked woman. Sometimes, men will grab another man's hair when clinched up or during in-close fighting as a way to regain control of the fight or to reposition the head and body for striking or takedown. All that to say: the hair grab is a real attack and we need to develop strategies for dealing with it. This video describes how we might apply the opening moves of Pinan Shodan/Heian Nidan as an effective way to deal with the hair grab attack.



Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

LOVE IT! A very nice way of viewing the motion and I can’t think why that’s not something that ever occurred to be before … maybe it’s because I’ve evolved past that particular human vulnerability ;-)

This is a statistically significant attack for women so it’s good to see it covered like this. I also like the semi-live drilling at the end. Very important to always drill that way.

Great stuff Dave!

All the best,


dhogsette's picture

Indeed, it must be a challenge to be a more evolved karateka, such that you don't waste precious testosterone resources on something as primitive as hair growth. I must say, I'm seeing my own evolutionary track heading swiftly in that same direction! ;-)

Thanks for the feedback. Funny story: the next class period we reviewed this application. Here was the basic exchange:

Me: Let's partner up and practice the hair-grab application drill from Pinan shodan. Don't forget to use the cat stance to keep your feet underneath you and also to launch knees and front kicks at your attacker.

Young woman in class: ohhhh man! I spent all morning braiding my hair! (I must say, her braids were quite tight and neat)

Me: HAJIME!!!!

Her hair was a mess afterwards, but she knocked h3ll out of her attacker (not literally, but she was aggressive and had great targeting).

I guess if her hair was going to get ruined then she was going to make the attacker pay for it. Ha ha.