The headbutt is one of the effective weapons on the human body that if done properly become a fight ender, but done poorly, might turn into a bad day for yourself. Learning the proper headbutt in conjunction with other "dirty" self-defense techniques (street fighting "uncaged" link) can make the difference when it comes to facing a real self-defense situation.
Effective Headbutting Overview
Effective headbutting revolves around striking a sensitive area with a less sensitive area, such as striking the nose of an opponent with your forehead. It is known as a risky maneuver: a misplaced headbutt can cause more damage to the person delivering the headbutt than to the person receiving it.
Headbutts can be used from close range such as from the clinch, or on the ground. They are typically applied to the head of the opponent, since the head is often a readily available target and has several sensitive areas. An effective headbutt can be performed with a forward, rising, sideways or backwards motion; each being effective from different positions.
Parts of the cranium with thick bone and high local curvature make for good weapon areas, and these include the forehead near the hairline, the outboard curved part of the parietal bone, and the occiput. Ideal targets are usually the fragile areas of the head, including the bridge of the nose, the cheekbones, the hinge area of the jaw, the temple, and the top edge of the eye socket.
Hitting the opponent's teeth or mouth is likely to cause mutual damage. The chin of the enemy is also a generally bad position to headbutt unless striking from below up into the bottom of the chin, similar to an uppercut.
Proper Headbutting Technique - The Forward Headbutt
The strongest and most common way of performing a forward headbutt is the combination of two movements: the head bow and stomach crunch. The head bow is more-or-less the same as a sneeze. The stomach crunch is like a sit-up but done explosively. The weapon area is near the hairline (if done straight on). Be sure to keep your mouth shut (closed but not clenched). It is possible to add more power to the front headbutt by dipping your knees (i.e., a slight body drop) just before impact. This dip also helps align you to the prime facial target area rather than going forehead to forehead. The dip can also help set up many followups such as a rising headbutt or an uppercut. (With footwork added, a step back instead/plus the dip also sets up a followup knee.)
The ideal places to land this headbutt are the bridge of the nose, the cheekbones, or the top edge of the eye-socket (eyebrow ridges are tough, but not as tough as your forehead). The middle of the opponent’s forehead is an inferior secondary target but one that is usually readily available. If the opponent isn’t square on, the temple, especially near the outside corner of the eye, is a very vulnerable target or sometimes (it’s rather far to get to) the hinge area of the jawbone. Besides the powerful disorienting effect of any head blow, any of these strikes can chip or fracture bones. Another prime ‘benefit’ of the headbutt is that it is a wonderful cut generator - many opponents freak out at the sight of their own blood and head wounds bleed profusely. Hitting the opponent’s mouth and teeth is effective and will probably break them, but this often results in mutual cuts. Because of this, I would not normally aim lower than the opponent’s upper lip (but you take what you can get). Almost any opponent who isn’t asleep will duck his head as you strike (a very few may turn sideways) - to avoid getting his ‘defensive headbutt’ (planned or otherwise) aim a bit low (the knee dip or step can help here).
It is possible to land repeated forward headbutts using the technique as described above - however, after each, you must withdraw your head quite far back in order to ‘recock’ and this gives the opponent some chance of retaliating. A fast, but weaker, forward headbutt (especially for the second and following strikes in a series) can be performed as follows. After the first strike the body is left leaning slightly forward. For the second and later butts the stomach crunch will be less pronounced. The head is moved forward and back with a forward thrusting motion that I can best describe as ‘walk like an Egyptian.’ Because of the forward tilt of the body, these butts are directed slightly downwards, rather than purely horizontally. There is little or no knee dipping with this technique. This quickie forward headbutt fits in well with butting combinations.
Information provided by: Gerald Moffatt
Heabutt and Head Control Technique from Street Fighting "Uncaged"
Additional Headbutt Techniques Resources:
Headbutt Self-Defense and Fight Videos
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