There is little question that inflicting sudden and intense pain is a great way to enable you to escape a threatening situation and possibly temporarily disable your attacker.

OK then…..What is “mechanical disruption”? It is simply disrupting the mechanics which allow the aggressor to attack, defend or chase after you. Make it so that he is physically unable to effectively chase you or attack you further and the situation is resolved (for you).

Most who train in martial arts and/or self defense are capable of inflicting varying degrees of pain via striking, joint locks, ripping or other methods.

Unfortunately there are a lot of drugs on the market and in use by what most would consider “bad” people and some of these drugs make the user all but impervious to pain. It’s not that inflicting pain does not work it is simply that the user’s sensory perception is so far beyond ‘normal’ that they just do not feel the pain. Some of these same drugs also enhance the user’s strength and agility, adding to the problem. In a sense, striking someone using one of these drugs or executing what would normally be a painful joint lock would be much like pounding on a heavy bag. The bag simply hangs there, rocking back and forth due to the physics involved but feels nothing at all.

This situation can be and usually is very, very bad for the defender regardless of training, strength, etc.

Is there a solution to this problem? Of course…..there are solutions to every problem but sometimes one has to dig a little deeper to find them.

Considering that most all people trained in martial arts and self defense know how to strike with their hands, arms and legs we need to consider how to use those talents to effectively stop the attacker in question. The solution is simple but it must be implemented quickly once you realize that your ‘normal’ pre-emptive or counter attack is not having the effect it should have.

The most important element of any attack or defense is balance. Humans rely totally on their legs for balance when they are standing and to a somewhat greater extent when they are fighting or attacking (unless, of course, they are on the ground). With this in mind it is important (critical) to know that the knee is absolutely the weakest part of the leg’s support mechanism. (Granted, the ankle is equally weak but much harder to get to when both parties are standing). It takes very little force or pressure to damage or even destroy a knee joint. A force somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 psi delivered suddenly and properly to the side of the knee joint will usually damage or totally tear one of the major ligaments which give the joint strength and stability. A decent Muay Thai type roundhouse kick (the one we typically use in Krav Maga) is the simplest way to make this happen. The concept here is that if the attacker cannot stand he cannot chase after you, thus your job is done and it is time to go home.

A second option is dislocating the aggressor’s elbow. Most people trained in martial arts and/or self defense eventually learn the “arm bar” which is essentially a means of locking the elbow in a painful manner and at the same time preventing the aggressor from using that arm against you. In this case if he is not able to feel pain you must attack and execute the elbow lock violently and suddenly, hoping to literally dislocate or break the joint. This will not, of course, prevent him from chasing after you, especially if he is not in excruciating pain. However, chances are the broken or dislocated elbow will be on his strong side and his ability to do significant damage to you will be seriously limited. In addition his balance will be at least somewhat disrupted. Remember that breaking or dislocating an elbow takes a good bit of force and the technique must be done suddenly and violently with as much of your body weight imposed as possible. Then, of course, run or follow up with intense knee or other strikes.

An additional option that occurs at times is when the attacker might end up in a kneeling or prone position due to a slip or trip or due to your putting him there. Again, if he feels no pain at all the fall will do little more than give you a very short break in the attack process. IF this happens and IF you can quickly get to it a hard stomp to his ankle will seriously damage the tendons, ligaments and nerves in the ankle joint and will likely break some of the smaller bones in the foot as well. Again, if he cannot stand he cannot chase after you.
There are, of course, other ways to disrupt an aggressor mechanically including takedowns, reaps and the like.  However be aware these will not at all guarantee he will not get up and chase after you OR that he won’t be able to attack you from the ground and take you down.