Should You Kick a Guy in the Groin?

Are men’s “family jewels” fair game? In a warranted self-defense situation, you bet! Will it always work? Not always. Here’s what you need to know.

Groin shots are considered “cheap”, “low”, and, when men are fighting men, “unsportsmanlike”. When you attack a man’s testicles, you attack his identity by attacking his virility. Groin shots are illegal in all martial arts (except Muay Thai as practiced in Thailand). Groin attacks are even forbidden in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 25:11–12), which says:

If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. (New International Version)

Groin shots are commonly taught in self-defense training because they can be devastating. This MMA fight lasted seven seconds because of a groin strike.

A solidly delivered groin strike can fracture the pubic bone, and, when delivered on men, can cause one or both testicles to rupture, potentially sterilizing or even killing the victim. A solidly delivered groin strike, combined with an element of surprise, CAN cause the debilitating pain that is accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath, dizziness, vomiting, and even blackout.

Do Groin Strikes Work?

The word CAN is emphasized because it is dangerous to assume that a good groin strike works on everyone. There are men who actually like it (but we’re not going there). Sport Science, a series that aired in 2009, had an episode dedicated to groin strikes. In this video, it is clear that groin strikes do not work on all men.

In Bullshudio forum discussion Kicking the BALLS, Myth or Truth?, Wu De wrote:

I once kicked Yan Fei in the groin. He just looked at me and grinned. I kicked him again and he told me to stop it, otherwise he’d kick me in the groin.

Groin strikes do not work on every man. Statistics on the percentage of men that easily tolerate a groin strike float around, usually citing between 1% and 5%, but there isn’t any solid research to back them. In a real life self-defense situation, you have to be prepared for the worst. That means assuming that you have no more than a 95% chance of success if you can deliver a strong groin strike to an attacker.

thomasaaron wrote:

I’ve been kicked in the sack and continued fighting. But after the fight, I went to a bathroom, puked, and silently whimpered for a while.

Adrenalin can trump pain. So can rage. So can drugs. Assuming you can nullify an attacker with a good groin strike even 95% of the time can be a deadly assumption in an attack.

HAPKO3 wrote:

I have been kicked in the balls in a real fight twice. Both times it hurt me, but it also pissed me off enough that I really fucked up the guy who kicked me. However, it both times it did stun me for a couple of seconds, and my opponents failed to capitalize on that to finish the fight. If they knew what they were doing, they would have had a chance to win right there.

A groin strike may hurt, but it may not take them to the ground, and it may make them anger. If a groin strike does not take them to the ground, and you MUST capitalize on the moment they’re stunned to deliver more strikes.

When women are in a self-defense situation that has become a striking fight, it is critical that they understand that delivering one strike is very unlikely to ensure your escape. It is critical to prime your brain that if you end up in a striking fight, you will have to deliver blow after blow after blow to create enough space to get away.

Tips for Delivering Solid Groin Strikes

First and foremost, before delivering a groin strike to a man or woman, have a really, really good reason to do it. Kicking someone in the groin without an imminent threat is assault, and you could be legally liable. If you are not in imminent physical danger, use other strategies to create space.

If you are in imminent physical danger, use these tops to help hedge your bets that a groin strike will be effective in escaping the attack.

  1. Make sure your strike technique is correct given the strike range.
    A straight kick right up the ally that delivers the top of the shin to the family jewels can’t be delivered well if you are too far away or too close. Same with a good knee strike. Delivering the right strike for the attacker’s range is critical to success. Practice in striking is strongly recommended so that you learn to gauge distance accurately.

  2. Be prepared for a reflex.
    If you deliver a good groin strike, the attacker’s reflex is to double over. This could result in a head butt that could injure you or knock you out.

  3. Be prepared to deliver strike after strike after strike to escape.
    Your strike may just stun the attacker for a second or two. Be ready to capitalize on those seconds to deliver more strikes to vulnerable areas.

Real attacks don’t happen step-by-step. They are chaotic, and having a brain primed to capitalize on opportunities created can make the difference between life and death. There are some gems to store in the back of our head in the 100 Ways to Attack the Groin.