A common question we get asked by ladies and older boys in our courses is whether you should kick a guy in the balls in self defence. The short answer is yes. The long answer is, there are probably better moves.
THE SHORT ANSWER
Some people will say that kicking to the balls is strictly off limits, that it is cheating, that it's dishonorable, and that (for males) it violates ‘Bro Code’. Let us be very clear, in a self defence situation, there are no rules. Your only job is to get home safely. You can cheat, you can lie. You can kick them in the balls. You can use a weapon. A ‘Bro Code’ is between two guys who have mutual respect for each other. This guy clearly has no respect for you. He targeted you because you're easy prey. He does not have good intent or any concern for your welfare. If you're looking for honour and fighting, you need to take up a sport like boxing or Jujitsu. There are no rules in self defence. And if you think there are, we can promise you the other guy doesn't think so, and you're going to get hurt.
If you have decided to kick an attacker in the groin, or the situation unfolds that way, be prepared to follow through. Strike it with full fury, as if your life depended on it.
Training to be prepared to kick hard is something we encourage you to think about. If you have never trained to kick, this technique will be harder to perform.
But if you can get in a groin kick, it will definitely hurt! The reason that a kick in the groin is so painful is due to the number of nerves in the groin. Both the testicles and the scrotum are loaded with nerves, and these nerves allow the pain to radiate throughout the body and make a strike there painful.
Most men are not able to get kicked in the groin and then get right back up. That does not mean all men will drop to the ground - some can withstand the pain. If they are motivated by the fact they are trying to attack or abduct you, they are even more likely to be able to withstand the pain. If they do get up, have a back-up plan like a hit to the throat or elbow to the chin.
It will vary, but most men will be incapacitated for around 60 seconds after a good, hard kick to the groin.
THE LONG ANSWER
Some people will say that kicking to the groin is something you should definitely try to do in a self defence situation. We don’t entirely agree. Sure, this can hurt your attacker, and if you happen to get a knee or kick to the groin area as you are defending yourself - great! But the groin is actually a relatively small area to target on the body - there are far more accessible and vulnerable body parts you’ll be able to get to in a real-life situation, such as the eyes and throat. Attacks to these body parts will often be more debilitating to your attacker. While kicking a man in the groin can hurt, it may not drop him to the ground. Some guys can take that hit, so you must be prepared for follow up strikes.
Men are also instinctively protective of this area and can more easily protect their groin without needing to release their grip on you. They can also recover somewhat faster than they can from the searing and blinding pain of damage to their eyes, throat, kidney or solar plexus. When we look at real-life self defence situations, we also see groin attacks less likely to actually play out. They just don’t work as well. You are left on only one leg in order to knee or kick the groin, hampering your balance and stability. This increases the likelihood of the fight going to the ground, which you want to avoid. You must also be somewhat close to your attacker to reach the groin. You can’t strike from full arms distance like you can with palm strikes, for example. And if you had your hands up in defence, attempting to de-escalate the situation or feign compliance, you can’t get in a groin kick without telegraphing your move. It’s far easier to have your hands up in surrender, then to quickly barrel your fists and start attacking the face with hammer fists than it is to shift your weight and get your leg up with enough power to hurt the groin area WITHOUT your attacker seeing the move coming and shifting away to avoid it.
THE COBRA ADVICE
We most definitely support groin kicks if you are in a real self-defence situation and that is the area your leg, arm, hand or even your head manages to hit! A sufficient hit in the groin can and will disable a man to some extent at least, hopefully giving you enough time to run away. You should never feel like this area is off limits. But equally, the groin shouldn’t be your number one target at the expense of more easily hit areas that might enable a faster and more efficient escape.