The G.E.N Strategy

This may be the most important self-defense lesson you will ever learn. Before I begin I want you to know that I do not discredit or play down the importance of training in martial arts or RBS (reality based self-defense). This lesson however is a very important lesson to learn and will greatly increase the chances of survival for training and untrained victims alike. This is the first lesson I teach my self-defense students, because I want to rest confident that if my student were to be attacked, I want them to "stand a chance" even after just one lesson.

Don't scoff! I'm not claiming that this one lesson will make you immortal, but it will at least give the student a great tool to add to their arsenal.

Legal Ramifications

This lesson is a lesson of lethal force. You should only fight with this strategy if you are in a situation that justifies the use of lethal force. Using this strategy is the equivalent of using a gun or knife. DO NOT take this lesson lightly! It is a sad reality that we could be put into a situation where we either kill or be killed, but if the time comes you cannot hesitate. Or you may live in regret until the day you die. If you survive at all...

So, what are some situations that merit the use of the G.E.N strategy? Well... every situation is different and you need to make that judgement when the time comes, but here are some possibilities;

  • Armed assault

  • Rape

  • Home invasion

  • Kidnapping

  • Terrorism

  • when confronted with lethal fighting techniques (like chokes)

I am not a lawyer (Thank God!), so you may want to look into your state's laws on self-defense.

The Concept of Critical Targeting

What is Critical Targeting? It is the concept of focusing your attacks on strategic and easily injured targets. There are many critical targets to attack on the human body. Some are better targets than others.

Let's look at what makes a good target;

  1. Easily damaged. You want to attack target that are that cause great injury. Eyes, throat, ribs, knees are good examples here.

  2. Low defenses. You want to take advantage of the target that are least defended by your adversary. It is hard to defend a kick to the knee for example.

  3. Involuntary reactions. Certain targets when attacked will cause your opponent to have an involuntary reaction. You want to take advantage of these targets. An example would be an attack to the solar plexus. An attack to the solar plexus would knock the air out of your opponent, and would cause the involuntary reaction of gasping for air. One involuntary reaction will leave an opening for a secondary attack or the concept of Retzev which we will be discussing later.


So, what is the G.E.N strategy? G.E.N is an acronym for Groin Eyes and Neck. G.E.N is a simple to remember strategy that leverages the concept of Critical Targeting to a high advantage for the defender.




Let's look at the the ramifications of targeting these three targets.


The groin is an often undefended target. Attacking this target can cause severe pain, internal bleeding, unconsciousness, vomiting, or even death. One strike to the groin has the potential to take your opponent out of the fight in no time.

Striking this target causes the involuntary reaction of guarding this area. One or both of your opponent's hands will drop to guard the groin. This leaves a split second opening of other critical targets namely the eyes or neck.


The eyes are a very easily damaged target. Attacking them will always cause temporary blindness due to watering. If one eues is injured both will water and close due to sympathy pain. Attacking the eyes can cause temporary blindness, watering, permanent blindness, severe pain, eye rupture, vomiting, unconsciousness, and even death.

The involuntary response to an attack to the eyes is watering, and temporary blindness. Your opponent will also resort to eye guarding leaving other critical targets open for attack.


The neck can be stuck from any angle. In it are contained the trachea, jugular, and spinal cord. A single strike to the neck can kill your opponent. An attack to the neck can cause suffocation, paralysis, temporary loss of breath, severe internal bleeding, unconsciousness, and even death.

Attacking the throat will create an involuntary response of throat guarding, and gasping.


The concept of Retzev comes from Krav Maga which is an Israeli combat system. Retzev is Hebrew and basically means "continuous motion". The practice of Retzev simplified is simply attack and don't stop attacking until the threat is neutralized.

The concept of Retzev and the G.E.N strategy are inseparable. When using the G.E.N strategy you must practice Retzev along with it. The following is an example of how the two are used in unison. This is how you use the G.E.N strategy;


You are walking down a sidewalk. It's a beautiful day and you think nothing could ever go wrong. All of a sudden a van pulls up next to you and a huge brute of a man jumps out of the side door and trys to shove you in. Your head spins and you realize no one is there to help you. In your desperation you can only remember one thing.


Three targets.

You turn and bring you knee into the man's groin. You follow up with another knee strike. This time the man releases one of your arms to cover. Leaving his eyes and throat exposed to your free hand you scratch at his eyes. He lets go and covers his face with his hands leaving his groin exposed again. You attack the groin, and the man falls gasping to his knees. You run and get away safely. You incapacitated an attacker with only 4 strikes.

Final Thoughts

There is no order in which you attack targets. You simply take the openings that are given to you. This also works with weapons like a pen or keys.

I hope you benefit from this lesson. It is my goal to empower others to be a better protector of those in their care. However the best possible self-defense precaution you can ever take is to entrust your soul to the greatest warrior and protector in existence... Jesus Christ your LORD!