Is Biting a Good Self Defense Technique
How effective is biting in a street fight situation? What are the chances that a bite will want to make your aggressor back off?
In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about biting as a form of self-defense and why it shouldn’t be your go-to fighting strategy.
Biting for Self-Defense
In a street fight, the first rule is there’re no rules, so anything, including biting, can be used for self-defense. Unfortunately, biting on its own is ineffective in a no-rule fight.
Don’t get me wrong.
In a life-and-death situation, there’re more bites than you would think, but it’s not a reliable way to inflict damage. It can also be easily countered.
In my opinion, the reliability of a bite is situational-wise. Biting should only be used when it presents itself by chance. For example, if your aggressor gets close enough to your teeth, you can take a piece out of them.
In most cases, however, the purpose of a bite in a fighting situation is to act as a pain control or psychological shock tactic. i.e., you grab me; I bite your hand, and you let me go. In short, biting can be useful under certain circumstances, but it’s not a reliable winner for you. You only need to use it as part of your toolset for dangerous situations.
Why Human Bites Are Dangerous
Of course, depending on the situation, you could use biting as self-defense. In particular, if you’re already wrestling and both on the ground, you might be able to bite your aggressor without opening up your face for an attack.
And the thing with human bites is they can be dangerous. The danger of a human bite doesn’t lie so much in the strength of the teeth but in the saliva.
Sure, a bite is painful, but the effects of the pain don’t compare to the pathogenic germ effects. Human bites are more likely to cause an infection than animal bites. For example, the risk of an infection from a dog bite is usually 10-20%, while that of humans is usually between 45-55%.
Can I Use Biting as a Self-Defense Strategy?
This is a tough one because, as I mentioned earlier, the effectiveness of a bit depends on the situation. In most cases, however, it would be unwise to use biting as your only self-defense technique.
Biting in a fighting situation is risky, and you’ll likely lose a lot. Here’re some reasons you shouldn’t consider biting for self-defense.
1) Human Bite Isn’t Powerful
The first and probably the main reason you shouldn’t use biting as a fighting technique is a human bite isn’t powerful. Of course, almost any animal instinctively uses jaws for self-defense, but you’ve better options.
A typical human bite generates 265 pounds of force, while on the other hand, an MMA fighter can generate 1,100 pounds from a punch and 2,700 pounds of kick force. Even assuming that you’re not trained for martial arts, I believe anyone should be able to kick or punch harder than they can bite.
2) Not Effective
The most damage you can do with a bite is ripping flesh. It hurts like hell, but it’s nowhere debilitating as kicking or striking hard.
From experience, I don’t think it’s truly possible to incapacitate an aggressor using a bite. On the other hand, it’s easy to KO your opponent using a single punch.
Therefore, it would only make much more sense if you focused your energy on the damaging techniques. Of course, the sharp, distracting pain will work to your advantage but don’t spend too much time or energy on the endeavor.
3) Biting exposes you to pathogens
Biting is a double-edged sword. You can transmit pathogens through saliva to the aggressor, but you could also expose yourself to the nasty stuff in their blood.
Once you dig your teeth into your aggressor’s flesh, you’ll come into contact with their blood, skin, and sweat, exposing you to many diseases and infections.
4) Risky Technique
A huge problem with biting is for you to bite someone, you need to get your face close to them. You expose your face, which makes it much easier for your opponent to hit you. Plus, biting means you’re already covering your face, inhibiting your view of the fight and putting you at a disadvantage.
5) Loose Teeth
Biting is also an incredible way to lose your teeth. Human teeth are strong, but only for compression. Once you come to leverage, they become weak. For example, if you’re biting an opponent and they decide to pull away, push forward, or front-cross your teeth, it becomes easy to lose your teeth.
6) Not Fast/Close Range
An ideal self-defense technique should be quick, non-telegraphed, and should allow you to execute from a safe distance. Biting fails in every aspect.
It’s neither a fast attack nor long-range, so you can surely get hurt when grappling with an experienced fighter. Plus, you must stick your ace ahead and catch someone’s moving parts to execute a bite.
Now, unless the kinetic chain from your jaw muscles to the neck is strong or as fast, you can bet on getting jumped. Plus, you know what is much faster than your face? Your aggressors’ hands, elbows, and knees.
7) Piss off your Aggressor
Biting tends to escalate the level of violence you’re in. For example, if your aggressor only wants to inflict a non-lethal pounding, biting pisses them off more to make them want to inflict grievous harm.
Furthermore, it only reminds your opponent that they can bite too. The moment you unleash your dirty tricks, the situation changes, and you can expect them to ramp up the violence.
8) Social Taboo
Finally, biting is generally considered a social taboo in some way. We’re more sophisticated than animals and above biting. If you examine our teeth, you can tell they’re not designed for biting. We’re not cavemen.
How to Bite
With everything said, biting can be an effective tool in your arsenal. There’re situations where biting can save your life.
And in such cases, you just don’t bite; show your animal heritage. Rather than bite and release, bite and rip. Bring the teeth as hard as possible on the aggressor’s flesh until you taste their blood. Then shake your head vigorously until you break flesh or muscles from their skin.
It’s also important that you aim for the smaller bits. Rather than go for a massive bite, choose smaller body features such as the nose or ears. Your teeth are stronger than an ear’s cartilage, and it is easier to inflict damage.
My position regarding biting for self-defense is that it should never be your go-to move. It’s not necessarily a bad idea, but it should certainly not be your only idea. Instead, it should be part of your tool set in a dangerous situation. Ideally, use biting as a distraction for a more lethal technique.
Never use biting as the only technique in a fight, but part of an overall strategy. Learn other self-defense techniques and then throw biting in the mix.