There was once a man named Bruce Tegner who spent the ’70s writing the same martial arts book over and over and over then changing the name of the martial art on the cover. He was a shin-kicking, backfisting master of a thing he called Judo, Aikido, Jukaido, Tai Chi, Ju-Jitsu, and sometimes Savate. He was also deadly with most weird sticks. And some of his techniques were so lethal they could only be trusted in the feet of the pure-of-heart like the intended audience for this Punching Day’s topic: 1976’s SELF-DEFENSE For YOUR CHILD.

You’d think this would be a survival guide for children in an increasingly dangerous world, but the stakes in SELF-DEFENSE For YOUR CHILD could not be lower. This is not a book about kidnapping prevention or pedophile identification. It teaches you how to fuck up a different 10-year-old and nothing else. In fact, I can prove it’s a weak ass book for bitches because look:

This copy was previously owned by a Karate school with a leaky roof run by someone named “Slendl Srbltrrp” who warned readers “DO NOT REMOVE FROM DOJO.” Well, I’m holding the book right here, Slendl, far removed from your dojo, and I’m intact as fuck.

Still not convinced this book is for pussies? Let’s zoom in on some of those accolades. Looks like CHRISTIAN HOME & SCHOOL called this manual on beating up children a “very readable little book.”

That’s the cruelest taunt I’ve ever seen. I fucking dare someone in Christian home school to say that shit to me. Leave “this was a very readable little article” in the comments and see what happens. I will pull so much of you apart your organ donor card will become a dark punchline for the man collecting your remains in a shop-vac. And the judge at my liquefaction trial will say, “You were right to do it, handsome liquefaction defendant! I sentence you and a guest to four nights at the Wailea Beach Resort in Maui!”

The book goes over a lot of the attacks you’ll see from your fellow third graders, like, for instance, a bare-handed strangulation from behind. By the way, the defense to this is turning around and kicking them in the knee. You might think it’s asking a lot of a child to decide when they should escalate playful roughhousing to full-on maiming, but you can take some comfort in knowing anyone who is taught to escape a choke by just kind of leaving and throwing a close-range sidekick will never hurt anyone with their Karate for as long as they live.

That’s not to say all of the attacks in this book are unlikely and pathetic. Some of them are absolutely overpowered. Look at this one:

Those are moves 53 through 59 of the same ass kicking. For dozens of pages, this kid unleashes a single unbroken combo against his opponent’s face, neck, and shins. And here’s a fighting tip for youngsters: if you’re queuing up hit #35 of a 59-hit combo, your classmate has been dead for some time. Oh, this seems like a good time to mention all of Bruce Tegner’s fighting techniques work best on attackers who announce they are attacking you and then stand very still for 20 minutes.

I should also mention Bruce Tegner always includes a weird chapter in his books on how to deal with pests. Not violent bullies or muggers, but everyday annoying people. In this one it’s called “Section Four: Annoying & Humiliating Actions,” and it’s at least the 7th time I’ve seen Bruce explain to his readers this secret technique for escaping a friendly lean. Here’s what you do, and follow these instructions carefully: if someone is leaning on you, fucking karate chop them with one of your hands. To his credit, it’s not NOT a fun idea.

It’s a lot to ask of a child to know when to unleash the full force of their deadly arts, but Bruce is expecting much more from the children of the reader. He’s expecting your kid to identify incoming foot attacks and react with different defenses for each one. His idea to block a kick by kicking it is optimistic, but I think most fighters would agree putting a leg between you and a kick is a way better idea than using your arm. But Bruce’s idea of waiting to see if a kick is going to be a knee and then ducking down into it to brush it aside with both hands– that’s nuts. It’s what I would act out if my charades clue was “Man Who Has Never Even Seen a Fight.” I know these techniques are 44 years old and developed during a time when the government listed ninjas as “Very Fact,” but authors should at least try to knee one kid in the head before they declare themselves an expert on it.

This is from the section on GROUND KICKING. There’s always a few parts of a Bruce Tegner book where the reader can’t be sure if they’re supposed to be the good guy.

Like all self-defense authors, Bruce Tegner believes you, the victim, are in an intellectual arms race with your attacker. If they find out you know how to duck into knees to nudge them aside, they will throw brain chops. If they know you know the defense to brain chops is spin-screaming, this will almost certainly be a feint. For well-trained children, all of these calculations happen in the blink of an eye. If you truly study SELF-DEFENSE For YOUR CHILD, the chest cavity of any kid who leans on you will be shattered before your brain has even caught up to your Karate.


A lot of you are probably thinking, “This is a readable little book, but I’m often facing off against multiple fourth graders. Are there any techniques for me?” Oh, shit yes. You want to see how to beat up two children at the same time? Scroll down zero inches.

Shin kick! Shin kick! Twist your legs for a crossover double shin kick! Shin kick them until one of them is hurt and use them as the shin kick! This is going to be the most important secret you and I will ever share, but the only defense you need is shin kick! Steps 1 through 213— shin kicks! If your enemy has shins and trouble with cursive Qs, your kick is where their bitch ass journey ends! Now get out there and defend yourself against some children!

This article is brought to you by Hot Dog Supreme Patrons Neil Schafer, Nick Ralston, and Eric Spaulding who have never met and never knew until now they could merge to form a giant panda.

7 replies on “SELF-DEFENSE For YOUR CHILD”

Okay, I’ve already lost the will to live anyway, I’ll say it: This was a very readable little article. TAKE ME NOW, MR BABY!

Talk all the shit you want, but when His High Holiness Tegner opined “in a ball game, you do not tell your opponent where you are going to aim the ball” I achieved total enlightenment. And in that moment it became crystal clear that this lost gospel was about so much more than ground kicking children. It was also about the fleeting nature of knee blocks, lower left posterior rib karate chops, and how we’re only put here to fuck one another up and hide our true intentions of where our balls are going. Deep shit, man. Deep shit.

I wanna see that shirt in the store, and then holding my karate-sploded chest cavity together.

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