Rear Bear Hug
If someone gives you a bear hug from behind, you
want to drop your weight to prevent them from picking you up
by stepping forward with one foot.
Then, if your arms are free, use one to swing
past your back leg and put your weight into striking your attacker's
groin, a few times, hard. An elbow to his face will then send
it to your other elbow and then back to the first. By using
left and right elbows in this fashion, if your attacker avoids
the first one he ducks into the second or third.
Twist your body in either direction so you can
see your target and also to add momentum to your limbs. After
volleying their head with your elbows, turn around (their grip
should be weaker) and finish up with some palm heel strikes
or knee strikes or whatever is necessary for you to be out of
If your arms are pinned when the conflict arises,
drop your weight like you would if they were free and strike
the attacker's groin until he loosens his grip. You can also
grab and squeeze the groin as well.
At that point, bust that same arm forward and
up through his hands, freeing it, then swing it from far in
front of you and put your weight into a straight elbow to his
head. Now you are facing him and can introduce him to a palm
heel strike and maybe a few knee strikes.
The defenses against variations of a bear hug
are similar because when you are in that situation, it is not
the time to analyze what kind of hold you're in. The responses
described here are close to what one would do naturally and,
because of their simplicity, are more easily executed in a real
situation. More simple and effective defenses against common
street attacks are demonstrated on Street Self