Hand-to-hand combat skills—a must for post-apocalypse b*tches

When the inevitable zombie apocalypse occurs, we’re going to need a lot more than some cans of pepper spray to defend ourselves. By now, you know that if a horde of flesh-hungry zombies is on your jock, you’ve gotta fire straight into their skull. But what if you’re running low on ammunition or your firearm jams? Or if the sound of your gun will attract more undead in your direction?

Even if you’re packing heat when the zombie takeover occurs, chances are there’ll be times that you’re going to have to go mano y mano with these brain-craving bastards. If you haven’t already started, it’s time to master the most harrowing battle style of all: hand-to-hand combat. While the odds are not really in your favor, with a little training, some fierce stamina and superhuman strength, you may be able to flip the script on that rotting corpse in your face. Here are a few tips for improving your chances when you get up close and personal with a member of the undead.

Choose a badass weapon. The goal here is to incur massive head trauma or decapitation old school style—you must get the brains. The problem with kitchen knives or any blades that cut smoothly is that they can easily get stuck in the zombie’s rotting flesh. You want something that chops, like an axe, tomahawk or a Samurai Sword. Another good option is something with horsepower, like a chainsaw.

Be resourceful. Shovels, wrenches, hockey sticks, golf clubs and fire extinguishers are all excellent weapon choices when battling a zombie close range. If you’re really desperate, try bashing their brains in with a large can of food, or if there are any blunt objects lying around, force one straight through their forehead. The ideal makeshift weapon is an aluminum baseball bat—it’s sturdy, durable and makes a very satisfying noise when you a bash a zombie’s head in.

Avoid Hair Pulling. As hot as cat fights can get, attempting to pull a zombie’s hair will do little for your cause. We typically pull hair to cause pain, and since the undead feel none, it’s a pointless move. In addition, zombies are in a state of decay, so the most damage you’ll do is grab a handful of decomposing scalp. Skip the girly hair pull and go for a more drastic maneuver.

Get your mind right. While the natural reaction is to panic, you must instead focus on the task at hand and eliminate all fear from your mind—otherwise, you’re doomed. Try what the military calls “Tactical breathing.” Simply inhale through your nose for three seconds, hold your breath for another three, and then exhale for three. Controlled breathing calms your nerves and muscles, while decreasing your heart rate so you can face off from a place of zen.

Be prepared for the rot. Your first encounter with a walking, rotting cadaver will be one you never forget. Their disgusting stench, ghoulish appearance and the vile noises they make increases the upchuck factor tenfold. Whatever you do, do not let their appearance freak you out. Focus instead on the offensive and defensive strikes that you’re about to deliver.

Master some sick moves. Now is the time to get into optimal shape, build your stamina, and master the kind of killer techniques taught in martial arts and self-defense systems like Krav Maga. In the meantime, here are some basic moves that are easy to learn and can buy you enough time to escape with your brains intact.

1. Basic a$s kicking. If a zombie bum rushes you, simply lift your leg, with knees bent, and kick it in the ribs. If you’ve had some kickboxing training, now is a great time to employ the old Round House. If you can make it high enough, a solid kick to the jaw will stun the zombie and give you time to bust out the two in that one-two combination.

2. The Sweep and Stomp. If a zombie corners you, take advantage of his unwieldiness and lack of coordination. Grab it by the neck, hook one of your legs behind its opposite leg, and sweep your leg against its calf while slamming its neck, forcing its weight backward. Once the rotting one is on the ground, stomp on its skull forcefully. Hopefully, you’re rocking some sweet combat boots in anticipation of this very moment.

3. Swipe and Strike. This is a great move for stunning the undead so you can make your escape. Step back, raise your hands, and strike the zombie in the nose with the palm of your hand, turning your hips into the blow for added force.

Does anyone else have any tips to share?

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