Hands are the best primary targets. If there is a weapon, then the weapon or weapon hand is the best initial target. During the Persian Gulf War, surgical strikes to military anti-air silos were the first targets. The allies were destroying weapons and the enemy’s ability to counter strike. That is effective military thinking. Whether in an arena of war or in the alley defending your life, effective military thinking applies to both sizes of combat and confrontation.
“If you cut the fangs off of the snake, you don’t have to worry about the snake.” – Pilipino proverb
This old Eskrima saying relates to personal combat. Which would you choose to fight? Someone with guns and knives? Or someone who has no weapons and has their hands tied behind their back? The obvious answer, the unarmed defenseless man. He’s a snake with no fangs. You are safe to avoid or engage the enemy. You are in command, a position of power.
One caveat, don’t assume you can let down your guard if the enemy is obviously defenseless. You must always be in a defensive posture even if it’s an easy target. Always attack assuming they are fully able to mount a dangerous attack and counter attack. That is sound tactics.
Defeating an opponent without risk or injury is the ideal situation. This is how the Shaolin monks justified learning and developing martial arts. They were able to disarm and immobilize attackers without killing anyone or anything. Thus they kept to their religious beliefs, yet were able to deal with real world dangers.
Seek to disable the offensive and defensive weapons to maximize you combative advantage. Defang the snake and their bite won’t harm you.