The First Line Of Defence
|The first few seconds and the first
few moves in ANY violent or potentially violent situation are the most vital.
What does or does not occur here can dictate the whole outcome, in other
words, whether you win or lose. The martial arts are full of the types of
openings that not only WON'T happen in the street, but actually CAN'T happen
in the street.
In my system and teachings, we call this "The Sandwich Theory", by this I mean that nearly every martial system on the planet teaches how to defend against an attack that has actually happened. You know the kind of thing I mean:
"If he grabs you like this you do this defence", "when he steps in to punch, you do this" and so on.
The major problem here in many cases, is that firstly you have already lost some valuable opportunities for a good defence and secondly your defences may not work once a determined attack is already "IN YOUR FACE".
Your priorities are to control the SITUATION, not just the ATTACK. Distance, Time, Space etc are all there to be influenced by YOU not your attacker,,, so use them. Let's now throw in a few methods of controlling these points and then after you read this, think how you can bring these points both into YOUR training and subsequently YOUR defences. More often than not, a fight will have a verbal opening, I admit some attacks, like muggings etc have no verbal: just someone jumping out on you. However, the principles can still apply here, simply you have lost the opportunity to implement some of them. But you still have some left to you...
OK, if you are confronted with a stranger
yelling in your face, why argue back with him?
Keep moving around a bit, still keeping the "Fence" on him, after all it's harder to hit a moving target. Now make your voice more determined and stronger:
"LOOK, I'VE TOLD YOU (not asked)... BACK OFF... I DON'T WANT TROUBLE... GET AWAY FROM ME". Again using you're own words and continuing to analyse the positions of both you and him. Where are the doors? What's behind you? What can you use to your advantage? Now HE will be finding it harder to get a purchase on you... move side to side a bit, change lead hands in the "Fence" as you do so. DON'T wave your arms around under poor control, simply maintain you're opening posture, but keep it mobile.
Try to read the signs that he is either a BARKING DOG or a BITING DOG, if he is just shouting his mouth off, let him have that very poor victory and try to walk away. If the shouts change to single words and become more menacing, he is probably ready to launch his attack... When it turns violent you MUST do your utmost to get your shot in FIRST.
Don't plan to block his attack, instead
hit him. If you are a fraction of a second too late (and it always IS
just a fraction), then cover up and grab his head. This way, his punches
will not have the impact they would if you were further away and you can
start again to gain control.
Don't just practice, if he grabs you
like this or punches you like that defences, instead get your control
of the situation EARLIER in the confrontation. DO NOT get into an argument
with someone shouting at you, it only fuels his anger. If he is already
in that shouting, gesturing, aggressive mode a few pleading words from
you won't alter the situation very much.
So I will close with this :
THE EARLIER IN THE CONFRONTATION THAT
YOU GAIN CONTROL, THE BETTER. TRY TO CONTROL SPACE, DISTANCE AND TIME
FROM YOUR OPPONENT, LOOK FOR ESCAPE ROUTES THAT ALLOW YOU TO GET AWAY
SAFELY, NOT "PANIC" ROUTES FOR YOU TO RUN WITHOUT CONTROL.
Dave Turton 7th Dan
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