Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Single Motion Defense

 I've had numerous (written) conversations over the past few weeks with
assorted individual's who don't (seem to) understand what I mean, when
I say to “focus upon your own motions” (during the initiation of a 
confrontation). The concept is not that hard to follow, yet I receive 
numerous “questions”, in regards to that very statement, that are more 
involved than what I'm attempting to convey! LOL. 
  Essentially, there are “2” factors in play here. The aggressor's initial “assault” motion, and the defender's ability to react to that motion.

I continue to receive questions/statements (about) how many different ways there are to be attacked (by an aggressor, with their “hands”). NO, there aren't. Regardless of an aggressor's size, or speed, or knowledge, there are only a limited number of ways that you can be struck (“bare-handed”, and in the head).

  We begin our student's training, with how to defend against a “head/face” punch. This is the most commonly performed “first” aggressive action, in a physical confrontation. Though not always a committed action (being sometimes used as a “feint”), the evidence would show that it is “the” most common (first) manner of attack utilized in an altercation.

  All the “other” ways that one can get punched (upon), are irrelevant (as it would be impossible to account for every hair-brained manner that some goof may try to hit you). In 90% of confrontations (that become physical altercations), the first strike thrown (or at least attempted) is a face/head punch. No doubt the individual is seeking to inflict the (infamous) “Knock-out” punch (as seen in so many movies and such). But more often they just bloody a lip or nose (and the trading of fisticuffs continues until someone submits, and/or the authorities are involved).

  It is that initial “head” punch, that we train our students to contend with. Before a physical confrontation begins, there is an (excessive) level of (nervous) tension experienced by the defender. This tension can become distracting, enough so, that one's ability to react when the (physical) assault begins, that they are too distracted to complete an effective defense.

  Much of this apprehension is (self) created by not knowing what to do. This is why our student's (initial) instruction is focused on their own defensive action (regardless of the individual manor of assault being utilized against them). It's at this point, that the majority of the questions I receive, illustrate that reader's become confused.

  It has been “popular”, to teach students that (your) the Left hand, can/will “block/deflect” an aggressor's Right hand (and Visa-versa, ie. "Right for Left"). This manor of defensive “thinking”, has limited/restricted those student's reaction time. Though initially seeming to be “logical/practical”, it has created the prevalence (instinct?) to wait (until the defender can perceive/see which hand the aggressor is utilizing). “Waiting” equals ”Hesitation”, It requires that the defender understand (or "confirm"?) which hand is being utilized, it is an attempted Reaction (to something they're not really sure about).He who hesitates, has Lost” (or something to that effect). In a defensive situation, “time” is the one "main" thing that we will rarely (if ever) have a surplus of. The time frame of one's initial defensive motions, is only seconds (if not milliseconds). There is no time to rationalize your motions, and/or “change” what that motion is doing (initially).

  Once the aggressor's motion (attack) begins, the defender must have begun theirs (or there is NO point in bothering). There is insufficient time to “evaluate” the aggressor's (manner of) strike, and then expect to have the ability to choose “which” way to defend against it.

  If the defender already has a comprehensive defensive motion (that will suffice for use against any of the more common initially attempted strikes), the entire decisive process has been eliminated. Because of that, the defender can then (more easily) modify their defensive actions accordingly (and to situational circumstances and/or changes as well).

  The apparent difficulty, would seem to be that students have been “shown”, that you should respond (only) to the individual attack (which has been shown for years to be a flawed tactic, ie. The “Blitz Strategy” as one example).

  If/when your practiced defensive action is “only” sufficient for “1 or 2” manners of aggression, you are creating a weakness (or at least a deficiency, depending upon your perspective) in your defense. Any defensive action that you practice, must have the ability to respond to multiple manners of attempted aggression. The Same motion, regardless of whether the “Left/Right” hand is being utilized by the aggressor (or whether it is a straight punch, an uppercut or a hay-maker) should be capable of being defended against.

  If your defensive motion requires you to respond by (choosing) your Left or Right hand to do so, you will (likely) never be able perform it (at least in time to be effective). By having the/a defensive motion that will function regardless of the manner of attack, the defender doesn't need to focus upon which hand the aggressor is utilizing. 
 Teaching students to rely on an "outside block" to prevent a punch from striking you in the face is (frankly) a wasted motion (if performed preemptively). Particularly if you misjudged which hand was going to be doing the striking.  

 The use of both hands (simultaneously), is essential to any comprehensive defensive motion. 
 Doing so will additionally allow the defender to (more easily) modify their defense as the aggression proceeds or if the circumstances change (as well as providing counter-attack possibility's)


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