Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Today's TDA Tip: Drive to survive!

I tend to like to counter in my stand-up fighting, meaning that I wait for an opponent to leave an opening, or create one by drawing (intentionally leaving an opening) an attack. That works well under most circumstances if you know what your opponent can do, or is likely to do, or if you use evasion and distance, coupled with shallow feints to see how your opponent responds. This isn't always wise, however.

In a self-defense situation, once you feel the need to defend yourself, many times it is wiser to quickly overpower an opponent with a ferocious attack that gives you the initiative, and keep firing and driving until that threat is no longer apparent. In other words if you feel an attack is imminent, and that your life may be in danger, blast the attacker and use bumping, checking, striking, and footwork, along with a driving momentum to take down the attacker. An example of this type of attacking style may be seen in this post. I will also try to dig up some video of it.

To drill:

  • Work the scenario of a single opponent who woofs, insults, and crowds the defender.
  • At some point, the attacker should build up to an emotional head of steam and make a conscious decision to attack (but should not signal or telegraph this intention). If it's a beginner to such scenarios, you may allow some telegraphs of intent via body or verbal language, but try to keep it as realistic as the acting skill of the attacker and the ability of the defender allow.
  • Decide, in advance what the attack will be, and execute it, such as a chest grab, overhand, shove, or grab and punch combination. As the student becomes more proficient, do not pre-arrange the attack, but let the attacker freelance.
  • The defender should "feel" the imminent attack and pre-empt it by a stop-hit and continue to attack until the threat is down. Then drill leaving ASAP and watching for other attackers.

Keep in mind that the possibility that an attacker has a weapon is pretty high. A wait and see tactic may result in that weapon being pulled and brandished, worse yet, used. Multiple attackers is always a possibility, but your ferocious attack may defuse that as well, especially if you drop the bad guy then get the heck out of there. I realize that other possibilities exist, and are, in fact, infinite (how about trying to just leave), and would only use this strategy if no other option presented itself.

Stay safe!

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