30 Day Challenge/Day 15: Controlling Attack

The primary focus of most Martial Arts training is in defending a specific attack. It makes sense that this would happen. We figure the attack is the problem so that is what we need to solve. However as we become more experienced, we start to recognize that in most cases lots of other things could have been solved reducing the significant problem that the attack represents.

That is why we state that in any given situation we need to control ourselves, the dimensions and then the attack. Again, if we are in control of ourselves and balanced in the control of dimensions, we are more prepared and have advantages with controlling the attack.

In controlling the attack it is helpful to associate the characteristics of the attacks. For example: Grabs (or grabbing) has an intent to control and position us. However, the grab itself really represents a minimal threat. (Note: most grabs have the intent to lead us to something more dangerous.) Sure it can be painful but for the most part the pain can be tolerated. Now what gives us the advantage is that the attacker has committed one or more of their weapons to a set action. I refer to this as a “used” attack. (Sometimes I call it “dead.”) It has occurred, the attacker has fulfilled their initial intent which allows us to contend with it more easily. In a sense they “give us an opportunity.” We simply need to take advantage of the opportunity.

As stated in Day 14-Dimensions all attacks have three dimensions. If we cancel 2 of the dimensions we affect and in a sense cancel the 3rd. For example if the opponent were to grab us, say to the lapel. If we were to secure the grab, step back extending the depth or reach of the arm. Turn our bodies changing the width angle of the arm. The height of the opponent is reduced, reducing is ability to move momentarily. Also because the arm is over extended and at a different angle than intended the strength that the opponent has to use the arm is also reduced momentarily. (Sometimes the written word doesn’t really convey the action and results- “To hear is to doubt, to see is to be deceived but to feel is to believe.” ~Ed Parker)

Once we understand attacks we can start to group our strategies. For example; a right hand grab, right hand push, right hand punch and right hand thrusting weapon attack are all linear and horizontal. This allows us with minimal adjustments to use the same strategy to solve each problem. With this understanding we don’t need to develop four different strategies but work a single strategy as we are contending with the characteristics and timing more than the uniqueness of the attacks.

Now I am not attempting to say that developing the skills and awareness to fulfill these strategies does not take some time and dedication. It does! Additionally, even as we develop skills we must continue to recognize that the attributes of one attacker may be more challenging than another. Size, weight, strength, determination, constitution are all factors that must be contended with. With that said, however- physics are physics. Principles of motion hold true and if executed properly will contend more effectively with the different attributes and give us greater opportunities for success.