Monday, October 11, 2010

Counter Ambush Training

In a previous post I mentioned I would share tips on how to adapt martial arts training (dojo) to deal with real world violence.

Please read the article above for an example of real world violence

Do you train for attacks from the rear (I know that is illegal in competition)?
If so do you practice against ambush attacks? (the way attacks happen / knives are used in the world)?
Or do you only work defenses against attacks in your kata after your partner announces exactly what attack he will do?

I don’t care if you are a 15th degree black belt in Ninpo (that’s ninjutsu [art of the ninja] for you civilians), A Jedi knight or a level 7 laser lord, you cannot predict an ambush attack especially form the rear

Violence happens harder,closer,faster, than in the dojo and by surprise
Action is always faster than reaction.

An attack (action) is instant.  A defense requires:
Observe – Your senses perceive an attack
Orient – Your brain has to take the information from your senses and recognize that as a threat.  Oh he is throwing a punch
Decide – Your brain has to search through al your training to pick the best block for that specific attack
Act – actually do what you decided

To get caught up, get ahead in the OODA loop you need to ingrain a counter ambush response

                        Threat                                                  You
                        Attack                                                Observe
                                                                                  Act(ingrained counter ambush)
                        Observe                                             Take what ever is “gifted”
                        Observe                                             End confrontation(It’s over in 3)
                        Orient (What the fuck just happened?)

So how do you develop your own counter ambush training?  Let’s start with counter ambush from front attacks.  Take your favorite / best block or evasion from an attack from the front kick, punch, grab, whatever. The technique should protect your head, ribs, and groin.  For example if the move is a kick defense make sure your head is protected as well.

Make sure it meets the “building codes” of delivering force into your attacker

Then make sure that technique meets Rory Miller’s Golden Standard.  The technique should
Improve your position (That means you have to move dumb, dumb)
“Best way to block, no be there” Mister Myagi
Worsen the their position
Protects you from damage
Allows you to damage them.

Once you have a technique that does all the above and can be done in one motion (thought).  You need to test it.  Have a training partner stand closer than you are accustomed to and attack with out warning any attack from the front.  As soon as you perceive his attack do the move.  It won’t be perfect but it should defeat the majority of what ever they throw at you.  Train for what happens most and you can handle most of what happens.  This technique has to work with out modification to any specific attack because you won’t know what they are throwing at you. 

Now do the same process for an attack from the rear.  Yes you may get stabbed in the back like the kid in the story.  But it is better to get stabbed once and put the threat down than to get stabbed 5-8 times in a blitz attack because you did nothing.

After you have adapted the technique that works and passed the tests you need to condition yourself to respond that way automatically to any front attack stimuli.  And to respond  automatically to any rear attack stimuli (effectively narrowing down your response choices down to 2) But that is a blog for another day (or just read Rory Miller’s “Meditations on violence”)

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