LET’S GET PHYSICAL
When a conflict gets physical, there are a few things that will maximize your efforts and increase your chance of survival. In an attack situation, you will be operating under very stressful conditions. The more you plan, prepare, and practice in advance, the easier it will be to act “instinctively”.
• Think “strike”, not hit. Yes, they are both good. But “strike” implies a more precise and powerful blow. As we discuss below, it is important to put full force behind every technique. Striking also applies to all offensive tools on your body, while hitting generally connotes just the hands. In fact, there are many striking tools that carry more force than the hands.
• Strike hard, fast and often. Ideally, you will drop your attacker with one blow. Realistically, it may take a little more. Give it your all … then keep going. Speed is also essential; it not only increases power, but it allows you to confuse your attacker and shift the momentum and assault dynamic. Once the confrontation begins, you want to immediately shift your approach from defense to offense, and force your attacker to shift his from offense to defense. The best way to do this is with a strong and aggressive barrage of strikes.
• Aim for injury rather than pain. Pain is subjective. It can be dulled by many factors, including drugs and alcohol. Setting your intentions beyond just pain and aiming for injury also encourages you to put more power behind every technique. Think about it. If you are trying to cause pain, you are likely to fall into the “least harm necessary” trap. You know what I’m talking about. Slap. “Shit, he’s still coming at me.“ Slap a little harder. “Why isn’t this self-defense stuff working?” Slap even harder. “Now he’s just looking mad. I give up.” So how about this instead? “How dare this asshole think he can violate my body. He’s decided that one of us will not be making it out alive. I’m going to use everything I have to stop him NOW.” Not only are you more likely to inflict attack-stopping damage, you are much more likely to inflict pain as well. Either way, your odds are looking much better.
• Direct hard striking tools against soft body targets.
Best striking tools: Knees and elbows are best. They are hard, sharp, and have larger surface areas, giving you a little more room for error. Other good tools include hands (palm thrust, hammerfist, V strike, half fist strike, finger rake), feet (front kicks, shin scrapes, foot stomps) and head (rear or front head butt).
Best targets: In the heat of battle, hit anywhere you can as hard as you can. But learning the “best” targets will give you the most bang for your buck. Aim for soft spots. The most damage, including serious injury and death, is likely in the head and neck area – the “thinking, eating, breathing” zone – and the heart and groin areas. So moving down the body, prime targets include eyes, ears, base of nose, temple, behind the jaw under the ear, throat, back of the neck, solar plexus, forearm, groin, knee, ankle and instep. Visualize striking these areas when practicing your techniques. You WILL perform how you practice. So practice like your life depends on it. It just might.