Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Street Fighting - Timing Between Techniques

Street Fight Advice

This is not a sparring session. This is the real deal ... a real street attack. Now, what?

In a street fight, assuming that you can’t get away, you are either going to have to deal with a hit or kick or you are going to have to be the one to make the first move.

Even if you are being attacked, you can still be the first one to strike.

Note: Often the courts will rule against you, if you are the first to hit. In their eyes, that’s not self defense. Even if you feel you were forced to strike out, in order to protect yourself. Be aware of the law.

So, at some point, you are going to have to hit. Even if you kick first, then chances are that you will eventually hit, as well. If your attacker hits first, then you are really going to have to hit.

Either you will respond to your attacker’s hit with a block and then a hit, a kick and then a hit, or a hit -- eliminating any extra blocking motion that would precede the punch.

Did you know that once you are in punching range, you will probably continue the fight from that range, or move even closer.

If you’d like to get a martial advantage, then you need to get the upper hand. You have to punch and kick openings. And you have to punch when your opponent isn’t ready for it.

How to Get the Upper Hand Between Moves

I want you to imagine that you are punching an attacker in a street fight. As discussed above, at some point you are going to punch your enemy.

So, you punch (in your mind, for now).

Now, as you punch, I want you to imagine stepping in close as the follow up. I want you close enough to elbow strike your opponent. (Imagine the garlic on your opponent’s breath. Yes, that close.)

In order to get the advantage, you need to shorten the time between that first punch and the elbow strike.

Since street fights progress to close combat range. I want you to get to that range first. Surprise your attacker with the elbow strike.

How do you shorten the space between the two strikes?

Don’t retract your first punch. Morph directly into the elbow shot.

Don’t cock back your elbow in preparation for a strong elbow jab. You don’t need any retraction, first. You can generate a ton of power and save a lot of time going straight forward to your target.

If you can eliminate enough time between the two strikes, then you will be at least a half a beat ahead of your opponent. In a street fight, this can be very important.

So far, this has all been in your mind ... words on a computer screen. How are you going to practice, to make this a real skill?

By the way, how’s your elbow strike?

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Keith Pascal has been a full-time martial-arts writer for eight years and a martial-arts teacher for 25 years.

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