Day Five (Tactic 1/3)
Please review the following sections to improve your understanding and movements.
Strike Theory Intro
The Strike Theory is simply a 4-factor breakdown of key training points for striking. The more you understand each factor, the more targeted and effective you will be. Even if you take the strikes you learn here into your fitness routine, use these tips to keep your form consistent so you build muscle memory.
Survival Application - The objective of striking an attacker is to stun them (or disrupt their thought process). By focusing on disrupting the attacker's thought process, you can leverage the time that it takes for the attacker to mentally recover by securing your next survival move/tactic. Remember that the currency of survival is time, so with every strike, you are buying the time you need to complete your defense and get to safety. In addition, taking the approach of disrupting the attacker’s thought process helps to build realistic expectations for your survival mindset, as you won’t falsely expect your combatives to guarantee a certain outcome (such as inflicting a certain amount of pain, creating a specific reaction, or knocking your attacker out, even though you very well might). The point here is to train to hit through your targets with as much force and speed as possible, as you keep your Survival Mindset ready to react and adapt to the reality of what you are facing in the actual moment. A single combative could be enough to bring an attacker down, or you might need to adjust and use a series of combatives with a higher-use-of-force to create the opportunity to escape safely.
Factor 1: Targets
Train your Survival Mindset to see the available Target before striking—this will create a mind and body striking relationship that is reactive and can adapt faster under pressure, rather than memorizing a combination and hoping it will work in the right place and at the right time. My primary Targets are the eyes/face (upper body) and groin (lower body—gender does not matter), and I strike secondary Targets if and when they become available (such as throat, back of knee, etc.).
Factor 2: Surface Areas
The objective is to strike with the strongest Surface Areas on your body so you can create the highest amount of impact and help prevent injury to yourself. Examples of stronger Surface Areas include the elbow, knee, heel of the palm, heel of the foot.
Factor 3: Range of Motion
You do not need to be bigger or stronger than your attacker to generate force and be effective. This factor represents the use of the whole body as a functional unit, to optimize Range of Motion and power. For this guide, I am going to break down the Combative Twist (most used movement for upper-body strikes) and the Hip Thrust (most used movement for lower-body combatives).
Factor 4: Striking Range
The Striking Range is the distance between you and your attacker in which you can effectively strike through the target. After locking in Muscle Memory, you will then be able to learn your personal Striking Range (or the appropriate distance that works for you to actually hit through the target). Through practice, your Striking Range for each strike will become second nature.
As far as timing, you want to immediately react with the most effective combatives as you enter each Striking Range.
Your Long Range consists of lower-body combatives, as your legs are the longest weapons you have. Examples include Push Kick, Side Kick and Snap Kicks.
The Medium Range includes your upper-body combatives, as your arms are your second longest weapons. Certain strikes will have greater reach than others, which is why you will practice each strike to identify its unique reach. Examples include: Straight Strikes (Closed Fist, Palm Strikes), Eye Gouging, and Raking.
This is where you can physically close in and control your attacker to deliver close-range strikes such as Elbows and Combative Knees. You’ll know when you are in the Control Range, because you will be able to easily grab your attacker’s face/body or go in for a control hold. It is the closest range of distance that can exist between a defender and an attacker while standing—and this is the range you actually want to get into if you have no option for escape and need to close in and neutralize the attack. Examples include: Defensive Elbows, Defensive Knees, Shin Kicks, Eye Gouging, Control Holds, Disarms, and more.
Defending from the ground is our last resort but we must train to survive these scenarios, especially as women. This range will include a variety of ground combatives and defenses designed to get you back to your feet as quickly as possible. Examples include: Ground Push Kicks, Side Kicks, Eye Gouging, and Defensive Elbows (all angles).