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Kyoshi's picture
Different aspects of self -defense, categories

Okay i started out, outlining the different ranges of hand2hand combat: Preverbal, Long range, Short Range, Clinch and Ground Fighting.. Which then led me to how to define the different aspects of a fight. At the moment i have catagorised it into 4 possibilities:

Pre-arrenged combat/fight - No rules: "an agreement to fight, "lets go outside", no rules, no referee, no cage, no safety, but no Preverbal distance, and "fighters" will start of at the long range.

Pre-arrenged combat/fight - Rules: "an agreement to fight, often within weightclasses, ruleset, a referee, round time, etc - Sports fighting, MMA.

Assault - close up: "No agreement to fight, one is -ontop- as the aggressor, possibility for preverbal, but long range is terminated. This situation is common in bar areas or near ATM or public places, where attention is unwanted. Possibility for more than 1 attacker

Assault - long range: "Starts with a preverbal conflict at a distance, where either part is closing up, attack may come from the long range (bridging the gap, distance).

What do you think of theese catagories - is it possible to catagorise "physical conflicts" like this? Why, why not? Discuss. What is your experience according to these catagories - do you have an experience one or more, which doesn't match under one of these categories?

Sincerely Nikolaj F. Skarbye

Kyoshi's picture

No feedback at all?

Dave Moore
Dave Moore's picture

I don't think you can categorise fights in this way as they may encompass all the above points(except the one with rules) in one way or another. It may start of as self defence until the red mist kicks in, this may then descend into assault within the blink of an eye which then turns the courageous person into the aggressor.

I take it the above are based on just two people?

Dave. H
Dave. H's picture

I have to agree with something Mo Teague says on one of his DVD's about ranges, "your either in range or your not".  I dont feel it matters what you grab or hit someone with, just as long as you can.  I also feel that the mind set and confusion of moving between ranges disappears if you only have 2.  In range and out of range.

I try not to categorise types of conflict too much as this can also get confusing, as someone always wants to start bringing in more and more variables, and making it increasingly more complicated.  I have quite a lot of experience of confrontation and conflict, as both an observer and being a participant.  I grew up on a rough estate, and have worked as a police officer, and now as a prison officer.   I have 2 'modes' of dealing with conflict, and they are dependant on my objective. 

No. 1 is work mode.  Here my objective is usually to de-escalate and/or restrain those involved.  The means available to me are limited to those that are approved by the Home Office.

No. 2 covers everything else.  Means and tactics are dependant on my objective and circumstances.  Being aware beforehand, and making choices that limit the possibility of getting into conflict in the first place are preferred options.  If you know what you are looking for most situations can be avoided in this manner.  But, if a conflict situation starts with little or no warning, then there is no point trying to put it in a box, you have to deal with the immediate situation.

In training or teaching categories can be a useful aid, but i feel it is important to keep the structure simple, loose and as realistic as possible.

michael rosenbaum
michael rosenbaum's picture

I don't mean to be a party pooper but I'd take into consideration some other things besides those originally mentioned.

1. Are they armed and if so what with?

2. Random shootings such as in malls, schools, public places etc. What do you do in such instances?

3. Multiple opponents and are they armed.

4. Home invasions.

5. Are you trying to protect yourself or do you have family members present

6. Is the attacker  trying to kidnap you/get you into a car, backalley , secluded place etc.

No offense intended but one of the missconceptions I see a lot with karate-ka is the presumption that it'll always be one on one and unarmed. Myself I always worry about what kind of weapon is involved first and foremost. If its just someone mouthing off at me, no problem. I just walk away. If someone is challenging me to a fight/ step outside no problem. I just go the other way. Its not worth it.

As Dave stated above categories can be usefull, but you shouldn't become limited by them. People do some really strange and unexpected things when they're mad, drugged up, drunk, scared, cornered, etc.

Mike R