Structure and Momentum

Posted: October 7, 2011 in Armed Combatives, UnArmed Combatives
Tags: , , , ,

In order to survive an ambush, you must have already failed to detect/avoid it. Which means that no matter how attuned your situational awareness, or how fast your reactions, you are now behind in the OODA loop.

So, the question becomes, how do you survive long enough to respond?

Our answer is trained instinct. Take those things that you do naturally, and make them unconsciously work for you.

The two primary areas of focus are structure and momentum. Every child on a swing understands the nature of momentum. And when you put your arm out to break a fall, you understand structure.

A lot of Combatives instructors are starting to work with instinctual structure, or more commonly known as a flinch. Tony Blauer is probably the best well known and his S.P.E.A.R. System is the best developed. I would recommend studying his work to any serious student of Combatives. Like the bow of a ship, structure is that formation of your hands, body and equipment that allows you to survive the initial strike(s) by redirecting the force of the impact away or around you. It defuses or deflects the full force of the attack to a point that is survivable. Some students ask if this is the same thing as a traditional block. No. It may look like, or even be, a block. But the difference is that this is unconscious and instinctual. Most traditional martial art blocks presuppose that you saw the attack and are responding appropriately. That is the nature of a fight, not an ambush. So, the next time you are working with a partner, or two, put on your protective gear and have them attack you randomly. See what you do naturally. Then, with the help of Combatives instructors like Tony Blauer or our group, begin to build/rebuild your instinctual structure into something that works for you.

Secondly, momentum. A lot of martial arts, namely Aikido, Judo, Jiujitsu, etc., spend a lot of time working on using your momentum and your opponents. But, again, so often it depends on the conscious mind in order to correctly deliver the technique. Wrestlers, judoka, and other high level martial arts eventually develop a innate sense of the momentum of themselves and their opponents. But most of us do not have the time to develop that skill like they do.up

How do we develop our instinctual sense of momentum? Do we have one? Yes.

Do you know when you are about to fall? Can you tell if a stack of blocks is about to fall over?

Again, this is something that we know, but do we know how to make it work for us. When you are working with your training partner, or two, from the structure drill. Have them press you. This means have them drive into you like a NFL lineman, your job is to sense their weight and momentum, and step out of the way.

Surviving the ambush requires that you survive the initial attack and then counter-attack. Surviving the initial attack requires that you have trained your instinctual understanding of structure and momentum.

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