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Pierre
Pierre's picture
Pre-emptive striking on two opponents

Hi everyone,

I wonder what pre-emptive techniques would be efficient when facing two opponents who stand in front of you. Is it realistic to hit them both at the same time, for example with a double punch to the solar plexus, followed by something else, or would it be a desastrous idea? 

And, do we find this kind of situation in any kata?

Pierre

Tau
Tau's picture

Rule number one: don't have two opponents in front of you!

Taking humour and martial arts media away I'm serious. My first objective in this situation would be to change the dynamic.

Leigh Simms
Leigh Simms's picture

I think that if you run through a few scenarios in the dojo, you will quickly find that trying to hit two at the same time in the chest is going to be a disaster. 

Kata give you, by way of specific techniques as examples, effective concepts and principles for using physical force to keep youself safe from physical harm. 

I don't see any specific examples which are "techniques against two opponents standing both in front of you" because the variables of such a situation have such a degree of variance that it would be impossible to take into account every possible scenario. 

Instead, we need to apply the principles/concepts we have when dealing with multiple enemies. I will give a few ideas you can work from: - 

If the "fight" has not yet kicked off, then your self-protection stratergies should be coming into plan which may include "lining up" the enemies so that we put ourselves in the best possible position and to try and use one enemy as a blocker to prevent the other enemy reaching you before you strike enemy 1 and try and escape.

If the "fight" kicks off, then we really should priortise techniques which keep us moving freely and unattached from the enemies as best as we can because once one enemy gets a good grip of you, you are in trouble (trying to use one enemy as blocker will come in handy again but its a lot harder once grips have been established). 

Pierre
Pierre's picture

Thanks for your answer Leigh. I wonder about the double punch in Saifa (seems too wide to hit the same person), do you have an idea what it could mean?

Leigh Simms
Leigh Simms's picture

Hi Pierre,

It's not a kata I know really, I had a quick google just and looking at the surrounding moves, I am thinking some kind of arm control/underhooks before the arms circle down - perhaps being an armdrag of sorts followed by a turn 180 into a throw? Very rough idea for sure.

I think I recall seeing Iain apply this move as a kind of "bracing motion" to prevent a tackle/takedown attempt - which I quite like too. 

It may be worth to check out the work of Kris Wilder too, who I highly recommend when it comes to goju kata bunkai.

Best wishes

Leigh

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Hi Pierre,

Pierre wrote:
I wonder what pre-emptive techniques would be efficient when facing two opponents who stand in front of you. I

Practicing pre-emption against groups is very important. It’s hard to communicate in text, but here’s some key principles:

1) The ultimate objective is to avoid harm and hence the use of pre-emptive striking should be thought of as a way to facilitate escape (as opposed to a way to “win” the fight).

2) When you honestly believe the situation is going to get physical, hit the ones who are in a position to be hit. If it can be avoided, don’t move towards any other members of the group and hence into their effective range and line of fire.

3) You can basically divide the group into three subgroups: The mouth, the snipers and the pack (credit to Dave Hazard). The mouth’s role is to engage and distract you. The snipers will take shots when your attention is focused on the mouth. The pack will descend when you are weakened. If the mouth is the only one positioned to be struck, then you strike them … however, if both snipers and the mouth are in range, it’s generally better to hit one of the snipers first because this goes against the plan of the group and is more likely to cause chaos.

4) When you strike, be very aware of your “fighting line”. The kata principle of “keep the enemy in front of you, but don’t be in front of your enemy” really applies here. DON’T turn your back on other members of the group who are in range to deliver your strikes. Use strikes, that keep your weapons aligned with other members of the group (the “back slap” is a great option for this).

5) Don’t fixate on one enemy. As soon as you have hit one of the people in range, rapidly hit all others in range. It’s not about taking out individual members but causing the chaos amongst their ranks in such a way to facilitate escape.

6) When you flee, the group is highly unlikely to pursue as a uniform whole. This “thins the heard” and allows you to deliver any other strikes needed more easily.

7) This takes practise, but it’s not technically difficult to do. It’s more a matter of ensuring the strikes are delivered with the tactics that are conducive to the goal of escape.

There is a video on this in the app, and this preview may be helpful.

 

This video – which contains footage of real-world violence, and hence discretion is advised – also contains a good example of it being done right. Notice how the guy pre-empts, stays mobile, and thins the herd.

 

I hope that helps.

All the best,

Iain

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Hi Pierre,

Pierre wrote:
I wonder about the double punch in Saifa (seems too wide to hit the same person), do you have an idea what it could mean?

That movement is covered at around 43 seconds in this video.

All the best,

Iain

sarflondonboydo...
sarflondonboydonewell's picture

A very good and engaging thread. I concur with Iain; if one honestly believe the situation is going to get physical in my own view pre emption  is the only option against a group; as one is out gunned, out numbered and that counts once they decide to attack and one can be over whelmed in a heart beat. One should focus their training around that concept if one agrees with it.  I tend to look at the group problem as either the casual group or the determined group. The casual group being the most likely encounter. The casual group fights due to circumstance i.e they are on a night out; a push comes to shove then individuality get submerged  into the group and the ‘motivation’ to fight comes from that. The individual physiology is most likely a state of DETA ( Drugs, Ego, Testosterone and Alcohol; a volatile mix ) so once it goes violent they have no brakes. It only stops when they are either knocked out, exhausted  or knocked down and even then the emotional state they have worked themselves up into can sometimes get them up as many youtube clips show.  The determine group are out for trouble. Their psychological need is to out do each other to establish themselves within the group and for some hopefully moving up the pecking order. The amount of violence dished out = the amount of 'respect ' earned. Their individual emotional and physiological state is not satisfied unless they have had a violent encounter ( win or lose doesn’t really matter as such). In the mid 2000s there was a gang operating on the London underground who were robbing people but although some victims were slightly stereotypical; the majority victims were picked on because the gang believed they would fight back. The valuables were immaterial. The fighting was the most important part of it.