COMBATIVES

This ex­cerpt from Kelly McCann’s Combatives for Street Sur­vival of­fers in­valu­able in­sight into an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of self-de­fense.

Black Belt - - CONTENTS -

Black Belt of famer kelly mac­cann sounds off on combatives stirk­ing: how and when to do it, how to am­plify your ef­fec­tive­ness and how to en­gage your mind.

BUILD AND CRASH THE GAP. Con­tin­u­ously build gaps — space or dis­tance — be­tween you and your at­tacker to in­crease the power of your el­bows and knees. To build the gap, get con­trol of him and then shove him away. If you can’t push him away, push your­self away. Then vi­o­lently jerk him back into your strikes. If you can’t, yank your­self back into him, lead­ing with a knee or el­bow strike. If you don’t cre­ate gaps, your strikes end up just push­ing against your at­tacker rather than im­pact­ing on him. THINK CAR CRASH. The worst type of car ac­ci­dent is a head-on col­li­sion. That’s be­cause the ag­gre­gate speed is de­ter­mined by adding the speed of each ve­hi­cle. When you �ight, try to cre­ate head-on col­li­sions. You may be won­der­ing, “Yeah, but wouldn’t we both get hurt equally?” No, be­cause you’re col­lid­ing your knee or el­bow with his un­pro­tected face, ribs, groin or tho­racic cav­ity. USE FULL BODYWEIGHT. Strik­ing is partly the ap­pli­ca­tion of physics. In the sim­plest terms, more mass mov­ing at a higher ve­loc­ity over a longer dis­tance cre­ates a greater im­pact. To take ad­van­tage of this for­mula, max­i­mize each vari­able in it. EN­GAGE MORE MASS. Al­ways strike with your whole body and not just a limb. Ex­plod­ing off your rear foot in the di­rec­tion of your strike is called vault­ing. It’s far more pow­er­ful than stand­ing in place and strik­ing with only your arm. It doesn’t mat­ter what hits your at­tacker — a knee, an el­bow, a �ist or an open hand — as long as it con­forms to the prin­ci­ple of choos­ing the cor­rect per­sonal weapon. Vi­o­lence of ac­tion and putting your bodyweight be­hind each strike are crit­i­cal to gen­er­at­ing power. CRE­ATE MORE VE­LOC­ITY. Vault­ing am­pli�ies the speed with which

your body crashes into an at­tacker. See­ing you lit­er­ally ex­plode off your back foot and then ex­pe­ri­enc­ing you plow­ing into him can in­spire fear in an at­tacker. Don’t step for­ward, pulling your weight be­hind you. In­stead, ex­plode off your rear foot to pro­pel your­self into the strike. At­tack with your whole body. STAY LOOSE. Con­sciously avoid tight­en­ing up. Breathe. Be a lit­tle sloppy. Fight­ing isn’t demon­strat­ing a form for points. When you stiffen up your hand, speed is detri­men­tally af­fected, and so are your re­ac­tions. Visu­al­iz­ing all this helps lower your anx­i­ety level. DE­VELOP YOUR FOOT­WORK AND TIM­ING. En­sure your bodyweight drops into your strike as it makes con­tact, which should oc­cur when your lead foot lands. With some prac­tice, this will be­come sec­ond na­ture. LOAD AND UNLOAD VI­O­LENTLY. In ad­di­tion to the afore­men­tioned for- mula, know that in­volv­ing your hips and shoul­ders when you strike im­proves the re­sult of your ac­tion. Max­i­mize the ki­netic-en­ergy trans­fer into what you strike us­ing ro­ta­tional torque. Gen­er­ate torque by twist­ing and then un­twist­ing your hips and shoul­ders. VISUALIZE EV­ERY STRIKE PASS­ING THROUGH THE AT­TACKER. No mat­ter what tech­nique you throw, visualize it ex­it­ing the other side of your at­tacker like a bullet. If you don’t, you’ll un­nec­es­sar­ily limit the depth of the strike, re­sult­ing in a sur­face im­pact rather than pen­e­tra­tion. STRIKE REPETITIVELY. Called “cy­cling,” this refers to quickly ex­e­cut­ing the same tech­nique two or three times. If you stag­ger your at­tacker with a right ham­mer­fist, im­me­di­ately cham­ber your left hand ( your “off hand”) and smash it into his face. Re­tract your off hand and smash his face with another ham­mer­fist, and so on. Cy­cling works well with ham­mer­fists, slash­ing el­bows and knees. VISUALIZE. Imag­ine your strik­ing hand and your off hand as pis­tons at­tached to a crank­shaft ( your shoul­ders). As one pis­ton reaches top dead cen­ter, the other reaches its low­est point. As the �irst starts to descend, the other as­cends with equal force. No mat­ter what, while one hand cy­cles, your off hand should be do­ing some­thing. BE FE­RO­CIOUS AND IN­TENSE. Cy­cling strikes is all about fe­roc­ity and in­ten­sity. If you’re mov­ing as fast and ef�iciently — as you should be when throw­ing a slash­ing el­bow — you’ll stay mar­ried to your at­tacker’s chest, keep­ing him within range even as he falls away. You’ll have plenty of time to land one or two more strikes be­fore he hits the deck. For in­for­ma­tion about Kelly McCann’s new combatives course, which can be streamed any­time, any­where to your dig­i­tal de­vice, visit aim�it­ness­net­work .com/black­belt. Sign up for this pro­gram and his orig­i­nal course and get a big dis­count.

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