FAIL-SAFE

Why You Need a Self-De­fense Backup Plan Even When You're Armed!

Black Belt - - FRONT PAGE - BY JULIUS MELEGRITO PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY PETER LUEDERS

or any other stick-based mar­tial art — you de­vote a ton of ǡ ϐ Ǧ Ǥ ǯ ǡ ǯ ϐ ǡ Ǧ de­fense en­counter that could turn deadly at any time?

But what hap­pens when your op­po­nent does some­thing that takes you by sur­prise? When he shoots in for a take­down be­fore you have a chance to strike? When he grabs your stick be­fore you can even start swing­ing it? When he makes you drop your weapon? When he de­ploys his own ϐ us­ing yours? Worst of all, what hap­pens when any of th­ese sce­nar­ios plays out in a real-world al­ter­ca­tion in which rules and re­straint are not part of the pic­ture?

Out­side the Box

ǡ $ Ǥ $ ǡ ǡ Ǥ ǯ # Ǧ op­ing tech­nique — and, there­fore, should be prac­ticed regu Ȅ $ into never-end­ing cy­cles of moves that are re­peated ad nau ǯ ϐ # ϐ Ǥ ǡ ǯ ϐ Ǥ

ǡ ϐ ǡ ` Ǥ # # ǡ Dz ϐ ǡdz # $ Ǥ ǯ ǡ on your feet with your op­po­nent at a dis­tance, but what $ ǫ ǯ ǡ feel com­fort­able be­ing taken to the ground, but what hap­pens when your at­tacker pulls out a pock­etknife and starts slash­ing?

Ȅ $ǡ Ȅ ϐ Ǧ # Ǥ re­al­is­tic what-ifs that teach you how to deal with the un $ Ǥ with pur­pose, which is very dif­fer­ent from sim­ply re­act­ing Ǥ

Plan of Ac­tion

Pre­sented here are four real-world sce­nar­ios in which some $ Ǥ Ǧ # $ ` Ǥ

ǯ weapon, th­ese same tech­niques could ap­ply to other im­ple­ments — such as a po­lice-style ba­ton, a gun, a pock­etknife, # ϐ Ǥ ȋ ϐ ` Ȍǡ Ǧ Ǥ

ǡ $  # ǡ ǯ # Ǥ Ǧ de­fense but your time is limited, fo­cus on us­ing items you Ǥ katana might look im­pres­sive in a ǡ ǯ # Ǥ

At­tacker At­tempts a Take­down

The Sce­nario: A po­ten­tial as­sailant con Ǥ ǯ ϐ Ȅ ǡ Ǥ # ǡ # take­down. The So­lu­tion: ǡ # looks like a block but isn’t. Be­cause you’re ǡ ǯ Ǥ ǯ ` ǡ ǯ take­down.

#Ǧ ǯ Ǥ

Ǥ ǯ ǡ ǯ# # ǡ #  Ǥ ǡ ϐ blow. The Side Note: Take­downs can be fast. Ȅ ǯ Ȅ # Ǥ ` # Ǥ ǡ can be used as you sprawl on top of an ǯ ǡ ϐ Ǥ

At­tacker Grabs Your Weapon

The Sce­nario: Watch any video footage of public un­rest around the world, and there’s a good chance you’ll see a sit­u­a­tion in which a po­lice ba­ton is # ϐ can use it. The bad guy then un­leashes a series of punches de­signed to in­ca­pac­i­tate the cop. Such a strat­egy also can be used against you in a self-de­fense sit­u­a­tion. The So­lu­tion: Once the op­po­nent grabs your stick and ϐ ǡ # rather than im­me­di­ately strug­gling to re­gain con­trol. Grab the other end of the weapon with your empty hand and use it as a shield against his punch. If he’s per­sis­tent and throws a kick, you can block it, too, us­ing the shaft of the stick. Con­tinue as nec­es­sary.

If the ag­gres­sor is still hold­ing the stick af­ter you re­peat­edly ma­neu­ver it to block his blows, you need to ex­e­cute a re­lease. One ex­am­ple en­tails twist­ing the weapon, push­ing it down and pulling it away to break free of his grasp. With the stick un­der your con­trol, use the punyo (butt end) to strike his tem­ple. If nec­es­sary, sub­due him with a choke. The Side Note: In the Philip­pines, it’s com­mon for po­lice to use a ba­ton in the front of their body. This tac­tic is de­signed to cre­ate dis­tance, but it also can en­cour­age peo­ple to grab the weapon. Grab­bing a cop’s ǡ ϐ legally can em­ploy a va­ri­ety of tech­niques to con­trol, strike or take down the sus­pect.

In con­trast, po­lice in the United States and some other coun­tries are taught to keep their ba­ton — and other weapons — be­hind them while us­ing their empty hand to cre­ate dis­tance.

At­tacker Makes You Lose Your Weapon

The Sce­nario: You’re fac­ing a foe who hap­pens to be fast. Fast enough to dart in and take you to the ground. Fast enough to make you drop your weapon in the process. The So­lu­tion: Your im­me­di­ate pri­or­ity is self-preser­va­tion. That likely means us­ing your arms to shield your face and per­haps your palms to pro­tect your fore­head — you don’t want any punches to land while you’re in this po­si­tion.

Your next pri­or­ity is to vis­ually lo­cate your dropped weapon (as­sum­ing it fell nearby). If it’s within arm’s ǡ ǯ ϐ limb or two to cre­ate space to re­trieve the stick. As in the ex­am­ple shown in the photo se­quence, use the arm that trapped the punch to grab the man’s neck and pull him close. Then ex­e­cute a close-range punyo strike to the tem­ple. Main­tain­ing your hold on his head, plant your right foot and lift your hip while driv­ing an­other punyo strike into his tem­ple. The stick strikes should ϐ ϐ Ǥ leave you in an of­fen­sive po­si­tion, from which you can gouge his eyes or con­tinue to pound his tem­ple. The Side Note: It’s es­sen­tial to be aware of where you roll your at­tacker. You don’t want to move him close to the weapon you dropped be­cause then he could use it against you. Al­though the sce­nario de­picted in the pho­tos in­volves a stick, it would be even more dev­as­tat­ing if it was a knife or a gun and the op­po­nent man­aged to get con­trol of it.

At­tacker De­ploys a Weapon First

The Sce­nario: The sever­ity of the threat causes you to de­ploy a stick for self-de­fense. Un­for­tu­nately, your op­po­nent man­ages to get the jump on you with his blud­geon. The So­lu­tion: As soon as the op­po­nent swings, cre­ate dis­tance by slid­ing back­ward. With your body out of range, you can deal with the club that was just swung in front of you. Close the gap by step­ping for­ward with your stick held in both hands; that makes a su­pe­rior block­ing tool for his next at­tack. Use your left fore­arm to make con­tact with the at­tacker’s hand to re­duce the mo­men­tum of his swing — which is es­sen­tial if he’s us­ing a heavy im­ple­ment like a base­ball bat. Your left hand is close to his face, so it makes sense to ini­ti­ate a quick eye gouge and then re­grasp your stick. Be­cause he’s still close, you can drive a punyo strike into his face. As be­fore, the tem­ple makes an ideal tar­get. The Side Note: First, the block­ing tech­nique used in this sce­nario is su­por­tado. It in­volves sup­port­ing the stick with your free hand. The ex­tra sup­port means the block is sturdy enough to ab­sorb a lot of force.

Sec­ond, if you pos­sess sufϐ ǡ might be able to step in and get close enough to meet the at­tack­ing hand in­stead of block­ing the stick. The the­ory is that the closer you get to the source of the power, the safer it is to in­ter­cept the at­tack be­cause the an­gu­lar ve­loc­ity of the point of con­tact is re­duced. Trans­la­tion: If you in­ter­cept the arm, it takes less force to stop the swing and it doesn’t dam­age your hand. That kind of win-win sit­u­a­tion is what arnis is all about.

Un­ex­pected Take­down: Filipino mar­tial arts in­struc­tor Julius Melegrito (right) feels sufÀFLHQWO\ WKUHDWHQHG WR GHSOR\ KLV ZHDSRQ GHIHQVLYHO\ (1) 7KH RSSRQHQW LPPHGLDWHO\ OXQJHV IRU D WDNHGRZQ DQG 0HOHJULWR FRXQWHUV ZLWK D SRSSLQJ GRZQZDUG VWULNH WR WKH IRUH arms (2) +H IROORZV XS ZLWK D VLPLODU VWULNH WR the base of the skull (3-4). With the at­tacker on WKH JURXQG 0HOHJULWR FDQ FUHDWH GLVWDQFH DQG VWULNH LI QHHG EH (5).

Un­ex­pected Stick Grab: An ag­gres­sive op­po­nent (right) grabs -XOLXV 0HOHJULWR·V VWLFN EHIRUH KH FDQ UDLVH LW (1-2). When WKH PDQ FKDPEHUV D SXQFK (3), Melegrito grabs the other HQG RI KLV ZHDSRQ DQG XVHV LW WR GHÁHFW WKH DWWDFNLQJ arm (4) 7KH DWWDFNHU LQLWLDWHV D IURQW NLFN ZKLFK 0HOHJULWR EORFNV (5) 7KH DUQLV H[SHUW WKHQ WZLVWV WKH ZHDSRQ WR HI IHFW D UHOHDVH (6) 2QFH LW·V IUHH KH XVHV LW WR VHQG D SXQ\R VWULNH LQWR WKH PDQ·V WHPSOH (7) 0HOHJULWR ÀQLVKHV ZLWK D VWLFN FKRNH (8-9).

UN­EX­PECTED WEAPON DROP: Fac­ing a fast at­tacker, Julius 0HOHJULWR ÀQGV KLPVHOI RQ WKH JURXQG ZLWK KLV GURSSHG ZHDSRQ QHDUE\ (1) +H XVHV KLV DUPV WR VKLHOG KLV IDFH (2) DQG ZKHQ SRVVLEOH WR GHÁHFW DQ DWWDFN LQ D GLUHFWLRQ WKDW PRYHV WKH RSSRQHQW DZD\ IURP WKH ZHDSRQ (3). Melegrito UHDFKHV RXW DQG JUDEV WKH VWLFN (4). $IWHU SRVLWLRQLQJ KLV OHIW KDQG RQ WKH EDFN RI WKH DWWDFNHU ·V QHFN KH VPDVKHV WKH EXWW HQG LQWR WKH PDQ·V ULEV (5) 0HOHJULWR VHQGV DQRWKHU SXQ\R VWULNH LQWR KLV WHPSOH ZKLOH KH SODQWV KLV ULJKW IRRW DQG OLIWV KLV KLS WR UROO WKH PDQ RII KLP (6) +H WKHQ JRXJHV WKH RSSRQHQWV V H\HV (7) )URP WKHUH WKH DUQLV SUDFWLWLRQHU H[HFXWHV D ÀQDO SXQ\R VWULNH WR WKH WHPSOH (8).

UN­EX­PECTED FIRST STRIKE: With no time to even lift his stick to ward off the per­cieved threat, Julius Melegrito (left) re­sponds to his RSSRQHQW·V DWWDFN E\ VOLGLQJ EDFNZDUG WR JHW RXW RI UDQJH (1-2). While the man pre­pares to take a sec­ond swing (3), Melegrito VWHSV IRUZDUG ZLWK KLV VWLFN VXSSRUWHG E\ ERWK KDQGV ZKLFK HQDEOHV KLP WR XVH LW WR VWRS WKH VWULNH 1RWH KRZ 0HOHJULWR·V OHIW IRUHDUP PHHWV WKH DWWDFNHU ·V KDQG GLVVLSDWLQJ WKH SRZHU RI WKH VZLQJ (4) 1H[W WKH )0$ PDVWHU H[HFXWHV DQ H\H JRXJH ZLWK his left hand (5) +H SODFHV KLV KDQG EDFN RQ WKH ZHDSRQ (6) DQG GULYHV WKH HQG RI WKH VWLFN LQWR WKH PDQ·V IDFH (7). He uses the RSSRVLWH HQG RI WKH WRRO WR HIIHFW D ÀQLVKLQJ VWULNH WR WKH KHDG (8).

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