The Most Important Paradigm Shift Of Self-defense
The Areas of Combat is one of the most, if not the most important paradigm shift in self- defense. Almost anything can happen in a fight. Weapons, ground fighting, close range, and mass attack are all part of the game. If one does not make that distinction, they will suffer the consequences.
The “new paradigm” areas of street fighting can be divided into six different categories. Each of these Areas may include characteristics of another area, but do have unique characteristics that separate it from the rest. Therefore, the following are all the Areas of Combat that are only possible in a street fight. These areas are: Kick Boxing (Long Range), Close Quarters (Short Range), Ground Fighting (Grappling Range), Weapons, Mass Attack and The Mind (Conflict Psychology).
The first Area of street fighting is Kick Boxing. This is the area that consists of two general ranges: kicking and boxing. It is understandable that these two ranges happen in a longer range, where the two opponents are at least three to four feet off each other. As a result, they are no closer than an arm’s length away. In this range the participants are standing, fighting only one person at a time, and have no weapons.
This is the Area of Combat that is most commonly taught in self-defense and in the majority of martial arts. It is also the form of fighting that is displayed most often in the movies. These are probably the two main reasons the general public, and most of those in the martial arts community, associate this area with “self-defense”.
The second Area is Close Quarter Combat, which takes place in a closer range. In this Area, the opponents are no further than an arm’s length away from each other. Some may call this “short range”, while practitioners refer to it as “trapping range”. Although some arts do include this range in their curriculum, many miss out on the effectiveness and efficiency of this Area.
The next Area of street fighting is Ground Fighting. The specific range that is used in this area is grappling range. Again, only one person is fought at a time, with no weapons. As stated by the name, Ground Fighting is almost always done on the ground. However, grappling range can also take place standing up in some instances by having one or both of the opponents close the gap, hug or hold onto the other.
The forth Area of street fighting is Weapons. Traditional martial arts use everything including knives, sais, nunchucks, escrima sticks, and staffs. Without this basis, street fighting arts would not have progressed to where it is today. Nowadays, one can use anything that is available out on the street. This includes hand held items such as pens, firearms, ashtrays, chairs, 2 x 4’s of wood, garbage cans, and brooms. There are also structural items that can be used as weapons. Examples of these could include poles, walls, steps, bar tables, or doors.
The next area of street fighting is Mass Attack. In short, Mass Attack is fighting more than one person at a time. It is not one-on-one combat. It may be one-on-two, one- on-three, two-on-three, or six-on-twelve. It must be remembered that if a one-on-one turns into a one-on-two, the intensity does not just double, it increases exponentially. It increases exponentially because in Mass Attack, a fighter can have an infinite number of opponents, using many different ranges, and even weapons. The speed and intensity makes a quantum leap, which also increases the painful possibilities.
The sixth and last area of street fighting is psychological combat, or Conflict Psychology. In this area, the mind is one’s main tool of combat. This includes, but is not limited to: relaxation, decision making, emotional state control, and stress management.
During a conflict, there may be an emotional storm of fear, anxiety, confidence, and memories of prior experiences. All of these play into psychological combat, or Conflict Psychology. All areas of self-defense use this fifth area, whether one is schooled in psychological combat or not.
The point is to first have the awareness of these different areas or ranges, but secondly, to seek and conduct training in each of them. Being only one dimensional, means you could lose a fight in five other ways. Therefore, “knowing” isn’t enough, you must take action to fill in any gaps, and prepare yourself in the most effective ways to end the fight in each area the most efficient way.