Range Dictates Tactics - S2 Strategic Defense
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Range Dictates Tactics

self defense training

10 May Range Dictates Tactics

One of the critical elements in any combative measure is to understand the “Range” that you are in. Doing the wrong thing in the wrong range can result in a catastrophic outcome…typically not in your favor. So what is “Range?”

I define the term Range by stating that it is the dynamics of┬ádistance that allows for particular set of offenses, defenses, weapons etc. For example, you wouldn’t use your carbine in a closet, or a knife at 100 yards, or a side kick in grappling. Not that any of those tools are bad, just ineffective in certain ranges. It is important to understand the strong sides and the limitations of your tactics, and how they need to adapt throughout the ranges.

In unarmed self defense, I break down the ranges as such:

  • Long Range (Kickboxing Range) which allows for a lot of footwork, most punches, most kicks, and really becomes a chess match in line familiarization. The goal is to find that moment where you can really launch an overwhelming attack from a strategic advantage.
  • Trapping Range (Boxing/Hand Trapping). This is a critical range because the odds can turn at in instant. Often hands and arms get tangled up, and evading an attack is almost impossible. You have to enter this range with speed, precision, and absolutely overwhelming violence.
  • Close Quarter (Clinch/Pummel). Once you get in past the trapping range, you have the position for getting around the neck with a clinch, neck breaking, throwing, sweeping, etc. It is a place that you can absolutely dominate someone, or get dominated yourself. The violence here has to be high and constant!
  • Grappling (Ground Fighting). Well, if you’ve watched a UFC you are familiar with ground fighting. No more footwork, no more evasion. Navigating the floor can be difficult, and even more so when you add in elements such as asphalt, gravel, snow, ice, grass, multiple attackers, etc.
  • Weapons (Non Projectile). This is where you would be using a knife, baton, asp, improvised weapons etc.

The reason I point these ranges out is because it becomes evident what we are good at and what we are not good at. Most combatives have movement and dynamics that put us through several ranges in one altercation. You know…you’ve seen it….the two knuckleheads that get into a parking lot brawl who start out punching and kicking then end up on the floor! Should we put a knife in their hands and see how it turns out??

If you are serious about having an all around skillset, then you have to train it that way and deal with the dynamics. This is the part people HATE to hear! It takes TIME!!! Think about your training, and see if it is complete.


Be Safe, Be Well.


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