11/21/14

What Are The Preferable Methods of Attack? / Boaz Aviram, Pure Krav Maga Founder

What is better, Linear, Circular tearing, cutting, stabbing, pushing, kicking etc?

Some methods of attack and defense might look obvious to some people and not so obvious to other.


However, often we are faced with the question, how to attack or how to deflect or avoid getting attacked.

Bottom line is reaching the opponent’s pressure point first, causing sufficient stopping force starting with mere distraction, to a complete knock out and following up on time if we need to.

While even the skin is a pressure point, if it can use to distract us, we normally look for attacking for more major available pressure points in the head and neck area or the groin, pelvis area.


At times, farther than the center pressure points are used. For example knees and top of the foot, or arms and fingers. Damage to these areas can cause sufficient stopping pain.

Major considerations in choosing the methods of attack, are what are we gaining from it and do we have a complete plan to end the confrontation after the first attack. 

Some of the rationale for choosing one pressure point or another or one method of attack over the others is the immediate accessibility of the pressure point and whether we can reach it with a method of attack that will have a significant stopping or delaying force and will give us enough time to continue appropriately. 

If our opponent can continue to endanger our pressure point immediately after our attack, then probably our choice is wrong. At the bottom line, anything that can cause a distraction will slow down our reaction and buy more time to our adversary leaving him the choice to attack and reach our pressure points first.

The idea of use of pressure point is to cause sufficient distraction through the application of force or on nerves in the human body directly or indirectly, causing them to signal varieties of distracting sensations pain, injury and death.

In the sport of boxing, which allows gloved punching to the front and sides of the upper body, the jab is used for distraction and the cross is used for the finishing force. This tactical principle is further put into action with use of series of distracting punches to the body with a finishing strike to the head.

In many full contact Karate sports, a low kick to the thigh or calf is used to inflict distracting pain followed up with a kick or strike to the head once the opponent is preoccupied with the distraction.

Feints in boxing could be applied to kicking and knife attacks. The idea is to make someone think he is getting one punch preparing to deflect it or avoid it, and then bringing him to a convenient position to get another attack. 

However while a feint is executed, the attacker is actually never completing the first projected attack, but instead is rushing to the follow up attack. If we therefore train to always counter attack with our defenses, and never wait for the actual attack to meet our defense, we have covered ourselves from this type of folly! 

To do so however we need to sharpen our skills to recognize the possibilities according to the distance of reach from our attacker. This is basically done with learning to recognize where the hot zone starts and where it ends. The hot zone, the area where we can physically reach our opponent, is a concept. 

Not only the actual distance of reaching takes play, but also the ability to start an un-projected lunge into that area plays in it as well. In other words, the reaction time, the time that we need to not only see the commencement of our opponent’s attack, but also to send a command to our limbs to respond to the attack with a defensive or offensive strategy, is in control of what is considered the hot zone.

While the force required for distraction is not an accurate science, and some people are less sensitive than others, we better use common sense to determine how to preserve our lives. Wild attacks with bare hands, entail either projection in the attempt to generate too much force, or too weak in an attempt to lunge an un-projected attack.

The game is quite different when we have a sharp weapon where we do not need a lot of force, and in fact any contact buy pushing can cause stabbing, and pulling can cause cutting or tearing. Let not forget this when we fight with bare hands, because unless we are grabbing the throat or testicles pulling, we are wasting our times trying to use low speed impact motions with our arms and bodies.

So if we keep calm we can train to recognize the most efficient reach into the hot zone that an attacker can bring with his front side whether empty hands, empty hands knife, or stick and start our tested tactical response as he crosses the barrier of our territory.

Feints of any sort bare hands or sharp weapon should be confronted with stopping any possibility an attacker may have to distract us with the part of his body that enters the hot zone first: His kick, free hand slap, or attempt to grab, or the knife holding hand.

In some situation, attackers can use our social culture, to attack us when they are already in the hot zone – tricky surprise. All we can do is constantly be aware and assess the safety of our social environment, and learn to identify our strength and weaknesses in that range.

In conclusion, choosing the method of attack or defense whether linear circular or wild, are called for by an attacker’s assessment of his probability to feint, to generate sufficient force, and to avoid injury for himself. 

However for a defender they should be based on merely efficiency, to minimize the reaction time to the minimum possible. That will give the defender good habits to utilize the last possible option to defend his life and prevail.

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