5/23/15

What is Timing? / Boaz Aviram, Pure Krav Maga Founder

First of all what is the hotzone?  The hotzone is a virtual concept describing the effect of loss of reaction time between two opponents.  In this distance the reach of an attack is about equal the reach of a defense, or the reach of a counter attack.  However since these distances are equal, the one who responds to an attack is in great disadvantage as he has to first identify the attack and then either move his body away from the danger, or deflect the blow, kick, knife, or stick away from its course of reach to his body.  

Since the attacker calls the shots the defender will always will be one step behind the plan. He will know when he sees motion, but if in the hotzone, the distance is too close to give the defender additional time to react besides the recognition itself. 

Therefore it is a good idea to start attacking and defending before you enter the hot zone. Staying out of the hotzone, gives you enough time to gather information for attack and defensive tactics and yet execute them as you engage with an opponent.

When you are out of the hotzone you can keep your arms down. 
When you are in the hotzone, even if your arms are up they can never protect all your body parts and any hit to any good enough pressure point(depending if your fist is gloved or not)will cause enough distraction to get to a better pressure point.

Therefore even if you get punched in the chin and it is tucked, it will cause enough distraction with opportunity to the opponent to keep hitting you.  

When you are already in the hotzone you do not have enough time to block a hit to your open areas.  If you wrap your arms around altogether you lose your peripheral vision but still open to attacks in all other area which will distract you enough to drop your arms and get hit in the head and neck as well. So what are the lessons needed to be learned?

Everything can be determined few split seconds before you enter the hotzone and you are lifting your arms incidentally en route using them for attack or defense - before you enter the hotzone! Of course if the strikes are not powerful enough and your tactics suck, then opponents could recuperate and it would have been good if you tucked your chin and you can exchange blows until one of you falls and bla bla blah...

Often in Fighting Sports Sparring and Competition you will see shadow boxing used for defense for moving in and out of the hotzone – In for some action, and out for safety… Once you are in you can continue with a combination if the opponent is still standing of evades your first and even second attack. 

As long as he is just moving away without counter attacking simultaneously you can continue and aim to his new location each time or to another available pressure point if he is standing in the same spot. Many times, these athletes just shadow box getting closer and farther from the hotzone while as they wait for an intuitive opportunity for a surprise attack or a successful deflection with counter attack. 

If they feel that it will be too difficult they simply shadow box back or to the side away from the danger. However in a street self-defense confrontation, every second that passes and the threat is not neutralized increases the danger for your life exponentially. 

Your opponent could even learn your potential and follow up with greater efforts and danger to get rid of you quickly. 

Therefore, shadow boxing is not the preferred method of Self Defense, but it is an easy way that can be used if you have no greater skills and you have the opportunity to use it. Better prepare to intuitively respond in moving in and neutralizing the threat before the fear takes over and your stamina expires…
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