Retsev - Wearing down an opponent or wasting life saving time? / Boaz Aviram

Retsef spelled sometimes Retsev inaccurately by English hearing natives is the Hebrew word for continuous attack used in Civilian Krav Maga. It is used in boxing and some other martial arts to wear down the opponent with many little blows. When the opponent slows down as he gets tired he becomes more of a stationary target making it easier for a final Knock Out.

By observation many other martial arts appear to be drilling it and notoriously some so called Knife training systems. It is obvious also in Wing Chun as well. In addition there is a myth that is associated with it chosen to be believed in by quite few Krav Maga Associations.

Their myth is that repeated blows help cause a concussion and if you do not have sufficient force for one knock out punch you better continue to wear down your opponent with small repeated blows.

The repeated blows of Wing Chun and repeated attacks of some Knife training systems provide for short range increased hitting of pressure points, poking them, slashing them, or cutting them.

Many small cuts to the skin can cause excessive bleeding, confuse an opponent and give the attacker enough time to either chose a better pressure point, or continue with the gave of baffling and slow damage. In addition it provides more safety by not attempting to get too close to the opponent's reach of hands and knife, but rather stay at the edge of the reach zone.

The continuous attack of Wing Chun, is applied from the wooden dummy training method. The wooden dummy is being hit repeatedly drilling defense and counters from various angles with repeated attacks.

This training form helps with the concept of conditioning the knuckles for blows to opponent's pressure points. Endless deflections and counter are stretched out in training and demos.

Many Kung Fu movies involve endless blows and counters - the more the better entertainment you get.

In boxing, aside from repeated rounds of hard endurance and repeated blows tiring the muscles the concept of combination attack is applied as well. Combination could be any form of more than one attack to various or the same pressure points in the same or various forces of impact. It can be confused with the continuous attack concept.

Some Krav Maga Organizations added another Hebrew word to it called seria. Translated to English from Hebrew Seria means series. That could be used to describe blows of the same kind, using limbs of the same kind or using alternate limbs in sequence(also "sidra" in Hebrew).

Well, repeated cuts to the human skin can cause more bleeding or sure. Combination attacks do confuse an opponent with some pain and buy splits seconds of time and opportunity to continue until a more of a successful blow is landed.

The final blow is the one in question. Can any opponent posses sufficient force for a knock out? Can any opponent develop sufficient force for a knock out? Can small attacks can be used to distract any opponent until an opportunity is presented with the final sufficient attack?

To some up the answer to all of the above question, the concept of reaction time limits the number of distractions to one if a trained opponent blocks the first attack and counters it. The attacker is then becoming distracted or knocked out. Knocked out could be severely damaged to a point of inoperable condition or death as well. So you cannot use too much distraction, and therefore you cannot use much of a retzef.

Now why use semi committed attacks or semi forceful attacks at all? Why not learn to do it right from the beginning? Well if you cannot immediately reach an opponent's vitals sometimes the block itself provides a slight distraction, or sometimes any blow will do giving a chance to continue. But these are never combinations of Retzef. It is never a planned attack but rather a response to the need for more work to finish the job.

What's the difference and why not keep training in the same fashion idolizing retzef as a holly weapon and cure for the weak and untrained? Well Krav Maga is not a sport. You never know who your opponent is. You cannot assume your opponent is not trained in proper krav maga anymore. You cannot afford training in fitness hoping your opponent is the weak one. You need to minimize your training options to the most efficient opponent possible, and maximize your training to make yourself the most efficient opponent. That's about the break even point of minimum and maximum in krav Maga.

The founder of Krav Maga had said that originally in street fights he realized all the training in the gym needed to be modified. This is what he was implying to. Many famous blood sport fighters with Wing Chun origins had taken western boxing as well which helped them win. At some point newbee "advisers" senior civilian students of Imrich lichtenfeld tried to add stuff from other Martial Arts and persuade Immi(Imrich) that Retzef is a good solution and a unique concept of Krav Maga providing cure for the weak and magic for all students.

The limit of depth of conversations and elaborations let Immi give his OK for train whatever you want sort of a thing. While its all good for the purpose of trying to see if it works, and trying to see if your current defense hold, lack of trying it for real can cause great confusion and foil the proper training systems. Do the math!

Continuous Attack however is good for the following:

If the opponent shadow boxes in and out of the hotzone for picking the right moment for attack and moving away for defense, you need to follow up to his new positioning and attack. When you practice continuous attack, you are drilling follow up attack executions according to the opponent's new location and positioning.

So drilling continuous attack is basically rehearsing the Pure Krav Maga Principles of efficiency in motion facilitating fluidity from one move the next one. You drill few probably scenarios of follow up according to the distance and on different angles.

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