MASTERCLASS PRO | SURVIVING AN IMPACT WEAPON ATTACK • FRONT KICK | by Orjan Pettersen

MASTERCLASS PRO takes our Masterclasses to the next level.


Learn how to take the individual self defence techniques and strikes you in our Masterclass feature and merge them into natural and effective combinations in MASTERCLASS PRO.


Study how you can mix and match different upper and lower body strikes, with different ranges and angles of attack.


This MASTERCLASS PRO covers:


SURVIVING AN IMPACT WEAPON ATTACK, for example a baseball bat, iron bar or any extended solid long(er) blunt object. continuing with; FRONT KICK AGAINST A SECOND ATTACKER.


ABOUT THE SURVIVAL AGAINST AN IMPACT WEAPON


You will find great variability in defences against impact weapons if you research the topic online or even within Krav Maga self defence. As always, with any technique or defence, it’s important to think critically (read: how will this work in real life under real violence) when you assess these solutions.


A common phenomenon in this type of defence is that it is split into various solutions, e.g. if the impact weapon is aimed downward and high (head), horizontal and medium height (middle body), low (legs, knees) or upward towards any part of the body.


In training, where the trajectory of the weapon is predetermined and the angle preset, this may work fine if the timing is right and the defence is resolute and aggressive. In real life, the target of the impact weapon is NOT known and this must be considered in a solution to this kind of attack.


An impact weapon defence solution needs to be agnostic as to angle of attack e.g. towards head, body, legs, downwards, sideways, upwards (as this is not discernible until the swing is underway) or if one hand or two hand grip.


Why? Check Hick’s Law and the simple principle that action beats reaction. (FOR MORE ON HICK’S LAW: SEARCH ‘LAW’ ON THE HOME PAGE). Multi-solutions against this type of attack - as great as it looks in prescribed and preset training scenarios - don’t work when you cannot ascertain the angle until it’s in motion and visual, before then processing and deciding on the right self defence solution, before executing this counter-attack - all within a fraction of a second. Just try pressure testing choosing variable impact weapon solutions.

Our survival solution against an impact weapon is a single counter-attack only, regardless of the targeting of your body. It is aimed at protecting your body as much as possible before your enter inside the trajectory of the weapon as quickly as possible to fight back.


There are only two places that are safe from the impact weapon if you can’t run and escape the attack. Either away from the reach - or, when this can’t be achieved - as close as possible inside the reach remove the efficiency and the impact of the weapon.


Our survival defence is based on these principles.

HOW TO DO THE SURVIVAL AGAINST AN IMPACT WEAPON


Firstly, if possible, keep moving away from the reach of the weapon. The reach is determined by the length of the attacker’s arm and the length of the weapon combined. If the weapon is lowered and not cocked and ready, you will have more time than if the weapon is posed to strike. The opponent should only be able to reach you by stepping closer. The grip (one hand or two hands) is probably decided by the weight and length of the weapon. It’s irrelevant to you as your defence will be the same. What is important, however, is what side the end of the weapon is pointed to (unless lifted/carried across the neck/shoulder) as this is angle where the initial attack will come from.


When moving, you have a couple of options. If the weapon is ‘static’ (it’s not being moved across the attacker’s centre of the body, which means the attack can come from either side), you can psychologically present a ‘safer’ or softer part of your body than the head, arms or outside of knees by doing this: Turn 90° away from the attacker leaving only the side profile to view, so the rear of your boy is on the same side as the weapon, mirroring it. Drop your head down, bend from the solar plexus and keep your hands close to your body. Look towards the attacker by turning head slightly. You now have achieved two objectives; you look placating (avoiding an impact weapon attack is always better than escalating the tension to make it happen) and you’ve presented the softer part of your body as a natural striking target (back of legs, glutes, side of back). When moving, move with small steps, leaving you ready to burst in if and when required. Always move to increase the distance further.

Picture: Protecting your more vulnerable parts of your body.

If the weapon is ‘dynamic’, swinging across the attacker’s body, just maintain the same body position, but face the attacker directly on as you cannot ascertain which side the weapon will swing from. If the weapon is first ‘static’, then becomes dynamic’, change body position, but do not change back if the position becomes ‘static’ again as it arises suspicions of trained self defence behaviours.


If the weapon is moving, do not react, as long as you are outside the reach. You’re not in immediate danger yet. If the weapon is not moving and left in a more passive, yet threatening position, e.g. hung down, you have decision to make. Can you deploy the defence now, considering the threat of violence is clearly specific, clear and present?


If the attacker closes the distance to reach you, you must react as you’re now in the danger area - within reach. You’re safer close up. The decision to act here is not determined by the weapon, but by the attacker’s feet, e.g. are they closing the distance. Always be aware of this distinction.


As soon as you see the closing of the distance commencing, push off with the far leg (if weapon is ‘static’ and you’re facing the attacker ‘sideways’ making the biggest possible step with the front leg, moving straight towards the centreline of the attacker. If you’re facing the attacker straight on (‘dynamic’ weapon), start the first big step with the leg mirroring (same side) as the end of the weapon. This will move your closest leg as much as possible inside the trajectory of the weapon, if it is aimed towards your legs or knees, taking the power away (closer to the holding point of the weapon you connect). Keep your upper body and head low, like a sprinter out of the blocks with your hands close to your torso.


Land with your first step and cross with your back leg into a second step, aiming to land very close to the same-side foot of the attacker, so just a slight change of angle with this second step. Maintain the low body and head position with hands close during this step, as you minimise your body target area.

Picture: Move on the inside of the swing radius as quickly as you can to minimise and impact.


You will now land on the other side of the swinging direction of the weapon, buying a fraction of the second extra by not moving directly towards it. As you land, with your shoulder connecting with the centre torso area of the attacker (like a rugby tackle), you immediately move your back leg forward into a knee strike to the groin (SEE MASTERCLASS: KNEE STRIKE TO THE GROIN) as your hands move out to grab around the mid-section of the attacker (collect the non-weapon arm if you can in the process), with your head now positioned on the outside of their triceps area. Do not interlock your fingers in the grab, just hold firm. If needed, you can do a second knee strike strike or a circular swinging knee strike (actually connecting with the inside of your thigh) to the inside of the thigh to unbalance the attacker and disturb their footing.

Picture: Strike with bone or two knee strikes with the groin on connecting with the attacker.


After the single or double knee strike, elevate yourself tall by turning 90° towards the attacker so their shoulder is connecting with your centre torso line.


From this position, you have multiple striking options, for example;


Elevate your arm at the back of the attacker to between your heads and attack their eyes with your finger tips by digging these violently in, pressing their head back. Move with the attacker if they move backwards. You can simultaneously lift the hand at the front to strike their throat or jaw. If you strike with the inside of your inside thigh to the back of their hamstring, you will assist a drop backwards. Continue non-stop until the threat is down.

Picture: Go for the eyes immediately.


Or; Use the hand at the back of the attacker to conduct open palm strikes to the back of the neck of the attacker (where the neck meets the skull), or alternatively, strike with elbow strikes (SEE MASTERCLASS: ELBOW STRIKES) to the back of the neck, especially if you’re a similar height or taller. If the head drops, switch to knee strikes to the face.


Or; Use your arm at the back of the attacker and drop it down, swinging it upwards between the attacker’s legs to strike the groin from the back (with the inside bony part of your wrist) as you lower yourself as if were doing a deadlift in their gym. After striking, keep the arm under the groin and lift it upwards, simultaneously pushing upwards with your legs and forward with your upper body, as you use your head at the back of the attacker to also push, tipping the attacker forward and then vertically into the floor. (In Krav Maga, this is called a machine gun takedown).


If the attacker is considerably taller, and you cannot reach the neck area, or you’re not strong enough for a takedown, strike upwards with your hand to the front towards their face and throat.


Other striking options and combinations are also available. Principally, you deliver maximum aggression and strikes to vulnerable areas, staying with the attacker so they can’t create room to use their weapon effectively again.


Strike until you can escape or the threat is neutralised. As a potential lethal weapon is deployed, do not hold back with striking options or non-stop aggression.


DEALING WITH A SECOND ATTACKER WITH A FRONT KICK


A front kick is a primary striking choice as it’s the longest range option available to you, when you’re aware of (facing) a threat. Therefore, practice it extensively.


If a secondary attacker is emerging, do the following:


Make a very short step (skip) if you need to close the range to the target. This is the least telegraphic and most surprising, minimising the time it takes to release body weight off the kicking leg in readiness to move fast.


Either lift knee high and close to you to extend the foot/lower leg forward towards target, or; kick in an upward ‘whipping motion’ from below. The latter is less visible and also doubles up as a groin kick if the target moves closer mid-motion.


Connect with the ball of the foot (smaller surface for better energy transmission) around centre-mass (abdomen) and aim to kick through the target by extending the leg, immediately followed by a quick recoil.


Bring the kicking leg back without lowering knee, before landing. The landing is a tactical decision. Forward for further strikes, back in line with the base leg to remain in the same place, or other directions (e.g. by pivoting around on base leg) for running away or dealing with other threats. Bring base leg with you to land in a natural, balanced position if you land forward.


Keep your hands up and in front of you throughout the kick, making them available to follow up with strikes or to protect head and upper body defensively.


Breathe out as you strike.

Picture: The front kick.


Further strikes are then available if needed. See our MASTERCLASSES and MASTERCLASS PRO for options.


Find all our MASTERCLASS PRO articles by clicking on the theme selection on the website home page. Chose MASTERCLASS for individual strikes and techniques.

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