There is only one angle of attack and defence?
This is a funny observation, how many angles of attack and defence do you know?
When learning the knife, sword, stick or just boxing how many angles are there?
In the Filipino arts most styles teach a basic 6 to 12 angles of attack and defence going up to 64 in some cases (wow!), is this because they are running out of things to practice and have to invent more stuff to keep the students happy so as to make them continue with a particular style/system of learning? How valid is learning this many angles?
We have 6 angles in Filipino Kyusho and I think this is far too much!! Let me explain.
Many of the situations I found myself in when dealing with violent altercations and violent crimes the perpetrators only used one angle of attack which was the straightest and the one that was most direct. They did not give me a slow low line backhand slash or even a slow high line back hand slash for example so why do we teach defence to this type of attack in our training? If someone really wants to hurt, kill or maim you they will get as close as possible to you and depending on the tools being employed they will be as direct as possible it is not their intention to let you defend it. They will be no funny or strange angles an example of this is a man was in a fried chicken shop I won’t mention the name of the shop but the owner was a colonel and had a little white beard, any way the attacker produced a machete and proceeded to rain heavy downward chopping strikes on another customer, the customer was cornered and was cowering down with no chance of escape, did the attacker use any of the 64 angles some systems teach? No he just kept hacking straight down and on centreline as this was the most effective way and the one that did the most damage to the victim.
Where I have seen different angles used is when a defender has put an obstacle or an improvised weapon in the way of the on coming attack and then the attacker has tried to get around the obstacle as the direct route has now been closed off. The defender has closed down the centreline with the obstacle/improvised weapon and this is done quite naturally and really does not require martial arts training as self preservation is organic to human life. In London I have seen a man on a bicycle being attacked by a crazed knife man, the guy on the bike got off and threw his bike at him and made a run for it, this was very clever and the knife man ran off too but I thought to myself that the knife man should have used the man’s bike to make his escape but that’s just my warped sense of humour!
So do we need that many angles? When using a knife for me there are three main ways of using the knife and I am going to refer them to motion as opposed to angles of attack.
1. The typewriter motion (if anyone remembers a typewriter in these techno days) this is where the attacker slashes wildly from left to right.
2. The sewing machine motion, this is where the attacker gets in close and stabs with violent repeated in and out motions.
3. The psycho motion clip link where the attacker utilizes the ice pick grip and repeatedly stabs down alla psycho.
So why do we need so many angles? It may be better to concentrate our defences against the different types of motion you will encounter and then it will not matter what angle they attack. Just a thought?
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Stay safe, train hard, fight easy