Last week we discussed strike zones. The Safe Zone where neither fighter could strike the other. The Kick Zone in which the most effective strike is the kick. Inside that is the Punch Zone with the punch as the primary strike. Last you have the Elbow-Knee Lock-Hold Zone for close quarter combat. These zones give general guidelines on which strikes would be most effective and which attacks are most likely.
Now we need to explore how we cross the different zones and which strikes we should use. Just because your opponent is in the safe zone does not mean you are safe. Your opponent just can’t strike you unless they move. How you move and how your opponent moves will determine your attack vector. If your opponent blitzes you (moves in quickly to strike) from the safe area, you can counter with a defensive side kick as he crosses the kick zone. If you are in the kick zone and your opponent kicks you, you can deflect the kick, enter the punch zone and punch or back-fist your opponent.
As we mentioned in last week’s article, many fighters fight as if they are walking on a tight rope. They move back and forth, their opponents time them and our fighters get hit. We need to move around the ring but if all of our attacks are straight in, it is like we are on a tight rope from the perspective of our opponent. Mixing up our attacks, evasions and retreats will make it harder for our opponents to hit us and harder to defend against us. We’ll discuss two attack vectors, evasion and two retreat vectors.
Head on Attack – A direct, head on attack can be fast effective. It is also easier to defend against if it is the only attack vector being used. Proper technique is always needed. The technique you use depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are point sparring, you may be pumping out round house kicks or blitzing. If you are grappling, you may be going for a single or double leg take down.
Flank Attack – You may be more familiar with flanking from military or team sport maneuvers. If the front is well defended, we attack from the side. Using point sparring as an example flanking maneuvers can include a ridge hand as you charge by your opponent, stepping to the side and springing back with a back-fist or jumping to the side and executing a round house or spin kick. All of these moves get you to the side of your opponent. Typically, you are moving diagonally and are passing to the side of your opponent.
Evade – We are defining evasion as moving to the side. Continuing with the point sparring examples, evasion would be used if someone blitzes you and you are not ready with a counter. They come forward and you move to the side to get out of the way of the strike.
Direct Retreat – A direct retreat is good when you want to counter a move with a head on attack. An example of this would be the defense from an attack with a side kick. As you are being kicked, you move back, block the kick down then spring forward into the punch zone and strike your opponent.
Indirect Retreat – This retreat is effective for a charging attack. In point sparring match you would be dodging a blitz but staying in range to counter attack. In grappling you may be avoiding a single leg takedown, executing an arm drag and taking your opponent’s back.
It is important to use a variety of attacks, evasions and retreats, so your opponent doesn’t time you. Moving around the ring and using a variety of attack vectors will make you harder to attack and harder to defend against.
Next week, will put it all together. Using both the strike zones and attack vectors to develop strategies.
In case you missed it click here for – Part One of the Strike Zones and Attack Vectors