Can You Beat
Back an Unarmed Attacker?
First a quick reminder, if you havenít done so youíll want to check out the July issue of S.W.A.T. Magazine. There is prominent feature on Arnis and myself that I think youíll find interesting.
I wanted to talk today about some of the problems and strategies of using a stick to drive back an unarmed man.
Most of Arnis assumes your opponent will be armed and that you will also be armed. This is true in the Philippines, and it does happen in the West in a small percentage of self-defense cases.
Usually in America, though, what youíll find is one person has armed himself, and that person either the assailant or the victim. Rarely are you going to have 2 people squaring off-armed.
Part of the Arnis training is to become the armed person, by either turning something into a weapon or by taking the weapon away from the other person. It is more difficult to become armed if you started out unarmed than to simply defend yourself with weapon in hand, so arnis training starts with weapon in hand. As skill increases, the problem of becoming armed is dived into. Like with most education, it makes little sense to start with the most difficult problems.
Once you have the stick and you are in the position of having to drive off an attacker, youíll also encounter another set of problems. Opponents generally fall into two categories: those that will flee with very low encouragement, and those that you will need to render non-threatening (beat until they canít beat you).
There are 3 advantages of using a stick
1) The stick is hard and you donít have to use your body as the impact surface. Most fighters are not physically conditioned for bare knuckle impact and quickly accumulate injury in a scuffle. The stick prevents this damage to you.
2) You can generate more force (with training) than you can with your body alone.
3) Reach. In general the length of a stick plus the length of your arm will be longer than the arm only reach of your opponent. Your opponent could try to kick around the stick, but few kickers are good enough to do this.
The Solution in Nutshell:
UseRange, Deliver Force
With the Reach of the weapon (range), you decrease the chance that your attacker will be able to hit you while you can hit them. That means though that you have to keep them at a distance longer than their arm reach.
Arnis can deal with close quarter quite effectively using the Punyo, but youíre going to get hit at close range.
Letís take a look at exactly how to keep range in the next newsletter.
Guro Mike Steenrod
P.S. This article could give a friend vital information to him or herself in a violent attacker. Please forward to people you care about.
P.P.S. Use my 99 cent Guide to keep you safe during practice.