B.E.A.T.!

4

When you are in the middle of a fight for your life, is not the time to decide which vital areas on your adversary to strike.  This decision should be made well in advance.  A great acronym to remember four specific striking areas is B.E.A.T.  B.E.A.T is short for Brain, Eyes, Abdomen and Testicles.  These striking areas should be used to distract your adversary long enough for you to exit the threat zone.  They should not be considered blows that will incapacitate.  They might, but most likely they will create a very short time period in which your adversary is not thinking about you but is thinking about pain.  That is your window of opportunity.  RUN!

I was first introduced the B.E.A.T model in Frank Albert’s great book One-Strike Stopping Power – How to Win Street Confrontations with Speed and Skill.  This book is available at www.paladin-press.com.

BRAIN – Rock the brain and you reboot the computer.  Slapping the side of your adversary’s head will usually get their attention and cause a distraction.  If the distraction works, run.  The best self-defense technique is running away from the threat.  Remember that slapping someone is only a distraction; follow-up strikes are obviously necessary if the distraction does not work and you plan on winning this encounter.  Always have a follow-up plan.  Preprogram Murphy’s Law into the equation.  Plan for the worst and when it does not happen, cool!

EYES – If they can not see, it is very hard to find you.  We all should be able to agree that shoving your fingers into the eyes of someone that is attacking you will most likely upset them.  It will also usually cause them to drop or let go of whatever they are holding and retract their hands back towards their eyes.  Again, this is the golden moment for you to exit the threat zone.  Do not stand around admiring your handy work, RUN!

ABDOMEN – Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you?  A good straight punch or better yet, a knee delivered to the abdominal region should do the trick.  Where do you want to strike?  Well, make it simple, and hit them around the navel region.  Drive your strike through the navel; do not just strike the surface.   Here is something to think about: Melchor Menor, a former two-time Muay Thai world champion was tested on the power of his knee strike.  Menor delivered a knee strike to a monitored test dummy, and the power of his knee strike was equal to the power of a 35 mile per hour car crash.  That would certainly cause some destruction!

TESTICLES – Ok, nobody really wants to talk about this one but grabbing the soft area of the testicles and attempting to rip them off will certainly get the attention of any would-be rapist.  Obviously, this is a little more difficult if he still has his pants on.  You will have to grab through a lot of cloth.  The only problem is that the testicles are well protected by the large leg muscles and getting a direct hit is difficult.  A simple strike or flick of the fingers into or towards the groin region will cause just about any man to take a step backwards, or at least flinch. That certainly does not put him out of the fight; however, do not be discouraged. Aim low and hit hard.  If you do get a direct hit, you will have most likely hit payday.  Stun and RUN!

So, there is the B.E.A.T. model.  Train it, practice it and prepare yourself for battle.

“SWAMP!”

Knife1981

I was reading an old Combat Hard Blog post that referenced an article by the Combatives Legend Bob Kasper, entitled “Swamp: How to Make The First Strike Your Last.”  In the article, Bob talked about power in combatives, and the idea that when you strike, you sure as heck better make it count in order to lessen a perpetrator’s commitment to the attack.  Being an average size person, I have always been extremely interested in generating as much force as possible with the my God given body.  SWAMP is a simple acronym for Bob’s five principles of power.  Apply these principles to make all your strikes count and effective break in your opponent’s OODA loop and force him to go on the defense.  Remember you should be driving the bus.

S: Stay relaxed.  You slow yourself down if your muscles are tense.  Try throwing a punch with all the muscles of your arm contracted.  Not very efficient, is it?  Now throw a punch with your arm more relaxed.  Think about how you clench the fist right before impact, but stay loose at every micro-step before that moment.  Explode on impact.  Not easy, and it takes practice.

W: Weapon first.  Kasper says, “Let him feel the technique before he sees it.”  In other words, avoid telegraphing your movement.  This is also takes practice.

A: Acceleration.  Speed is critical.  Slow and steady, like the tortoise, is not going to win this particular race.  Be the hare, and beat him to the punch.

M: Move in the direction of the strike.  For instance, sometimes students will shuffle forward and leave a foot planted instead of bringing it along with them and moving the whole body into a strike.  The body is essentially divided in the effort.  Moving all the mass together as a cohesive unit is a beautiful thing, and makes all the difference in the efficacy of your effort!

P: Plunge.  We talk a lot in class about putting your a** into your strikes.  Not only do you have to move in the direction of the strike, but you have to utilize your bodyweight correctly behind the strike.  I’ve seen 220 pound guys punch with just their arms.  A lot of them are still powerful, but again, they are using just their arms.  Now, what if a 165 pound guy can put every ounce of his weight into his strikes, and strike as fast and decisively as a cobra, who do you think has the advantage?  How powerful do you think the 220 pounders could be with efficient body mechanics?

Use these principles with any technique.  As soon as you perceive the threat, explode.  Force him to change his mind, or diminish him to the point when he is no longer a threat.  As I often say, “This guy brought you to this dance.  Okay, buddy.  Now, we’re going to dance.”  Just make sure you are leading!