Firing for effect!

Wednesday, 29. December 2010

Struck! (Flickr / ThisParticularGreg)

All to often in martial training one is given a generalized target to work with such as the head, torso, outer leg, etc.  While at a basic level this approach acceptable in order to further our training we need to proceed further.  Rather then generalizing, we need to be thinking head for instance.. we need to be thinking nose, left orbital, left temple.. base of jaw.  The study goes further than that however.. there are a lot of additional components. Intended effect and reaction, type of strike, angle of  attack and knowing what surrounds your target is equally important.

Specific targets are aimed at within the body for specific effect.  I’m not talking about the obvious such as simply poking someone in the eye.  What happens when the hips are displaced backwards from a low punch, or then the a leg is driven outward from a strike?  Where does the body move and what openings does it produce?  Study of body movement in such cases are important because it guides what your follow up strikes are going to be.. and equally important where they are not going to be based on your expected reaction.

Our type of attack has a large effect on our targeting.  While typically impact goes soft to hard, or hard to soft in order to avoid injuring ourselves (open palm to forehead, or a knuckle to crush the temple or orbital for instance)  This goes far beyond simply soft and hard strikes with the empty hand.  Weapon characteristics come into play, a strike to a bone may break it whereas a strike to soft tissue is simply damaging.  Edged weapons may hang up where you don’t want them to or lose effect where you need something to happen -now-.

The angle of our attacks are likewise huge.  The body is able to dissipate large amounts of energy in a number of directions and spots.  Being specific with our targeting angles defeats this resistance.  The body crumples as ribs collide rather than simply flex inwards.  In addition to being able to effectively deliver strikes, using angles properly opens up a large variety of targets within the body.   There are a large number of center line targets, however most are accessible more effectively from the side or above and below.

Knowing what surrounds our target is of consquence.  A lot of opportune targets on the head for instance are next to the crown.  The crown for those who are unaware is an extremely hard structure in the body, more than capable of resisting an attack as well as breaking knuckles and bones.  The common perennial is surrounded by dense muscle.  A missed attack may be painful, but likely of little additional effect.  The effect is similar from the solar plexus, where you have a tough ribcage above it and muscle beneath.  Anatomy is important and needs to be studied as well.

While the net effect or our targeting may not be quite as precise due to movement of ourselves and our target.. our intent always needs to be laser precise.  Lets make connecting effectively part of our intent rather than simple an accident, examine everything you do from an additional angle.

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