Zone defense versus infinite what if situations

There are an infinite ways to be attacked. You can’t handle all the possible situations with a single set of techniques for each instance. This is the source of the “What if” questions that plague instructors across the country. How do you apply your techniques from the required moves you are forced to learn? That’s easy, you apply the principles of the technique and simplify the attacks.

Pin the attacker

Pin the attacker

As mentioned before, you can use ghestalting to learn techniques and kata. You can also use it to analyze attacks. Chunk attacks into zones of similar attack qualities. Filipino Martial Art (FMA) use this concept and calls it Angles of attack. We can use it as zones. Zone one is slashing attacks. Zone six is straight in attacks. How you group them isn’t really important. Just be consistent.

Deal with like attacks in a similar fashion. Combination 5 is really good against attacks from Zone one, which can be circular or hooking attacks. This is a simple application of the concept.

As mentioned in the Kali’s Angles post, one of the hallmarks of FMA is angles of attack or zones of defense. Attack travel along 12 paths, regardless of the weapon or lack thereof. You defend along those same paths. This reduces your necessary defense responses to a few – at least 12. You only have to worry about each zone. By reducing the selection of a defense to defending the zone, you reduce the mental work necessary to react. Use the zone of defense in practice and drills. It will increase your reaction time.

If you are in our school, we have a set list of zones. If you train somewhere else, you can develop your own zones and pick the techniques that handle the most forms of attacks. This follows the business 80/20 Rule, 80% of the attacks can be dealt with by a single technique while the other 20% requires adaptation on the fly.

Good luck with your training.