Simultaneous attack and defense: the concept of active reaction

Attack and defend at the same time

As in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do (and in a lot of other combat systems), in 6 Dragons Kung Fu (one of) the best defensive methods is to defend and attack at the same time.

In contrast to a classical passive defense reaction (a cover, a parry, a deviation, etc.), let’s introduce the concept of “active reaction”:

  • The idea is that whenever we can we have to employ our body reactively combining defense and attack
  • Instead of wasting energy, time and space in 2 or 3 actions, we only do one
  • This way we become faster, more efficient, more pressing
  • Fewer actions mean less risk of mistakes, less execution time and less chance for the opponent

Examples of “active reactions”

Here there are a few practical examples of effective reactions to an attack:

  •  Exit the opponent’s attack pushing him (eg. with our torso against an obstacle), or better, hitting his body at the same time (eg. with an elbow)
  • Sacrifice strategically ourselves accepting a low incisive blow to reach (simultaneously) a good target or an extremely advantaged position
  • Channel the opponent’s strength inertia in direction of our attack (strong part against delicate part)
  • Oppose to a weak body element attack (eg. fingers), a direct collision with a limb / weapon / object much strong / conditioned (read Physical conditioning: how it works)
  • Put the opponent in a position of not being able to hit effectively and hit him at the same time
  • Convert the strength and space we use to deflect / block an attack as a power-up for our reaction (eg. a projection, read Dragon Motion: the swirling movements)
  • Divert the attack with a limb and hit simultaneously with another (eg. left and right arms)
  • Bounce or slide on the opponent’s limbs to deviate and reach a sensitive target with the same movement (eg. eyes)
  • Use a parry to imprison the opponent in a constrained posture or to break his attacking limb (read Chin Na)
  • Do a “fake” attack simultaneously with a real attack
  • Damage the limbs involved in the opponent’s attack by hitting them while they are already “engaged” in an attack movement

How can defensive movements effectively mutate in attacks?

Let’s see a few tips on how a 6DKF’s practitioner can effectively adopt the “active reaction” concept:

  • Never leave the opponent to go out of our target range with useless parries
  • When we dodge a punch, we never have to get away from the adversary more than what we (minimally) need to do not be affected
  • Attack with the body positioned so that it can not be effectively hit by the opponent
  • Connect many consecutive attacks, without leaving to the opponent the time to recover / react
  • Use faints, deception, advanced contacts (read 6DKF’s interactions: from the strong blow to the light)
  • Avoid a defensive mindset, in a lot of cases if we do not focus on counterattack we forcibly are a step backward our opponent

How to implement “active reactions”

This particular skill can be achieved by anyone (it is for intermediate level practitioners; the body of each of us is able to perform this type of action but we need a lot of practical training.

Here is what to focus on:

  • Coordination – We must learn to move more limbs differently, asynchronously and simultaneously
  • Muscle chain – Attacks mixed with defense are often movements deficient of charge space so we must employ and connect the force of the whole body (read Use the body power: the muscle chain)
  • Scenario’s analysis – We must learn to keep the scenario under control by developing quick reasoning and combining our senses (we must maximize touch, sight, spatial intelligence, spatial memory, etc. read The most important skill in combat)
  • Timing – we must be quick and precise (read /// Subscribe (it's free!) or Login to see this content ///), our reactions have not only to be balanced, simultaneous and coordinated but also linked (eg. the X arm has reached the A position, then the Y arm has reached the B point and at the same time the X arm move in direction of C point)
  • Rhythm – We must be able to enter, follow and break our/opponent’s fighting rhythm (time, space, state, etc.), then we must learn to change his trend abruptly (eg. fast, stop, slow, strong, rigid, flexible, etc.)
  • Reflexes – The more our reactions are fast, the more we can do simultaneous things (read Reflexes and spatial intelligence: an exercise with the Tennis ball); the more we train reflexes, the more our mind becomes fast, the more we have time to develop effective “instant strategies”

A note by Master Kongling – It is important to stress that one of the reasons that make Kung Fu not suitable for everyone is that its methods are too complex to be performed by a mind untrained to precision, speed, quick reasoning, etc. (read Speed and quickness). If we are not trained to apply the advanced techniques instantaneously in a more than natural way it is better to limit our fighting baggage to the most basic and simple striking (kicks, punches, etc.) otherwise we will fail.

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Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • What is your opinion about the efficiency of simultaneous attack and defense?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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