All physical confrontations happen within the following ranges. They are characterized by the distance and control between you and your opponent.
Range 1-Outside Striking
Range 2-Inside Striking
Range 3-Stand-Up Grappling
Range 4-Ground Grappling
These ranges were designed by C.U.M.A. Combatives founder Waysun Johnny Tsai. They are a simple way to view a physical confrontation with both armed and unarmed opponents. Although you may have a high level of skill in some of the ranges, the one that you are weak in can negate all of your former training.
Range 1 is where full extension punches and kicks can hit with maximum power. In this stage you have the greatest mobility to evade attacks and possibly run away. You will also have the least amount of control over your opponent.
Range 2 is where shorter strikes like knees and elbows are the most applicable attacks. Defense may be difficult in this stage due to the lack of reaction time because of the proximity to an opponent. The advantage is that more attacks can be thrown in a shorter amount of time from a wide array of angles.
Range 3 is where grabs and holds occur while standing. Holds may be used defensively to prevent strikes from hitting you or offensively to choke an opponent unconscious. Holds can be done to the body as well as clothes, hair, and bags.
Range 4 is where one person is being held on the ground. This can be seen as a sexual assault, being stomped, or a submission being applied. This stage has the least amount of mobility and the weakest strikes from the bottom. Therefore having the ability to move in and out of Range 4 is valuable..
A.R.C. (All Range Combat) is the ability to move strategically through the ranges. If you are grabbed, can you strike your way to Range 1 and run or reverse the hold, take them down, and call for help? Self-defense is mastery of these ranges with both combative and de-escalation skills against single or multiple opponents who may be armed.
Making a technique work to keep yourself physically safe and protect your state of mind requires commitment to be effective. You must devote a part of your life to training the skills, developing the survival mindset, and reflecting on your ethics. This task takes consistent purposeful effort in order to make the difference between attempting to defend yourself and actually defending yourself.
You should be devoted to training each move you learn. Training creates muscle memory, so the moves flow naturally. Realistically all moves need time to get to the point of being natural, but with practice more advanced moves will become as easy to perform as basic ones. The key word is practice. Doing something 1,000 times on autopilot does not facilitate growth. You have to really commit to understanding why the move works and how to make the move work for you. Through this, your techniques eventually become a part of you.
This still is not enough if you do not whole-heartedly perform the move. It takes both good technique and intent to make a move work against an uncooperative opponent. Intent is not just wanting it. Intent is the complete follow through of an action. Imagine a strong Judo throw that takes both people off their feet, the baseball swing that had homerun written all over it, or the kick that kisses you goodnight. The person doing the action is so married to the action that the hit is the only thing on their mind. Yes, plans fail and nobody is perfect, but if you don’t put your all into that moment then you may have to deal with other moments that otherwise would not exist.
De-escalation tactics may have the inverse of their intended effect if they are not properly executed. This is the difference between saying “no” and meaning “No!” Predators are experienced with reading people and situations and may become more encouraged when recognizing a weak defense. Being assertive and standing your ground are not actions to take without being serious or else it loses its effectiveness. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is the perfect example of someone’s seriousness being dismissed to dire consequences. The stance you take is a representation of who you are and if it is fake, then you are seen as such.
You should be committed to your convictions. Some very dangerous situations happen when people fight for things that they do not value. Social violence needs both participants to be cooperative. If it really is not a big deal, then show it. Moreover, if you have to make a stand, then make sure your stance is strong and unwavering. When you know that you are fighting for the right reason, you can attack/defend without reservation.
Be committed to your technique because your intent will be reflected in its effectiveness. Commit to your tactics. Let your “No!,” warnings, and threats mean what you intended. Commit to your values. If you are fighting for a cause, then truly understand the issue so your words and actions carry your passion with a purpose. Commit to the success of your self-defense.