On top of Straight Line vs Circular attack types, we now expand into attack patterns. It is essential to understand attack patterns to assess how your opponent is implementing the attack, at what speed, and what tempo. As a general rule, we have three attack patterns; Threats, Committed, and Non-Committed. For bladed weapon attacks, we add a fourth called “blender mode“.
- Threats – A threat is a static action rather than dynamic. If someone is holding a knife to you, not swinging it, this is a knife threat. If someone has grabbed you, but is only holding you, this is a threat. In both cases the assailant has yet to put any kinetic energy into their attempt, apart from the initial motion to move in close. But don’t get it wrong, if you attempt to do something and mess up, at any point their threat can become an attack.
- Committed Attacks – A committed attack is linear. It follows a direct path from the attacker to the intended target point on a person. Committed attacks are usually due to an emotional reaction or because an attacker has decided or committed to a specific attack. The 360 defence, for example, is designed for committed attacks like the “ice pick” or “prison shank” style attack. These attacks go from outside in and downward or upward. Attacks like bear hugs are also committed, as the attacker is going from a static, to a forward grab and slam, and there is a specific attack pattern.
- Non-Committed Attacks – Non-committed attacks are any that do not follow a linear pattern, and tend not to have the attacker’s full weight behind them. A basic Non-committed attack includes a retraction after the initial strike, rather than a telegraphed Committed attack which may lunge through or past the target. They may start in one direction, such as straight, then retract for another attack or quickly change to something else. They can come from up, down, left, or right. The intent is the same as a Committed attack, that is, to harm the intended target, but there is no set path. Hacking or slashing knife attacks are an example of Non-committed attacks. When dealing with a Non-committed attack it can be a battle of Action vs Reaction until someone wins. As such, you must reset their mental processing and do damage to them as fast as you possibly can prior to progressing to control.Because of Action vs Reaction concepts, the more your brain has to process the harder it is going to be to formulate the correct action to stop the attack or threat. Thus the more complex and non-linear an attack the harder it will be to deal with. Because of this, Committed attacks are preferable over Non-committed attacks when it comes to a defence perspective. However, from an attacking perspective, a Non-committed attack is preferable, as it has a greater chance of succeeding. If you encounter a Non-committed attack, the best idea is to simply create distance and run. If you can’t run, you must find a way, through strategy, technique, and aggression, to overwhelm your opponent.
- Blender Mode – Blender mode is reserved for a Non-committed knife attack which employs both stabbing and slashing in quick, repeating succession. This essentially creates a wall of “blender blades” which is not safe to approach. The attacker either started like this, and is likely skilled with a knife, or you screwed up your initial defence and they went from a simple Committed lunge, to a Non-committed straight line attack, to blender mode. These are the times when it is best to use a weapon of opportunity.
*Topics under any principle category (Eg. Krav Maga Principles) may be updated from time to time. So check-in every few months to see if the posts have been updated.