By: Eyal Yanilov
As you may very well remember the subject of pre-fight, fight and post-fight is part of the tactical approach of modern Krav Maga. When I say fight, I mean the subject or technique we are dealing with at a given moment.
We see Self-defense (and as a matter of fact fighting or 3rd party protection incidents as well) as a process. The solution for such an incident can’t be seen from a technical point of view only, it must be addressed from a tactical direction also, with a full systematical approach. The tactical approach started in KM in the late 80’s but really came into intensive and comprehensive understanding and teaching about 10 years ago.
How to continue and conclude a confrontation that’s at its final stages of violent actions, as it is perceived by the KM practitioner? The known attacker/s have been dealt with and it is (subjectively) clear to our trainee that he or she has got the upper hand. What now? What is next? Do we continue doing what we did before? What exactly did we do before?
When we are in a limited violent confrontation of a self-defense incident, getting the upper hand may be thanks to the use of one simple action such as a defense, a counter, a step to the correct direction, etc. However sometimes it may be a very violent and damaging confrontation. The assailant/s that we confronted may be stunned for a moment or may be even badly hurt. He/they may have been defeated or maybe not yet.
As soon as possible we should achieve our initial goals – preventing the attacker from any action that may hurt us or that may increase his ability and chance to damage us.
The post-fight, is first of all the finishing mode tactical approaches. How should we continue or finish a violent confrontation the moment we have achieved all our initial goals?
We may need to: continue fighting, or escape the area; disarm the opponent or find a common object that can be used as a weapon; evacuate our family or jump over a fence. There may be many alternatives and options for action, some of which may be correct and useful, some dangerous and destructive to us or to our companions.
In-order to make a calculated decision and apply the correct response, we need to gather info and intel about our situation and surrounding, for example: who else is in the area and what are their intentions; Where are the friends or family we came with and who do we need to defend or protect; Where are our belongings; Where are the other potential attackers; Where is the safe zone and how can we get there; Who can assist us and how can we get to them or bring them to us; where is a piece of specific equipment or common objects that we can use to improve our chances to overcome the attacker/s or any related problems. For this we need to look in the area around us and get the data. We call this “scanning” and there are two kinds of scanning.
Passive Scanning – The byproduct of changing our position
When there is a dangerous attacker in-front of you, you need to deal with him. If you know you have multiple attackers, you need to deal with them according to the level of danger and threat that each of them poses. For example if one attacker has a baseball bat and the other is unarmed, usually you need to address the armed one first, due to his weapon and long reach. This is true unless the unarmed assailant came so close that he poses a more immediate danger. In all of those cases you cannot take your eyes of the dangerous opponents. So in-order to see who is behind you or where your friend /family member who was with you a moment ago, or where can you find the door, you’d better move around the attacker, especially if you are doing defenses and counterattacks. A byproduct of your movement is that you come to another angle from which you can see the area from another direction, especially the area that was behind you. Naturally you should move in a circular pattern in the direction that brings you to a safer and less dangerous area.
Active Scanning – Search around you for danger or aid
Once you have defended and counterattacked as needed and moved away from the dangerous area in the vicinity of the attacker/s you now have the possibility, option and in most cases the need, to continue to the next phasewhile the attackers you dealt with cannot reach you . This is the time to: Look for other opponent/s that pose real and immediate danger to you, or obstacles that may prevent you from moving; Locate the exit; Where you can find and equip yourself with a common object that may assist you in the task of overcoming the attacker/s; Where is the person that you need to assist (friend or family member), Etc’. In this case you should move your head and eyes from side to side to gather info from all around, below and above you, and locate what you need and what is there. Then execute the needed actions according to the appropriate decisions.
Passive and active scanning are tactical behaviors aimed to find other aggressors and gather any other relevant data that will enable you to make calculated decisions at times of conflict and violence.