Real Life Combat: Rethinking Things
In trying to advance the art of fighting with the stick, I have not only tried to devise techniques, but to think tactically and strategically.
For instance, while most styles train like-stick versus like-stick, I assume that I will be attacked by someone who does not have a stick like mine. So although I could devise and train in a lot of long stick versus long stick moves, I really don’t consider those worthy of the bulk of my time.
Also in my thinking I have viewed the close-in bayonet/rifle grip techniques as a last resort. In long stick versus long stick, or long stick versus staff or shovel, for instance, rifle grip works just fine. My concern is that I don’t want to be too overconfident against an “unarmed” opponent, only to find out he has a knife. Rifle grip versus knife is very dicey.
Some counter protesters at a pro-immigration rally were attacked recently, and the incident got me thinking, and reconsidering rifle grip. In the incident three counter-protesters were followed and harassed by a group of about 10. The 3 crossed the street to avoid trouble, but the mob followed. One of the females in the mob maced a counter-protester, but sunglasses protected his eyes. He was then pushed to the ground and kicked. At least two of the attackers had brass knuckles.
Are you prepared to counter pepper spray? Because it is legal and readily obtainable, this may be an increasing threat.
At what point to you attack? This is something the martial artist should weigh carefully beforehand. When the mob (who has already launched verbal assaults and is intimidating and threatening) follows you across the street, it seems to me that a line has been crossed. The problem is that if you wait for them to launch the first strike, they may not attack until you are surrounded. That first strike may knock you to the ground, and at that point you’re helpless. In another recent politically motivated assault the victims were pushed to the ground, and when the woman was on the ground, her leg was stomped and broken in multiple places. By the time they launch their attack, you may be cornered and unable to use the reach advantage of the stick. It seems to me you need to strike before it reaches that point. I would hit low at the knee and move to the outside.
In a case like this (actually like these, if you consider the 2 assaults I link to) you need to be prepared to fight your way out of a pack when surrounded and pressed in close. In this case, you need to go into rifle grip and every strike needs to hit like brass knuckles. So I’m seeing a need for greater emphasis on close-in rifle grip counters, particularly when surrounded, as always with the goal of clearing a path out and getting back to long range.