By LtCol Al Ridenhour

Okay now that you've gotten the basics on this in Part - I of this newsletter I'm going to jump right into it so here we go.  While some of this has been shown before it needs repeating. In figure 1a below just like the matador sizing up the bull we see an attacker within our field of view however since they are outside of our sphere of influence they are still too far away for us to affect them. Since their intentions may be unknown all that we can do is continue to keep an eye on them and watch them for any sudden movements that they may make toward us. In 1b we can see that the attacker has chosen to attack. Because he has now entered our sphere of influence we are able to respond since they are now within range of our weapons.

In 1c because perhaps we have sensed an attack or their body language changed in some way, rather than wait for the attack to come to us we step in and close the distance by moving our sphere of influence into range where we can effectively strike. In figure 1d we can see that as the attacker made his move toward us as we reacted we were able to preempt his attack by stepping in and attacking the attacker.  It should be noted that of all of these scenarios if you attempt to attack the attacker 1d is probably the most likely scenario whereas if it is a surprise attack against you 1b is probably the most likely scenario where you'll probably have to employ some sort of dropping strike in order to gain penetration to stop his motion.


Now below in figure 2a we see a situation where for some reason the attacker is making his move toward you. Since you really don't know what he's going to do you have to decide to step and change your body position in order to throw his timing off. In most cases just like with the bar room sucker puncher or as with a charging bull if you can avoid their initial onrush it dramatically tips the odds. The key here is (at least from my experience, circumstances permitting of course) it does not matter which way you step or change including stepping into them as long as you step and strike at the same time protecting your throat and eyes as you enter.

In 2b as with the sword you can see that as you step off line you can deliver a side chop simultaneously and as long as you do not move beyond your Sphere of Influence even if you miss you can quickly recover since you're on balance and capable of changing your root point at will.  Notice in figure 2c that there is an arching motion to the step this is because sometimes you may, depending on the speed they come in at, have to box step around them as you deliver. This ability is extremely important especially if you have to fend off multiple attackers in which you are constantly moving in order to avoid being trapped between two attackers. Figure 2d shows what I was describing in 1b above. This is just a simple drop strike as you enter because for a variety of reasons there was no time to step off line and all you could do was either step in and strike or drop strike as they attempt to enter.

How you employ these concepts are entirely up to you; it is purely subjective based on what you perceive you feel through either your sensitivity or spatial and kinesthetic awareness.

Once again now that you have entered the fight this is where the flow if required comes into play. If they attempt to change their body, fight back or whatever, because you have now made contact with them by striking them you now know where they are in relation to your body. THIS IS HOW THE GUIDED CHAOS APPLIES AFTER YOU HAVE ENTERED!

Striking Concepts [you're just hitting base balls]:

When you strike, the one thing you must learn to do is to develop not only your feel when striking but the proper timing. Just like the Matador in the bull fight you must not only have the proper timing of when to get out of the way but also know the right moment to stab the bull with the swords to achieve maximum penetration.

This is were sensitivity provides a major advantage because since you can feel their intention and the direction of their body movement you can quickly develop the proper timing so that your strikes are always on with great effect. One thing that I want to clarify here is that when moving with someone it is not so much that I am able to know what they are doing before they do it but it is because of sensitivity that I am able to sense their intention and thus cut them off at the pass and strike them.

The analogy that I often use is like that of hitting a baseball. When hitting a baseball it is not so much that you have to strike with great force; rather you have to strike with the proper body unity at the right moment. This in turn multiplies the force and speed you are able to strike with. The below example more clearly illustrates this point. Understand though these are just basic concepts to make it more understandable and in no way limit what I am describing.

3a - when swinging if you misjudge you're the ball and swing too late obviously you will miss. 

3b - However, believe it or now in the same vain if you misjudge the ball and swing "too soon" you will miss all the same.  This is because there is a certain "timing" one must develop with their striking if they are to gain the maximum advantage from their strike.

3c - But...when you time the ball and swing "just right" it's a home run! This you must understand because when you are striking people especially on your drop strikes all you are doing in effect is hitting the baseball on the "sweet spot" of the bat.  When all of the Body Unity and movement dynamics come together it is effortless and critical when dealing with a larger or stronger attacker, which coincides with the Tai Chi principle of moving 1,000lbs with 1oz of effort.  By the way this is also the reason why drop hitting is so important. In a real fight you don't always have the luxury of striking at the apex of your strike. If the attacker steps in too soon without the ability to shorten your weapon and drop strike it has the same effect of either swinging too soon or too late. So even if you hit them, beyond arm strength there is very little power.


Developing the Striking Ridge

Before getting into all of this I want to note that many people think that in order to develop your hands to strike with great power your need to engage in some form of (in my opinion) psychotic tool developing methods, such as knuckle push ups on concrete, kicking palm trees until your shins bleed, Maki-wara board training against an immovable oak board and on and on. Many of these methods cause but are not limited to, excessive calluses, calcium deposits, bone spurs, arthritis, blood clots and permanent nerve damage. As stated in previous newsletters one thing it will not cause is for you to become a better fighter.

In many older Kung Fu manuals when people describe the surface that makes contact during fighting they define it as a "Ridge". The ridge is pretty much any surface you choose to employ to strike with. Some ridges are natural weapons such as the palm heel and side of the hand, forehead, elbow, knees, toe and heels. There are other more esoteric ridges such as the back / ridge hand and instep of the foot or shoe. The ones mentioned above are the most effective since they rely more on physics and proper body unity than on speed and power in the form of physical strength.

When striking you want to feel the ridge of the weapon whatever it is, and feel the relationship between your body and the strike. Whether moving slowly or fast, ensure that your body is properly aligned behind the strike. Ensure that the position of the weapon is always in the proper position to ensure the strike will work. For example, if striking with the side of the hand, ensure that the thumb is fully extended, fingers are together and that you strike with the side of the hand and not the fingers since they generally lack the bone structure to be an effective strike. If executing a side kick, ensure that you are aiming with the heel with the surface of the shoe as flat as possible, do not crescent or turn your foot like they do in the fantasy fighting schools. (For a more detailed description of these strikes please see our book Attack Proof).

•1.        Spear hand and side of hand [note in figure one the exaggeration of the "thumb" this is critical when striking with the side of the hand. When using the spear hand the thumb can be against the hand.]|
•2.        Side of hand knife hand
•3.        Hammer fist
•4.        Palm heel strike
•5.        Palm heel strike surface
•6.        Elbow strike
•7.        "Y" strike for the throat
•8.        Regular fist strike is generally used on the body and soft parts of the head and neck. Though made popular in sport fighting it is generally the least effective bare handed fighting tool for real combat
•9.        Note: when using a regular fist strike the wrist is weak in this position when throwing a punch with the regular fist which takes years to develop. This is why boxers wrap their wrists before fights

Fig - 5


When kicking you must ensure that your feet are always in the right position. You want to aim with the toe or with the heel. When using either a sidekick or back kick aim with the toe or instep; when performing a roundhouse kick aim with the toe. When doing a front kick maintain about a 90º angle.

Where to Strike

The areas pointed out below in Fig-6 are actual points on the body in which if struck will cause severe injury or especially if employed above the shoulders, death. There is nothing "mystical" about these areas they are just areas in which in most cases if struck even with poor technique the strike will have an effect. It should be noted that contrary to popular belief strikes to the abdomen may require repeated striking since this area generally has more give than strikes to the head and neck. Finally do not ever assume that one shot will be sufficient to take someone out especially body shots. It may be necessary especially if they are under the influence of some form of drug to strike these areas repeatedly in order to take someone out.

•2.      Base of skull, side of head & neck
•3.      Throat
•4.      Sternum, ribs, diaphragm & abdomen
•5.      Groin
•6.      Sciatic nerve & inner thigh
•7.      Front, back & side of knee
•8.      Achilles tendon
•9.      Instep / lower shin

The following are descriptions of some basic techniques. When practicing on a heavy bag or with a partner start off ultra slow working up to full speed while under control of your Sphere of Influence.

Side Chop Entry - as you enter you are going to enter right off the bat with a side strike right out of the Close Combat Karate as taught within Guide Chaos. This forces the attacker to move, block or be destroyed. If they block the strike or move, based on what you feel, you are now able to re-adjust and continue to strike. If they continue to back up, mow them down with the strike. 

Enter with the "Drac" - when entering either with the side strike or palm heel strike etc... If they block the strike immediately fold to the Drac penetrating with your elbow deeply then unfold from the Drac flowing to another strike and mow them down.

Fold and Answer the Phone - this is done in the same way as folding to the Drac only you are now going to answer the phone. I find this works especially well when dealing with taller opponents. As with the Drac, penetrate with your elbow deeply then unfold flowing to another strike and mow them down, don't let them off the hook for an instant.

Stacking Sphere Entry - when performing this entry you are going to enter with your arm slightly bent and your lead hand on a 20º degree angle. In doing so it allows you to deflect their oncoming strikes and penetrate with a palm strike all in one move since the angle of your hand provides a significant mechanical advantage. Ensure that you raise the shoulder of the striking arm and tucking the chin as you enter in order to protect your head, face and neck. [For a more detailed explanation of this see Skimming Energy in Attack Proof.] 


As a refresher below is the "12 - Step Striking Entry Plan" [note - all of this can be done against a heavy bag if working alone or with a partner against a striking shield]:

1-Side chop moving forwards (to the throat)
2-Side chop, palm heel (to the face) moving forwards
3-Side chop, palm heel, knee strike moving forwards
4-Side chop, palm heel, knee strike, elbow strike (to the neck) moving forwards
5-Step off line at a 45ºdegree angle and strike with a side chop (to the neck)
6-Step off line at a 45ºdegree angle and strike with a side chop and knee strike
7-Step off line at a 45ºdegree angle and strike with a side chop and front kick to the near side leg
8-Front kick moving forward (low kick)
Front kick to palm heel moving forward
Front kick to side chop,  palm heel, moving forward
Front kick to side chop,  palm heel, knee strike, moving forward
Front kick to side chop,  palm heel, knee strike, elbow strike moving forward

As you get better with these drills you will want to learn how to step and turn on an attacker applying each of these techniques. [Note - repeat the same kicking entry moves stepping off line at a 45ºdegree angle then against a partner but slowly.]


•·         Ensure that as you enter with the upper body strikes your striking elbow or arm is high enough to protect your throat and face. This can (as in the case of the stacking sphere entry) be accomplished by raising the shoulder and tucking the chin as you enter.

•·         Ensure that your other hand is up to also protect the throat.

•·         Remember that even in their wild swings they could get lucky and still land a shot with power.

•·         Anticipate change and be prepared to flow at high speed remaining continuous in your movement.

•·         Launch from your root, control your Sphere of Influence, do not lean and maintain balance; as they move, use the principles of Guided Chaos and end it as quickly as possible.

•·         Strike naturally, strike to kill...

Bonus Section:


I wasn't going to originally show this but since it was asked by a reader of our newsletters I decided to add some basic ground avoidance / fighting techniques and concepts.

Okay now this is going to be tough, one reason being that no newsletter can adequately describe the full range of applications of the "Guided Chaos Ground Fighting Concepts". What I offer here are a few basic ground avoidance techniques / concepts. In the future I may work on a more comprehensive Ground Fighting newsletter which covers the rudiments in much greater detail.

If he attempts to grab your legs [Fig - 7], don't go to the ground in the first place if you can avoid it. If he attempts to grapple do not, do not, do not, do not, do not, grapple!

Don't Do it!

As they step in to attack rather that grapple back and challenge their strength which only plays into the hands of a stronger more athletic opponent, think of it like trying to grab the horns of a charging bull head on. Instead find the eyes and drive in with your fingers with all of your might driving deeply in to the eye sockets. Peel the head back and violently wrench the neck with all your might.

In Fig - 8 if for some reason they surprise you or you are unable to step off line from their initial onrush, step in, thwarting their attack "chopping" as you drop to the side or back of the neck with all your might. If possible drop in with the legs as they attack. The suddenness of the drop will allow you to create separation and break the leverage of their grab as you strike them.


A Word of Caution...

I know this is a very popular technique especially for those who have competed in a number of sportive venues however one thing you must not do is the "Sprawl Technique" [Fig- 8a]. This may work on a mat that is padded or in a ring with rules but out on the street this is a recipe for disaster. Not only does this allow them time to regroup and recover from your initial movement but it throws your center of gravity out of whack since it is no longer over your feet thus disconnecting you from your root [i.e., balance]. You may be able to pile drive their skull into the pavement but you're taking a big risk especially if it turns into a multiple attacker situation. You're better off just dropping in as you attempt to crush their spine. Just my two cents...

If for some reason he takes you to the ground (because, hey, anything can happen) [Fig - 9] find the eyes as quickly as you can and as in Fig - 7 drive your fingers in violently with all of your might. You will only have a split second to accomplish this while his hands are occupied trying to control you.


If you can get your feet involved [Fig - 10] kick with all your might with the flat part of the shoe as hard and as fast as you can. Move your legs like two powerful pistons and turn their head into a "sack of gravel."

Well that's it for now stand by for more techniques on how to get off line and strike in Part III.