Ten Considerations of Combat
Cover & Concealment
The Ten Considerations of Combat are designed to give the student parameters with which they can begin to define the combat arena. Today we will begin with the first two.
Environment refers to the shape and layout of the combat arena, as well as any obstructions it contains. It also incorporates things like lighting, footing, surface textures, and climate.
But more importantly environment includes the emotional atmosphere of the engagement. An objective observer will come to understand that different emotional environments have different energy levels and effects on the people within them.
For instance, next time you are in a crowded movie theater, remove yourself from the movie going experience and feel the atmosphere of the room. If it is a comedy you will feel a different energy level than if it is a tragedy, or a horror, or an action movie, or a drama. Extrapolate this experience to your surroundings in life.
Next time you are at work, try to feel the emotional atmosphere you work in. Then do an experiment. Go from person to person, and try to change their attitude. If the room is happy, depress people. If the room is depressed, encourage people. You will notice a definite change in the atmosphere of the room.
It is important to understand these changes in the human environment in order to understand best where a confrontation takes place. The same argument will escalate differently in a crowded bar than it will in a library. Understanding this can aid the student in better deciding when and how to use force.
Range is one of the most important determining factors in deciding both the necessity of, and the applications of force.
During the escalation phase of any combative situation, the student should be paying close attention to the range at which the encounter is occuring. It is important for the student to be determining ranges not only between himself and his opponent, but also between himself and his routes of escape, himself and obstructions in the field, his opponent and his opponent's allies, and the confrontation and any deterring factors such as security cameras or officers, and crowded or well lit areas.
Upon determining the necessity of the use of force, the student must use his knowledge of range to determine the applications of force most appropriate to the engagement. If the opponent is outside contact range, then engaging the opponent may require projectile weaponry or techniques.
Foot maneuvers can be used to either increase range for the purposes of evasion or escape, or to decrease range for the purpose of engaging the enemy.
If the opponent is within contact range the student can select techniques which are appropriate to the situation.
Beginner: Every time you walk into a room count to five and then close your eyes. As quickly as possible identify ten things you saw in the room, paying special attention to anything which would either impede your movement or could be used as a weapon.
Intermediate: Facing a heavy bag, stand with your toes even with the base of the bag and work as many strikes as you can remembering FASP. Then move back six inches and repeat the process. Then move back six more inches and repeat. Continue, using lunging and skipping strikes when you move outside of striking range until it takes more than two foot maneuvers to reach the bag. At that point, you are out of your opponent's effective range. Turn away and escape.
Advanced: Practice strikes against heavy bag with a weapon in one or both hands. Pay special attention to how different grips effect reach. Practice striking around corners and around and over obstacles.
Ground Fighting: Practice spontaneous ground fighting in the corner of the room, in doorways, and under and around tables and chairs. Watch for environmental dangers and look for opportunities to escape.