Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pencak Silat Tactics of PSP

I have a question for you. A friend of mine is a black belt in TKD he's pretty fast when he trows kicks and throws different combinations always one kick immediately after another kick so he always catches me. How do you deal with that?

It depends on how you are fighting. I don't have a DVD that addresses that as such, but I have fought TKD guys, Karate guys, Wing Chun guys, Kali guys, Hapkido guys, etc. It matters a great deal how you are fighting. Are you fighting to touch or to hit? Hit or to hurt? Hurt or to injure? Injure or kill? If the intent is not there to at least hurt it makes any fighting more difficult.

Also, when you fight anyone you must remember that there are several ways to deal with it. It doesn't matter a great deal who they are or what style:

One is to close the gap which will not allow him to kick or at least not more than once. Kicking requires a certain distance between you and the kicker. If you stand still and he kicks he gets to choose when and how often he kicks so he gets to create the combinations and it's up to you to defend yourself. Move in immediately and get out of defense and into offense. (Ales and Masukan for PSP folks.)

Two is to use angles versus backing up when they attack. If you back up against any type of attack, in a straight line, they will be able to continue to attack. Kicks are not very manueverable so if you choose to back up for the initial attack you should do so at an angle. Then the attacker will be forced to change simple combinations into complex ones where the body has to re orient. Additionally, if you do both close the gap and change angle it really messes with the relationship (Ales for PSP folks).

Third, any attack generates from one of four places - either shoulder or either hip. If you want to defend against any attack the best way is to go to the source. Attack the source of the attack directly. I normally just block kicks by kicking the kick as it starts or by attacking the hip or upper thigh close to where it generates. The same can be done for strikes of any kind. This is best when combined with the previous two. The key is to block in a way that is destructive to structure. Not just blccking or attacking the limb that as kicking or striking, but actually destroying structure by doing so. (Totokan and or Timbilan can do this for PSP folks.)

Fourth, close the gap, attack, change angle, destroy structure, and then monitor additional attacks by putting your hands or feet in ready positions to deal with additional attacks by monitoring the zones from which they generate. Additionally, by closing the gap and catching or locking the attacker you can nullify many follow up attacks. This is only a good option if you haven't already and aren't able to destroy the opponent. I don't advocate this over hitting the attacker repeatedly or breaking down there structure but it does work if you close the gap but are unable to effectivel attack. (Tangkapan and Kuncian for PSP folks.) Locking requires more skill than the opponent catching does not.

Fifth, if this isn't working for you, learn to control the range of the fight so that you can break away when you want to or close or use the tools you want to use and are comfortable using. Do not fight the other persons fight. This is hard to learn especially if you get hit but you are still better to fight your best fight than to fight their best fight.

Sixth, be ready to take it to the end. Be willing to close, over-run, take a hit, and get close enough to move beyond injuring to killing. Intent to do harm as quickly as possible is necessary. To what level needs to be determined responsibly. If there is a weapon involved on the part of the attacker you need be willing to move to killing. (Pembasmian for PSP folks).

Those are my suggestions. Which one works for you will depend on your skill and understanding and of course the attackers skill and understanding.

Guru Stark
Pencak Silat Pertempuran