Of course, when I say the majority, it has to be understood that my scope is not large. I've been involved with several martial arts at depth and a bunch more in passing.
Then there are those that I only know based on magazine articles, books, videos, etc. Of which, I don't actually watch, read, or buy any more—I'm over it. That being said, it's quite possible that the information I have is out of date.
However, of the several that I have personally studied at depth, very few ever address in an organized, intentional way, the actual process of engaging—although many assume skills at this piece and focus on the engagement component.
That's a natural consideration and at first blush it seems complete. However, it has in my own fighting, not addressed all that there is a need to know and a need for skills at.
In reality, what I encountered in many of the engagements that I'd had—both inside and outside of training and against trained and untrained fighters—was that much of what is critical takes place during the process of engaging.
Think about it like this...if you have been in a fight and you've been hit, it gives the person who hit you an advantage typically. How big that advantage is, depends on the hit and the target.
I've seen people get knocked out cold with one hit. I've come close to that myself. I've also seen people get overwhelmed after they have been hit the first time by an attackers follow ups. I've also been the one overwhelming someone.
It's not always the case, but with regularity the advantage will go to the individual(s) who land the first blow or blows.
Now imagine if your ability to understand that process of engaging were increased as both the receiver and giver. Do you think that might make a difference?
In Pencak Silat Pertempuran we call it Entering or Masuk. Through the study of the process of engaging many other small but important areas of learning begin to manifest themselves.
One such example is the understanding of telegraphic and non-telegraphic movement in both offensive and “defensive” actions. True, meaningful understanding of this one aspect can dramatically change your abilities in combat.
A second example is a deeper understanding of the nature of defensive versus offensive engagement. Acting defensively in a manner that will bring you combative success requires certain skills that are specifically for “turning the tables,” such as:
- Recognizing when an attacker is committing to attack, versus merely feinting
- Offering, as bait, options to draw an attack
- Being aware of attack generation points
- Learning to effectively Zone attacks
- Countering attacks
- Learning how the type of attack can determine your ability to counter. Jab v. Hook v. Lunging
- Proper range for tool and maintaining capable countering range
- Reactive v. Active action
- Moving mentally from defense to offense
Likewise, acting in offense requires a deeper understanding of your own skill sets. Such as:
- Telegraphing (as mentioned earlier)
- (Most of the above skills converted to offense)
- Pre-Altercation Warning Signs
These are just a few off the top of my head. You must be able to understand all three phases of engagement. And honestly, even post engagement training is good. Things like meditation, counseling, legal issues, etc.
All of this organized process eventually leads someone to broader more organic study but that's a whole different topic.
Pencak Silat Pertempuran