Reality-Based Self Defense and Personal Protection Resources
Reality-Based Self Defense and Personal Protection Resources

The Beating, the Breaking, or the Fall from a Great Height?

The intelligent use of violence involves every means available — all bets are off and no holds barred. You literally do whatever you want to the man (this is, after all, what we mean by ‘free’ in ‘free fighting’). We have the ages-old rock to the head; we can break his joints by putting the torque in Torquemada; we can use the happy constancy of gravity and other assorted physical laws to line up the ultimate rock to the head, by throwing him into the regolithic embrace of Mother Earth.

But which one is better? Which one is a more intelligent use? Is there veracity to the implied hierarchy of striking, joint breaking and throwing?

The answer to all of those questions lies in the definition of injury in violence: body weight in motion applied through a target. We all know that injury is the only thing that means anything in violence, it is where violence begins and simultaneously ends, it is the ultimate goal. We also know that striking, joint breaking and throwing all result in injury when done correctly. What most people don’t realize is that these three seemingly disparate ‘techniques’ for causing injury are really all one in the same — they are three different expressions of the same idea.

Striking is easy enough for people to grok; body weight in motion through a target, the rock to the head. Or, to ‘fancify’ it, the fist through the ribs, the stomp to the throat. Every human being has an innate understanding of this, whether they know it or not. Add a stick or a knife to the outer end of this and we have what looks like choreography for the six o’clock news. Everybody, everywhere, is doing it!

Joint breaking is where almost everyone gets left behind. It puts the ‘fancy’ in ‘fancy pants.’ Now you must possess the wileyness of the monkey, the speed of the cheetah and the suppleness of the cockroach, right? Probably not, given that an excellent joint break can occur ‘accidentally’ in an American football game from nothing more advanced than one guy falling on another.

Throwing is even more ‘advanced’ than joint breaking, right? I mean, it’s last on the list, and who really has the inhuman strength to pick up and hurl a 300 pound screaming man to the deck? Well, very few people, if you put it in those terms. If we change those terms, say to defining a throw as an uncontrolled fall into the ground (uncontrolled for him, not you), then literally anyone can do it. If a two-year-old can trip a grown man such that he ends up with a broken wrist, then so can you.

All three of these are still body weight in motion applied through a target. Striking is obvious because the body weight is yours and the target is something obvious, like a knee or a groin. Joint breaking is still body weight in motion through a target, only now the target is a joint that is stressed at its pathological limit, i.e., ‘ready to blow.’ Throwing is the only truly deceptive one — you will typically use your body weight in motion to get him off balance and falling, using his body weight in motion applied through a target (him falling on his head) with the striking surface being the planet rather than one of your body parts.

Let’s take a look at a truly simple application of all of these ideas simultaneously: you’ve injured him, he’s down on one knee, his back to you, slightly off to your right. You have his left wrist held fast in both of your hands, his arm straight out from his body (parallel to the ground). What happens if you lunge through his arm, striking the back of his extended elbow with your hip, and then rotate 180˚ to your left (a lunge with a full pivot into the other forward stance). Well, let’s see: his elbow will break and he’ll be hurled to the ground by the drive and full rotation.

Is it a strike, a joint break, or a throw?

Rhetorical, I know, because you already have the answer — it’s all three at once. Body weight in motion applied through a target results, in this case, a strike that breaks the elbow and powers a throw.

So which one is superior? Does this mean that striking ‘comes first?’

Hardly. What it means is that joint breaking and throwing are just special cases of striking — striking can’t come before either because they are themselves strikes.

There is no hierarchy. There is only ever body weight in motion applied through a target. It’s how you mix up those two elements that decides whether it ends up being a vanilla strike, or a broken joint, or a hard fall.

And injury being injury, they are all equal in the eyes of the ER radiologist — and so they should be to you.

Tim Larkin

Tim Larkin is the creator of Target Focus Training, the #1 Self-Protection training system.

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