Defensive Tactics Strategies

Besides applying the mechanical elements described above, strikers use particular strategies to help ensure their strikes are effective.


  • Combinations: Strikers may combine techniques in a series to ensure one or more strikes impact their opponents.
  • These attacks are thrown at various targets on the body, with the greatest force typically thrown with a particular technique in the sequence.
  • Level of attack:
    1. The height of the attack is often varied, such as a jab to the head followed by a kick to the ribs.
    2. By varying the level of attack, strikers open the guard of their opponent.
  • Timing and Rhythm: Experienced strikers learn through repetition and muscle memory when (not just how) to launch particular strikes, based on the circumstances they are facing.
    1. Fights and fighters may have ebbs and flow in momentum and action that become predictable.
    2. Disrupting this flow may give the striker an advantage.
  • Direct line: “Telegraphing” refers to moving the striking body part prior to actually launching the blow.
    1. Telegraphing signals the intent to the opponent and increases the likelihood the strike will not be effective.
    2. In general, the striking weapon should move first, with the body driving behind it.
    3. This requires proper distancing and footwork.
  • Deception: Strikers use feints or distractions to disguise the timing or direction of their attacks.
    1. Stomping the foot, noise, frequent hand movement, head movement, switching the guard position, etc. are common feints.
    2. Using feints, then attacking at multiple levels and with various techniques may help deceive the opponent, defeating their guard.
  • The dominant angle of attack: Achieving a positional advantage relative to your opponent.


“The ultimate goal in fighting is to utilize footwork to acquire a dominant angle of attack.”

” He defines this as “…a position from which you can strike your opponent, and your opponent is out of position to hit you with a strike…you want your hips facing your opponent and your opponent’s hips facing away from yours.”