THE RHYTHM OF COMBAT
by Alvin Kan
Geoff Bennett Martial Arts International
Trapping range has been said to be the most combative
of ranges. The reason being is the weapons that can be employed
(Legs, Fists, Knees, Elbows, Head, Forearm, Shoulder, Hip etc)
and the short reaction time to defend against rapid fire attacks
in this range. Combat in this range is often fast and furious.
Combat has its own rhythm comprising of beats. In this context
a beat is defined as the periodisation of a strikes lifecycle from
a guarding position to extension and returning to the guarding
Progressive Protection Systems uses main drills
from other systems to prepare their practitioners for the realities
of combat in this range. These include Sticky Hands both single
and double, Hubud, push hands and lap sao drill. Filipinos stick
and knife fighting drills such as Sambrada are also employed to
aid in proficiency in this range. A variety of sparring drills
are used with various parameters to highlight and heighten particular
attributes needed in this range for combat.
Where PPS differs is that at the advanced level
PPS aims to break contact immediately after it has been made. Master
Bennett terms this principle "detached sensitivity".
Many systems that are active within trapping range tend to overemphasize
limb immobilization. PPS is more driven by the hit motivation,
that is, to hit on the earliest beat possible.
Complex trap combinations, which often appear
very impressive in the clinical environment of the training hall,
fall to pieces in the heat of battle. During this period, adrenalin
causes motor function to lose its form. Clean dojo techniques are
grossly exaggerated under this combat stress. Also complex trap
combinations tend to delay the hit to a beat well into the cycle
Sticking is de-emphasized in the advance levels.
If initial contact is made an advanced PPS practitioner will be
able to tell where there is an open target instantly from the direction
of the force. A strike is instantly launched to the open target.
This is invariably done on the half beat giving the opponent little
chance to defend.
PPS's emphasis on developing short power from
the co-ordination of the body's mass allows it to strike on half
beat whereas combat is often traded on full beating functions.