Saturday, January 05, 2013

SELF-DEFENSE: Lee Aldridge - Eye Jabs, Telegraphing, and Pre-Fight Movement

 Eye Jabs, Telegraphing, and Pre-Fight Movement
 By Lee Aldridge

The following is a condensation of a recent conversation between SouthNarc and myself.

We had a previous discussion in Atlanta about the use of eye jabs. When I presented the eye jab to the Atlanta class, I spoke about the advantage of NOT needing a "power base" from which to throw the strike. I had Roger bend me backward over a table, and proceeded to throw the eye jab with the typical whip-like delivery. A firm stance is not needed for this blow, since there is no need to entrain bodyweight behind it.

This presentation sparked one of those magical synergistic conversations, where we came to some conclusions about several things.

We often hear discussion about observation of "pre-assault cues" from the Bad Guy. We have all read (or participated live in SN's great class presentation) about the various hints that precede a physical attack. This, in turn, led to the observation that we often convey the same pre-assault cues as we prepare to launch OUR OWN opening blows. The conversation returned to the subject of the eye jab as being a non-telegraphic blow, in that it does not require the user to achieve a set stance before throwing.

Let's take the example of boxers. A typical scene will have the boxers circling each other, sizing up the distance and deciding the correct moment to throw the punch. When it's time, Boxer A plants his feet and launches toward the opponent with his punch. This cessation of the circling and the assumption of the "stance" is the cue that the blow is imminent. Think about it, and consider this as you watch boxers in the future. Is there not that one moment where it is obvious that the blow is coming? Sure, the speed with which it is thrown, and the total time involved, are short. However, the assumption of a stance is the first step in the chain of blow delivery.

Now, let's apply this concept to the citizen/criminal encounter.

You are approached by an "unknown", and immediately proceed to move quickly to your 3 or 9 o'clock (being a good little tactical student and all....). You realize that the BG's encroachment is continuing, and he is not heeding your requests for distance. You decide to throw the pre-emptive strike. You prepare your chin jab or punch, and STOP YOUR CIRCULAR MOVEMENT. Can this not be interpreted by a savvy bad guy as YOUR pre-assault cue???

The setting of the feet and the launch toward your opponent is an almost universal indicator that the blow is coming. It may or may not make the difference to your success, depending on a few factors, but you have provided him with a tiny head-start warning of your intentions.

The eye jab, returning to our previous topic, requires no such planting of the feet/stance to gather power. In much the same way that Muhammad Ali continued circling his opponents and landed his jab, we can deliver a blow with far less telegraphic content. True, Ali's jabs were not as powerful as if he had used forward aggressive power tactics, but he sure landed a high percentage of them! I would attribute this success to the lack of pre-punch telegraphing, as well as his great skill. When you combine those two factors together, you can see how Ali seemed to so overwhelmingly dominate opponents and make his blows seem effortless to land.

Should we pause, and reconsider the eye jab as a tool for use when we wish to launch the first blow and increase our chance of successful landing? Should we also realize that the eye jab is probably not a fight-ender, and look at it instead as a "bridge" which allows us to obtain the set stance and begin the sequence of power blows (without telegraphing the onset of action on our part!)???

Once thrown, the eye jab GIVES us the set stance we want. However, the usual telegraphic penalty we incur when attempting other first strikes is absent. When coupled with the good tactics of circular observation/avoidance during unknown encounters, it sure seems to me to be a good idea to begin the festivities with the eye jab.

Of course, the bad guy may rush you suddenly and eliminate the distance. This will make a non-telegraphic response unnecessary. In this case, your ability to maintain circular motion will allow you to respond more appropriately to the incoming charge. If you had committed your weight to a "stance", you would have to meet the charge in a more "head-on" fashion, making takedown attempts, etc. much harder to deal with.

As usual, the comradery and community of TPI produces some very interesting food for thought. I will be pondering the ramifications of this topic and discussion for some time.

My thanks to SN for continuing to push me further into the codification of material, thereby benefiting everyone through better information transfer.

Thanks, SN.



My deepest appreciation for Lee's kind permission in reposting.

You can contact Lee Aldridge care of his site:



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