A shock I know: The strategic use of backing up
Okay I think what some of the readers, or lurkers as they have been dubbed, may have missed is that pretty much everyone agrees on many things when it comes to backing up.
There are some disagreements that is also clear, such as what to focus training on the most etc.
This thread is not for discussing those differences, there are more than enough.
What I would like to focus on is where we do agree.
Backing up has been described as creating space, controlling the distance and disengaging.
All of these descriptions are correct.
I am coming to prefer the term disengaging.
You are attacked.
You might have been surprised.
You may be in a poor strategic position.
You may not be sure how serious the situation is.
You may not even be sure it isn’t a friend jacking around.
For whatever reason you decide (usually instantly) not to engage at that moment.
So you back up.
You create space.
The purpose is to gain some control and what you want to gain control of is the timing of the engagement or reengagement. If YOU decide it should happen. This is the control you want to get.
You may disengage and do it in a manner that leaves the person not wanting to continue and therefore you can verbally defuse the situation.
You may disengage and make an escape. Highly recommend when facing multiple attackers or armed attackers.
However; most of the time you can only come out of a self protection situation by winning (or rather surviving) the engagement.
So you back up to disengage because you decided engaging at that time was not in your best interest. Keeping control of that space (distance) you can decide if and when you will time the reengagement.
I once saw a show where the head of the Hong Kong police was being interviewed after he successfully defended himself against about 18 attackers.
When asked what he did first, he replied “ran away.”
The interviewer (this was in the height of the Bruce Lee movies) was shocked.
The police chief said, “There were 18 of them, of course I ran.. I ran until I reach a very narrow alley then I stood my ground where they could only come at me two at a time. After I finished about nine of them the rest ran away.”
This has always been a good example for me of strategy and the strategic use of distance to time your engagement with the enemy under better circumstances.
To me, and I am sure all the others, backing up or distancing is used to disengage because (for whatever reason) you have decided the time for engaging was wrong. You use the disengagement to either escape the threat or time your reengagement so that you win.
When you are successful in gaining that control the disengagement is successful.
So for all those reading the arguments over backing up I would like you to also know that there is actually a great deal we all agree with, but there are areas of strategy or frequency that may differ.
Since Jim has a good post going on going forward I thought I would start one for the strategy of disengaging or backing up.
This thread is for posting the areas of agreement on backing up.