Defensive approach vs. offensive approach

Kung Fu Wang

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Some people like to train defensively. Others like to train offensively (such as myself). In the following 2 set of videos,

- 1 is using defensive approach.
- 2 is using offensive approach.

Which approach do you prefer and why? Would you like to share your opinion on this?

1. Defensive approach - Your opponent attacks you. You counter.



2. Offensive approach - You attack your opponent. Your opponent responds.


 

isshinryuronin

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While not responding directly to the videos, this is my take on the subject.

IMO, in regard to technique, it is largely a matter of semantics. For example, if an opponent punches/attempts to grab me and I do an outward block to thwart him, is this defensive? But, if I do an outside block to his lead guard arm to open him up to a reverse punch, is this offensive? Same technique, same outcome - outward block moving his arm aside. Is the difference simply one of who is taking the initiative in the exchange? This is one way to look at it.

To further confuse things, what if in the first example my outward block results in injury to the attacker's arm? Can it still be called "defensive?" Or in the second example, isn't my setup for the reverse punch acting as a defense for a potential counterattack?

The line between offensive defense and defensive offense is murky and ill-defined when talking about technique. This is why, to me, the issue of defense and offense has nothing to do with technique and is all about mental/spiritual attitude. In fact, having a strong, offensive and confident attitude may make a potential attacker back off.

I see it all being offensive. For me, defense is merely a part of offense, aiding in subduing the opponent. They really merge into a single entity, and after one's beginner years, it makes no sense to see "defense" as a separate entity. It's all in the mind and decisive execution.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

Kung Fu Wang

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For example, if an opponent punches/attempts to grab me and I do an outward block to thwart him, is this defensive?
The difference can be whether you wait for your opportunity, or you try to create your opportunity.

So, if you use a hard block to hurt your opponent's punching arm is still a defensive approach.

In plain English, whether you wait for your girlfriend to call you, or you call your girlfriend.
 
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wab25

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When an art or training style is said to be "defensive" that is marketing. If it is a martial art, then it is teaching you how to kill, maim, subdue, break another person. These days, some people don't like to feel like they are learning to fight.... so it goes down easier for them to say that they are learning a "defensive art," or that their training is "defensive."

From the videos shown.... what is really being asked is.... do you wait for the other guy to grab you or do you grab the other guy? As drop bear said: yes.

I get it, sometimes it makes you feel better, to say that you train offensively, so you always grab first. Again this is either marketing or you are not being honest with yourself. Do you really feel that no one could ever grab you? Even in the middle of a fight, they will never grab you? If you think you are that good.... you are not being honest with yourself. One of the things good fighters do is learn to work out of bad positions. They do not think that they are good enough, that no one will put them in that position... rather they learn to deal with it, so that it does not matter if you get them there. That means that some of their training means that they start out in bad positions. How do you learn to escape a pin, if you never work out of a pin? If nobody that you train with can pin you.... you need better training partners. I promise, there are people out there, who can pin you... or grab you.... or throw you...
 
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Kung Fu Wang

Kung Fu Wang

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May be the simple question can be asked as:

When you and your opponent are on guard, do you

1. wait for your opponent to punch you? or
2. try to open your opponent's guard and punch him?

Is 1:2 = 50%:50%, or 30%:70%, or 70%:30%?

Do you train how to throw more? Or do you train how to counter a throw more?

How to throw:


How to counter a throw:

 
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Kung Fu Wang

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In wrestling, are you willing to spend a lot of energy trying to create your opportunity?



Or you just want to save energy and wait for that opportunity?

 

Tony Dismukes

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In wrestling, are you willing to spend a lot of energy trying to create your opportunity?



Or you just want to save energy and wait for that opportunity?

For throwing, these days I tend to be more conservative and look for the opportunity to counter. That's because throwing is the most energy intensive aspect of martial arts and I'm asthmatic and arthritic and out of shape, but I have a pretty good base and reflexes.

For striking I tend to be more aggressive, because punching takes less energy than throwing.

For groundwork, I'm pretty much always defending and attacking at the same time. It's more a strategic game of continuously improving my position relative to my opponent.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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For throwing, these days I tend to be more conservative and look for the opportunity to counter. That's because throwing is the most energy intensive aspect of martial arts and I'm asthmatic and arthritic and out of shape, but I have a pretty good base and reflexes.
In the throwing art, there is a set of "lazy person throwing skill" that include:

1. shin bite - you don't need to carry any of your opponent's body weight.
2. single leg - when you have obtained a grip on your opponent, you just wait for him to attack. When your opponent moves in, you grab his leg. This takes no effort at all. This is 100% defense skill.
3. ...
 

Holmejr

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We train offensively as we presume that there will be a weapon used by the perpetrator. We train to nullify the attack as quickly as possible.

As far as Tonys comment on hitting is easier than throwing, we are also from the soften up camp before lock, throw or disarm. Its typically easier to take a knife away from someone whos disabled.

Eskrido De Alcuizar
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JowGaWolf

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My answer to Defensive vs Offensive is this.
800px-Yin_and_Yang_symbol.svg.png


It's better to know how to do both, this leaves you with an offensive and defensive attack strategy. Defense doesn't mean that you won't attack. It may mean that you are waiting for a counter to use as an attack.

Offense and Defense are 2 separate things but both can also be used as it's opposite:

1. Offensive techniques can be deployed as a defensive strategy. When I lose track of my opponents intentions, (where I'm lost at what he or she is going to try to do to me) I can attack not to hit, but to reset my opponent's movement so that I can better defend myself.

2. Defensive techniques can be deployed as an offensive strategy. I can defend myself for the purpose of attacking through the use of counters. Me kicking someone in the ribs as they punch is an example of me reacting defensively (responding to an attack) while attacking.
 

Tony Dismukes

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In the throwing art, there is a set of "lazy person throwing skill" that include:

1. shin bite - you don't need to carry any of your opponent's body weight.
2. single leg - when you have obtained a grip on your opponent, you just wait for him to attack. When your opponent moves in, you grab his leg. This takes no effort at all. This is 100% defense skill.
3. ...
My "lazy person throwing skill" largely consists of staying relaxed with a good base and flowing with my opponent until they get frustrated and make a mistake which allows me to reverse their throwing attempt.

It's not so good if I have a need to take someone down quickly. So I do force myself to do some rounds of more aggressive wrestling. But that wears me out really quickly because of my asthma and poor cardio.
 

Holmejr

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My answer to Defensive vs Offensive is this.
800px-Yin_and_Yang_symbol.svg.png


It's better to know how to do both, this leaves you with an offensive and defensive attack strategy. Defense doesn't mean that you won't attack. It may mean that you are waiting for a counter to use as an attack.

Offense and Defense are 2 separate things but both can also be used as it's opposite:

1. Offensive techniques can be deployed as a defensive strategy. When I lose track of my opponents intentions, (where I'm lost at what he or she is going to try to do to me) I can attack not to hit, but to reset my opponent's movement so that I can better defend myself.

2. Defensive techniques can be deployed as an offensive strategy. I can defend myself for the purpose of attacking through the use of counters. Me kicking someone in the ribs as they punch is an example of me reacting defensively (responding to an attack) while attacking.
And as the student becomes more proficient, there are more options open to them. When someone attacks, lets say with a bat or baton like weapon, imo using an offensive mindset even with your defense will increase your chances of saving our ars more than a purely defensive approach. Even with many years under my belt, Im not proficient enough to be gentle with a weapon welding attacker. Well, Maybe semi gentle奸ol.
IMO of course.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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So I do force myself to do some rounds of more aggressive wrestling. But that wears me out really quickly because of my asthma and poor cardio.
Not allowing your opponent to have good grips on you can take you a lot of energy to achieve that goal. Whether the energy that you spend is economic or not can be hard to judge. It's young guys strategy and that's for sure.

 

Tigerwarrior

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Some people like to train defensively. Others like to train offensively (such as myself). In the following 2 set of videos,

- 1 is using defensive approach.
- 2 is using offensive approach.

Which approach do you prefer and why? Would you like to share your opinion on this?

1. Defensive approach - Your opponent attacks you. You counter.



2. Offensive approach - You attack your opponent. Your opponent responds.


Here's my viewpoint: the best defense is a good offense. You should always have an offensive mindset towards fighting, if you think defensively you are 2 steps behind your attacker. But also train defense too because you might need it one day if everything goes wrong or the situation calls for it. New students should mainly learn defense and a few 1-3 offensive techniques to work on, intermediates should focus more on offense, advanced should be doing 90% offense in their training. The whole goal is to either hit first (which dramatically increases your odds of winning) or take them down and control them. In some situations you might get caught off guard so that's where the base, the solid foundation of defense comes in. But if you hit first you're 2-3 moves ahead, if you are defending you're atleast 2 moves behind. Just my opinion. But if you can win a fight without fighting that's the best victory.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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New students should mainly learn defense and a few 1-3 offensive techniques to work on, intermediates should focus more on offense, advanced should be doing 90% offense in their training.
In SC (Chinese wrestling), it's the reverse.

- New students learn offense.
- Intermediate students learn defense.
- Advance students learn counter.

In Chinese wrestling, people will give credit to those who plays:

1. offense and fails, than
2. defense and wins.

Because 1 will have chance to develop good throwing skill. 2 will never have that chance.

For example, this is learned during day 1.


This is learned about 4 years later.

 

JowGaWolf

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In SC (Chinese wrestling), it's the reverse.

- New students learn offense.
- Intermediate students learn defense.
- Advance students learn counter.
This is a similar approach to how I taught my sparring classes. Everything was geared towards using Jow Ga Offensively. Defense and Countering were kind of the same things for us. However in the regular classes. Defense was taught first. When I teach now. I start with offense.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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Here's my viewpoint: the best defense is a good offense. You should always have an offensive mindset towards fighting, if you think defensively you are 2 steps behind your attacker.
For a while, I thought I was the only one who has this attitude. Glad to hear some agreement here.

When people bring legal issue into MA discussion, it's difficult to discuss certain strategy after that.

For example, those 2 guys did in the following video is 100% illegal. Should they be thrown into jail?

When someone trains MA and uses in the battlefield, he will need to attack, attack, and attack.

 
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