A Strong Argument for Close Quarters Range
It will be stated in the following paragraphs, that Close Quarters (also referred to as Trapping Range) is by far the most effective and efficient range of self-defense. Remember, this is the range where one is at a maximum distance of an arm length away from their opponent. Common tools in this Area include elbows, knees, head butts, eye gouges, foot stomps, shin smashes, sweeps, and even bites. What about kick boxing or ground fighting? They all serve a purpose, however, trapping range lends a strong argument to why street self-defense should focus on this range. It consists of the following twelve main reasons.
The Amount of Options. The moves and tools used in trapping range simply outnumber the amount of options in any other Area (range) of Combat. There are only a certain amount of kicks, angles of punches, and even grappling tools used in the ranges other than trapping range. It is mostly due to the close distance which creates more options, contact points, targets within reach, etc.
Degree of Options. Because trapping range presents many options, it also presents a variety of options to injure to a degree. Instead of a head butt, one could try a back sweep. Or a light foot stomp in place of applying a knee to the thigh.
Quality of Tools. Would a person rather be punched or head butted? Kicked or kneed? It is obvious that the quality of Close Quarter range tools are more effective than other types of tools when in a serious confrontation. This is the main reason why “trapping range tools” such as elbows and head butts are not allowed in “no rules” competitions, as they are “too” effective.
Efficiency of Tools. Close Quarter range tools are also more efficient. Do not be mistaken, there are fast kicks and punches. However, the point is sheer distance. Compare the distance that a high kick to the face has to travel, compared to a knee to the groin. As Bruce used to say, “I wouldn’t kick you in the face, as much as I would punch you in the toe”.
Easy to Learn. One of the reasons why law enforcement and military elite like this range, is the fact that the range is easy to learn. How hard it is to smash someone’s face with a head butt, or to strike them with an elbow? Of course, there are proper body mechanics that must be taught, but they are quite simple, compared to complex techniques seen in other ranges.
Little Maintenance. One of the best quotes from Sifu Paul Vunak when talking about this point is, “Are you going to head butt a bag for two hours a day…”. Meaning that, the tools used in trapping range need little upkeep. It is similar to riding a bike. One does not have to practice it, they just ride after they have learned how. Without maintenance, even reverse punches and submission holds get a little rusty.
Size Does Not Matter. No jokes please, because actually in this case it does not matter. Bruce, being a smaller and lighter individual, needed to find a range that let him fight “equally” against those that were bigger than him. A great example is women’s self-defense. Trapping range permits a woman who might be under 5’ and only 100 lbs. to severely injure a man who is 6’8”, 350 lbs.
Strength Is Not As Necessary. Of course, the stronger one is, the more they will be able to inflict damage (assuming proper body mechanics). The point is that even “weaker” people can inflict massive pain in trapping range. Imagine catching a knee in the groin from an 80 year old fragile lady! It will still put a person who can bench 500 lbs. down for the count! Will a thigh kick by the same little old lady put this “muscle man” down and out? Probably not.
No Space Needed. Close Quarter range tools do not need a ten foot radius cleared around the practitioner, like a spinning side kick may. One can use the simple game plan to enter in from a longer range (which will be discussed later), or easily use the range already given in a closed environment.
No Second Chance Needed. People get up from punches, kicks, and get out of many submission holds. One’s opponent is definitely less likely to get up from head butts, elbows to the temples, knees to the low line, or even continue fighting after a bite or eye gouge.
Small Membership. Even with the strong growth of JKD over the last decade, it still remains a “hard to find art” in most of the world. Whether it is because of false stigmas or other reasons is unimportant. If there is any “good” result from this scarcity, it may be that of “trapping range ignorance”. This means that those who do know about it, have a huge advantage.
Easy Target. One has to be on some serious hallucinogenic drugs to miss a strike using tools such as elbows, knees, and head butts. Once again, this is because these tools are launched from a close range. How many tries would one need to shoot a bull’s eye from a foot away? The point is to stay off drugs, and use Close Quarters.)
For more info on self-defense moves you could use, please check out: http://www.FiveWaysofAttack.com.