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The Force Continuum
Part 6: Impact Moves
If your less-than-lethal weapons option didn't work, or you didn't have time to access your pepper spray, it's time to go into martial arts-mode with strikes and kicks, either as your primary defense or as an entry into a powerful throw or lock.


 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Introduction
• Part 2: Body Movement
• Part 3: Communication
• Part 4: Control Moves
• Part 5: Less-than-lethal Weapons
• Part 6: Impact Moves
• Part 7: Lethal Weapons
• Part 8: Summary
 Join the Discussion
"Normally a 'Martial Artist' (in the sense of the word) would not get involved in a fight, unless it were for serious `combative` reasons."
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• Color Codes for Combat Readiness
• Combatives: Military Martial Arts
• Lua: Hawaiian Bone Breaking
 From Other Guides
• About Law Enforcement
• About Psychology


Ah, finally we get to use our martial arts training. Generally, if you follow the force continuum faithfully, you won't get to this point--you would've used your less-than-lethal weapon already. But there are individuals who don't respond to pain compliance from a kubaton or pepper spray. What do you do then?

The answer, of course, is to use your training to defend yourself. Many styles teach set responses to attacks: "If he gets you in a bear hug, you stomp on his foot, then palm-heel strike to the chin". However, real altercations don't aways work the same way as in training.

Better to be ready to improvise, should you be presented with an opponent who is bigger/smaller/faster/wilder than your usual training partners. You can still memorize your set responses in the dojo, but be ready to use them in different ways and combinations.

Combat-oriented techniques, like those derived from military combatives, are the way to go at this level of the force continuum. At this point, you've been surprised by your attacker, and are just one step away from using lethal weapons. Your attacker won't respond to negotiation or control moves, and you can't use your less-than-lethal weapon, for whatever reason. This is where techniques like eye gouges, ear rips, or bone breaking come in--you need to stop your opponent fast.

These may sound like barbaric techniques, but at this level of the force continuum you want to stop the fight as quickly as possible. Things are serious now, and a prolonged battle could place you in danger. Also, if you've escalated to combatives because your less-than-lethal weapon was ineffective, your opponent might be high on drugs or otherwise immune to pain. You'll need to remove his ability to fight.

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