Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Understanding "Timeline": An Introduction

An oft repeated term we use in Krav Maga is "Timeline."  In most cases, timeline refers to the distance of the assailant.  This distance has an integral role in how we defend ourselves.  There is a significant difference, for example, in how we respond to someone 10 meters away running toward us waving his fist or a weapon(run!), compared to someone within arm's length throwing a punch to your face.

Of course, there are other factors besides distance.  Do you have an escape route? When did you perceive the danger? Are you alone or do you have to protect someone such as family members?
Here is a general introduction to  Timeline and Distance

Very Long Distance: This varies but an example would be more than 4 meters or you see someone running at you half a block away.   If there are escape routes and you are mobile, "hightail it outta there" (that means run)!

Long: Kicking Distance - when you can reach them with your legs but not your hands.  If they are approaching with aggression and you see it, why wait until they get close enough to punch, grab, slash, stab etc....?  Effective preemptive kicks can maintain distance and hurt or even disable an attacker.  This is usually a "preemptive strike" where you are striking first to protect yourself.

Medium: The assailant is within arm's length so he can grab, punch, stab.... You will likely have to perform a preemptive strike(e.g. punch) or a hand or leg defense of some variety (block, deflect, slide).   In the picture below, Avi Moyal is defending a knife attack by blocking and punching at the same time.  The attacker is too close to kick and too far to effectively use a short-range striking tool such as an elbow strike.  

Avi Moyal blocks and punches at medium range.  

Short Distance: the assailant is very close, often grabbing, holding, choking...  Kicks and punches are rarely effective this close so it is time to elbow, knee, head butt, pinch or bite!  Below, a woman is using an elbow strike against an attacker at very close range.

Elbow strike against rear bear hug.

Self-defense training must emphasize timeline as assaults, and our perception of assaults are not predictable.  Prepare for as many possibilities as you can imagine.