Combatives: A Logical Set of Combinations


In combatives, sport or otherwise, combinations (rapid succession of effective strikes) allow one to capitalize on each previously landed strike while putting the threat further behind the “recovery and counter curve”.  Ultimately landing a good set of combinations sets up the angle to finish the fight.  A good set of combinations is paramount to becoming a skilled self-defense fighter.


Effective sets of combatives combinations do the following:


Utilize the Concept of “Destruction by Degree” – There is a such think as beating a dead horse.  Destruction by degree ensures you are A.  moral by only destroying to the degree necessary for the situation, and B. that you save energy by ending the threat quickly, allowing yourself to orient for others . . .   Considering threats come in multiples, staying efficient is a good idea. – See Master Ken’s video on (Re-Stomp the Groin below).



Exhibit Rapid Succession – Combinations that happen in rapid succession keep the threat from “catching up” and recovering to counter attack.


Set the Angle – Combinations that “set the angle” for the knock out or “fight ender” work best.  Unconscious threats tend to not fight back.  While combinations won’t always lead to a knock out/incapacitation, but they should always help you work in that direction.


Capitalize on Simplicity – Effective sets of combinations are simple in nature.


Transcend Range – Combinations that don’t help one enter into a closer range and “set the angle” for the knock out, aren’t effective.  A good set of combinations will help the self-defense fighter get through kicking, punching, trapping and clinch range in a relatively quick manner.  50 joint lock flow combinations are great for attribute development, but the reality is that you’ll probably only use one joint lock from a grab before you land your first combination strike and end the street fight.


Exploit different lines – Effective sets of combinations exploit the lower half of the body as well as the upper half.  The Filipino martial arts utilize short range kicks that come from the art of “Panajakman” that are used in conjunction with punches and elbow strikes.  Western Boxing combinations force the opponent into an off balance stance which cause them to fall a lot easier.  Combinations should ALWAYS directly or indirectly exploit  the threat from the waist down as well as the waist up.


Utilize Economy of Motion – Individual combination techniques that seem to “flow” from technique to technique vs. a hard style – strike reset, strike reset, strike reset, not only save energy, but speed up the process of ending a threat and minimize vulnerability to counter striking.  Think of a seasoned boxer transitioning in warm up before a fight from a jab, cross, hook and uppercut.  That’s economy of motion.


Bottom Line – If you combine and train the concepts of logical combinations with the previous post, a person can become pretty darn good in the area of stand up combatives regardless of one’s style.  If you don’t already, get some training, configure yourself a set of simple, effective, “go-to” combinations for solving the stand up, hand to hand threat.  The concepts are simple, the dedication to training is hard.

  • Irish

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