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Counter Offensive Tactics

Ambush Attacks

"There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time." George S Patton

Section 1. Context and Objectives

What is an Ambush Attack?
From the Oxford English Dictionary Definition of ambush Pronunciation: /amb/ noun

a surprise attack by people lying in wait in a concealed position:seven members of a patrol were
killed in an ambush [mass noun]:there might be terrorists waiting in ambush verb [with object]

make a surprise attack on (someone) from a concealed position:they were ambushed and taken
prisoner by the enemy Origin:

Middle English (in the sense 'place troops in hiding in order to surprise an enemy'): from Old French embusche (noun), embuschier (verb), based on a late Latin word meaning 'to place in a wood'; related to bush1
From Wikipedia An ambush is a long-established military tactic, in which the aggressors (the ambushing force) take advantage of concealment and the element of surprise to attack an unsuspecting enemy from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or behind hilltops

So an ambush attack is an asymmetric strategy (not a symmetric or fair, square go, gentlemans boxing style test of skill type of duel) in which the prey is attacked from a position of considerable advantage by the predator with the intent to do maximum harm. This type of attack does NOT represent an intent to posture or psychologically dominate for social gain but to deliver violence, simply as a means to an end, to further an objective. A very dangerous scenario. Therefore, strictly speaking, the whole remit of self protection ONLY deals with ambush style attacks. Self protection being defined here as : a desperate struggle for survival in which all other options have been exhausted and in which the attacker has chose the context, the time, the place, the numbers, the conditions and the practitioner is left no option but is forced to retaliate with the judicious application of violence. That being said, Ambush Attacks in the context of this video tutorial will focus specifically on attacks that come from the side or rear. If an attack is coming from the side or rear we are making the assumption that we have fucked up (to use the technical term for failing to follow standard operational procedures) and are now into damage control. It happens.

What are the objectives? Given the context the objectives couldnt be simpler: 1. respond quickly;try not to get badly hurt 2. respond quickly; try to badly hurt the other guy To expand:

Our objectives are to find and develop useful training methods that will allow us to weather the storm and survive an initial ambush attack without: -getting knocked out, -sustaining too many serious injuries, -getting knocked down, -compromising our position. This is priority 1 : don't get killed. Priority number 2 is then to find ways to drill into our unconscious muscle memory a rapid, ergonomic, explosive, violent and (hopefully) overwhelming response that is immediately and simultaneously aggressive AND protective and that fulfils all the micro-objectives mentioned above. Train with Offence in mind; deliver multiple injuries in rapid succession. Attack the attacker.

Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more. George S Patton
It's a tall order. Which is why when people get seriously hurt in street fights its usually as a result of some manifestation of an Ambush Attack and why we must take this scenario, very, very seriously. BE CLEAR: An Ambush Attack is always a SELF PROTECTION scenario by default. I don't care if you are in any form of ostensibly human-punch-bag role or not (policeman, psych nurse, nightclub security or one of those guys who stops the guests killing each other on chat shows highlighting the dark doings of village idiots and inbreds) if someone hits you from the side or the rear it is a potentially LETHAL assault. They can be assumed to have extremely ill intent towards you and your initial reaction at least should use the highest level of force to protect yourself in order to survive. If having quickly regained control of the scenario you feel its safe to move back to a control and restraint protocol, which for obvious reasons always lives in a totally different mental and physical box to a self protection protocol then please do so. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to have a thorough understanding of the laws of your country and state as they pertain to self defence and to always act lawfully.

But DO take the initial attack as a potentially lethal assault. Dont take my word for it base this assumption on research of the ample cctv evidence out there of people being seriously injured and killed in ambush style street attacks.

Section 2. Five Simple Ways to Avoid Being Ambush Attacked

We are going to assume that all the usual methods of avoidance, awareness and de-escalation have failed and that you are now in the precious seconds before you think an attack is imminent OR we assume that you are in a fight with just one person and at risk of being ambushed by someone else whilst engaging with the first person. 1. Pre fight : do not let anyone drift out of your peripheral vision and into your flanks. You may or may not be experiencing a bowel loosening shit storm of terror internally, your adrenaline may or may not be spiking (you can and should be controlling this emotional fear-response by using the Core Visualisation and Violent Intent Training Drills which form the Essential components of Neuro Combative Conditioning.) BUT YOU MUST NOT allow yourself to verbally engage and get focussed tunnel vision on the person you are arguing or reasoning with whilst letting his associates silently drift out of your peripheral vision to flank you. The human entity, taken as a piece of machinery, has evolved to very dexterously deal with problems in front of it. It is NOT good at dealing with problems to the side of it and next to useless at dealing with problems behind it. Our eyes and arms and fingers face forward. Our main sensory organs are at the front. Our main options of movement are forward facing. Wherever possible : Face your attacker. Keep the fucker in front of you. If during the unfolding of a situation you notice the miscreants moving to your sides you must verbally stop them or move to a position where you cannot be flanked. Do your best to maintain 360 degree and 3 dimensional awareness and skilfully use your environment. Easier said than done. Try. Remember. You should be facing all potential threats at all times. If you cannot verbally stop them or alter your position and they start splitting your focus and getting behind you then you MUST ACCEPT THE

REALITY OF THE SITUATION: You are losing control of the scenario. Do not go into denial and continue to talk or think your way out of a problem that only decisive immediate action can get you out of. You should drop any further attempt to avoid violence and either try and sprint your way back out of this archetypal dead end dark alley of our fear fevered imaginings to a well lit crowded doughnut shop full of policemen or if you cannot then you must advance to contact. Any further delay in the decision will only be of advantage to those who wish you harm. 2. During the fight: do not succumb to task fixation. This isnt an MMA style round of heavy sparring. Depending on where you are fighting you could be contending with multiples, weapons, a non human friendly environment (like a busy road or a construction site), furniture (I have tumbled in a VIP section over those low bloody coaches every club has nowadays) and possibly even dogs. 3.Practise peripheral vision enhancement. If you stretch your arms out either side of your body can you see your hands? Wiggle your fingers and slowly move your hands backwards. At the point you can no longer see your hands you have hit the limit of your peripheral vision. The reason I say wiggle your fingers is because without the rapid movement of finger wiggling your peripheral vision is much tighter. Your hands, without movement will disappear a few degrees sooner. Please try this now. This is because your peripheral vision has evolved to detect the rapid movement of prey or predators at the edge of your field of vision. The sharp central vision controlled by the fovea centralis is what we depend on normally for daily tasks in modern life : reading, watching television, driving etc. As such most of us have a slightly weaker peripheral response. You must develop it consciously. Dont just turn your head all the time to look at things. As a training drill you can try and force your vision to pick things up peripherally without moving your head or even moving your eyes. Peripheral vision is crap at colour distinction but great at detecting fast motion, especially at night. Useful to remember if your working in low light: if you are stuck without a torch remember dont use the normal habit of looking directly at things, use your peripheral vision. You will be able to see 30% more in low light that way. When doing scenario drills train yourself to see without looking at targets moving in your peripheral vision. If you are just doing a normal one-on-one drill train your brain to keep a focus on where other students are. Where you

are in the gym. Where the instructor is. Keep pushing your consciousness OUTWARD. If you constantly banging into people in training then you all need peripheral vision training. A nice training drill is to force students in to training in a tighter space. Even allocate a student to be that evil person who sucker punches people (do it slowly, obviously) or headlocks them or bear hugs them whilst they fight other people. Good drill, good fun, very effective, slightly higher possibility of injury so be careful. Another great peripheral training drill? Old school Boxing. The hook and jab pad drills will train you to react to visual stimuli coming in FAST in your peripheral vision and for you to give an appropriate combative response (duck, layback, or cover). As will normal boxing sparring. 4. Increase your 360 degree awareness. Nobody is fully switched on all the time. I think the colour coding system is mental masturbation that will make you more internally focussed when you should be engaging all faculties on being as externally focussed as possible. I read recently on a self defence blog that you there are only two states of conscious awareness relevant to self protection: -switched on or - switched off. I could not agree more. Multiple shades of grey in states of consciousness are useful on hypnotherapy or meditation courses but are not of much relevance to real world brawls and assaults. Don't over-intellectualise. I have spoken elsewhere about the simple Zen style practise of mindfulness. No need to break out the crystals or grow a beard just yet. Simply allow your conscious mind to be in a continuous feedback loop of reality as the mind perceives it. That is one type of meditation. The most pure and combatively relevant one in my opinion. The one favoured by the Samurai, as it happens, if martial history and culture interest you. Go through all senses and feedback consciously what you can see, hear, feel etc Expand your conscious awareness to what is in front of you (everything you can see and not see) to the left of you and to the right of you and behind you. Example: I can feel my feet in my shoes hit the ground as I am walking

forward and I can see two people approaching me from my left, there is a bus stop on my right, it is a clear day, I think I can hear someone rushing behind me to catch the pedestrian crossing, I can hear the rustle of their shopping bags as they run, as I look ahead of me I can see.... A useful skill and very good for your mental health as well as your awareness training. 5.Keep moving. Whether its an argument or mid fight, its much harder to line up a moving target for an ambush attack. Most of your most vulnerable spots are around your head and throat so if all else fails keep these covered or moving. In ambush scenarios like gang attacks it is most convenient for them to circle you and for you to keep still while they all hit you at the same time. Keep moving your whole body in any direction and keep breaking the circle. Guiding principle? In a multiples/ gang attack scenario: move faster, move further, keep fucking moving.

Section 3. Combative Principles

The combative principles focussed on in this tutorial will be

We must all be consciously working on our ability to react quickly and to act decisively and rapidly.

We want to ensure that we can deliver multiple shots to the opponent effectively and quickly. Think about it from his subjective point of view. He has picked a moment when you are weakest from a position in which he is strongest in order to take you down. You are responding in a way that not only messes up his game plan which will cause shock, but that will put fear, pain and injury into his subjective experience rapidly. We rely on the injuries to shut him down physically and the overwhelm of sudden sensory information to shut him down psychologically.

This is not a duel. Rule of 5's: Hit him 5 times harder, 5 times more rapidly, using more cunning and more savagery and more intelligence and make sure for every one of his strikes you deliver 5 back with 5 times more violent intent.

If you can do violence to another human being in a cold zen state of detachment, why are you here seeking solutions? You should be up a mountain somewhere. For the rest of us mere mortals violence is an emotionally disturbing experience and mammalian protective

aggression is the natural response. Get used to it, train with it, make that inner animal your ally not your enemy. If you can move forward with the cold aggression of the sportsman or the tactical operator that is the ideal state do NOT seek to rely on going berserk. That will only scare off the least skilled of attackers and will exhaust you rapidly. Don't take my word for it try going berserk on a heavy bag. If you last more than 20 seconds without being falling-to-your-knees exhausted then you arent truly going berserk or are exceptionally fit.

No fancy / silly/ magic moves please. If it isnt going to work on a resisting opponent please dont train it. Want to know how to test a move? The Thug Jitsu course has 3 simple, safe combative pressure tests.

Don't play with your food. Don't paw at your opponent or use defeatist generically targeted strikes. Choose specific targets and hit them with the intent to destroy them.

Section 4. G.C.R. (The Two Types)

You need to develop two different Generic Combative Responses that can be applied across a multiplicity of combative contexts, please watch this video for more information on exactly how to do that. Click the Picture to open the video.

Section 5. Understanding Patterns of Attack

Compilation of Ambush Attacks in Real Street Fights

Section 6. Potential Responses (principles BASEd)

click picture below to open video

Interested in getting this tutorial? Click here

p.s. Sorry for the swearing:

"When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can't run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn't fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag. ... As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence. " George S Patton

Appendix 1: The military approach taken from one example of the multiple manuals you can find online. a. Soldiers immediately take up the nearest covered positions and return fire in the direction of contact. b. Team or squad leaders locate and engage known or suspected enemy positions with well-aimed fire, and they pass information to the squad or platoon leader. c. Fire team leaders control fire using standard fire commands (initial and supplemental) containing the following elements: Alert. Direction.

Description of target. Range. Method of fire (manipulation and rate of fire). Command to commence firing. d. Soldiers maintain contact with the soldiers on their left and right. e. Soldiers maintain contact with their team leaders and report the location of enemy positions. f. Leaders check the status of their personnel. g. The team or squad leaders maintain contact with the squad or platoon leader. h. The squad or platoon leader-(1) Moves up to the fire team or squad in contact and links up with its leader. (The platoon leader brings his RATELO, platoon FO, the squad leader of the nearest squad, and one machine gun team. The squad leader of the trail squad moves to the front of his lead fire team. The platoon sergeant also moves forward with the second machine gun team and links up with the platoon leader, ready to assume control of the base-of-fire element.) (2) Determines whether or not his squad or platoon must move out of an engagement area. (3) Determines whether or not he can gain and maintain suppressive fires with his element already in contact (based on the volume and accuracy of enemy fires against the element in contact). (4) Makes an assessment of the situation. He identifies- The location of the enemy position and obstacles. The size of the enemy force engaging the unit in contact. (The number of enemy automatic weapons, the presence of any vehicles, and the employment of indirect fires are indicators of the enemy strength.) Vulnerable flanks. Covered and concealed flanking routes to the enemy position. (5) Determines the next course of action (for example fire and movement, assault, breach, knock out bunker, enter and clear a building or trench). (6) Reports the situation to the platoon leader or company commander and begins to maneuver his unit. (7) Calls for and adjusts indirect fire (mortars or artillery). (Squad leaders relay requests through the platoon leader.) i. Team leaders lead their teams by example (for example, "Follow me, do as I do") j. Leaders relay all commands and signals from the platoon chain of command.

BATTLE DRILL 4. REACT TO AMBUSH SITUATION: If the squad or platoon enters a kill zone and the enemy initiates an ambush with casualty-producing device and a high volume of fire, the unit takes the following actions.

REQUIRED ACTIONS: a. In a near ambush (within hand-grenade range), soldiers receiving fire immediately return fire, take up covered positions, and throw fragmentation, concussion, and smoke grenades. (1) Immediately after the grenades detonate, soldiers in the kill zone assault through the ambush using fire and movement. (2) Soldiers not in the kill zone immediately- Identify enemy positions. Initiate immediate suppressive fires against the enemy. Take up covered positions. Shift fires as the soldiers in the kill zone assault through the ambush

The published military doctrine is "immediate, positive, and offensive action" against the ambush. But this is very likely to have been anticipated by the ones who set the ambush, and often plays into their hands. The value of withdrawal is the preservation of the force to "live to fight another day", when not taken by surprise.

Copyright Richard Grannon 2013