War vs. Street
In most war combat situations you may identify your enemy by their uniform or nationality. You know who the enemy is; although, in urban war situations, this may not be true. However, in street combat situations it is often difficult to identify your enemy. Depending on the situation, it could be anyone; although gangs and many offenders do dress in what might be called a uniform.
Sparring vs. Fighting vs. Self-Defense
In sparring, both combatants are willing participants and each tries to impress the other with his or her skill, but neither intends to harm the other. In fighting, both combatants are willing participants and each tries to impress the other with his or her skill by causing harm to the other. In self-defense, one person is an unwilling participate who is not trying to impress anyone but is merely defending him or herself against an attack, only causing harm if necessary.
Movies vs. Street
Hand-to-hand combat for the street is much different from that seen on television or in movies. First, movie combat is choreographed; it is all planned and geared toward entertainment, not effectiveness. To permit viewers to see the techniques, they are slowed and use long, sweeping, exaggerated movements. A major problem with these techniques is that they are also highly visible to the opponent.
Street techniques are not preplanned and must be highly effective. To prevent the opponent from seeing and reacting to attacks, they must be quick with short, concise, precise movements.
There are four main types of personal combat:
- Both you and your opponent are without weapons.
- Your opponent has a weapon, but you do not.
- You have a weapon, but your opponent does not.
- Both you and your opponent have weapons.
The combat tactics you use will differ in each situation. Some factors affecting your tactics are: which person(s) has the weapon(s) and the type of weapon(s), how proficient are the persons with the weapons, the intent of the opponent (to threaten or to cause injury), how proficient you are with self-defense techniques, are other people nearby, and what are you defending (life or property).