The Lunge

As with my other posts, this is just a gathering of different thoughts and not much more. However, these thoughts do come from somewhere and you may recognize them. In this case, my previous general defense course is where this was first elaborated for me in a manner I could relate to. It is, though, a part of importance in many armed defense courses. You may know of a few.

When I say “lunge” in this context, you know what I mean. It’s the “critical distance”, the number of yards or meters from you and your loved ones that you do not let a suspicious person get within if at all possible, because then the lunge becomes a very real and very deceptive threat. This could be, say, 5 yards. Preferably more. This is important because, within a certain distance, it is very easy and very fast for a person to get their hands on you, even unarmed.

Here’s how it was shown to me: Keep one foot in place (you’ll lift off your heel and on the ball of the foot as you lean forward). The other foot, put it as far in front of you as you can. Then, stretch out the arm closest to that front foot and lean as far as you can. If you can measure this distance to some degree of accuracy, and you haven’t thought of anything like this before, you’re going to be surprised. First, at how far you can reach while still having one foot in place (this is important) and then at how fast it can actually be done. And remember, this is with nothing in your hands.

If you had, say, a stick or a knife or a fencing sword, how far could you reach then? And what kind of damage could you do there? Now you see the point. A lunge is different from a jump in that a jump relies purely on momentum. With one foot still on the ground, you can use your muscles and bone structure to push forward and support the attack. Or something like that. Look, I’m not the expert here, but that’s the gist of it.

This can be done in a little over a second. Can you even reach towards your firearm and fire the first shot that fast? Maybe. Is it going to stop the lunge? Not likely at all. And that’s the kicker. You either have to physically block or dodge. Once someone is that close, they could reach you even if they trip halfway or, as the case may be, end up dead before they hit the ground. There’s still momentum in the lunge.

So, where am I going with this? Nowhere special, really. It’s not practical to obey “critical distance” with everyone you see on the street. Be aware of your surroundings and apply it whenever you feel it must be done. And make sure to practice lunges with a partner to get a solid idea of what that distance is for you so you can tell at a glance whether someone is in the danger zone or not. It’s one piece of a good personal defense system.

-DH

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~ by demonhide on February 13, 2012.

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