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'Force deployment' is the term used to denote any course of action that could cause injury to another person in a situation of self-protection.

Force deployment should always be trained and (if necessary) implemented with an awareness of and respect for the force continuum .

Striking

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A fist

Striking is any act of hitting: transferring kinetic energy through impact to a target. As generalised umbrella terms, striking is divided into two categories:

  • Upper-Body Striking describes any striking methods impacting with any part of the body found above the waist.
  • Lower-Body Striking describes any striking methods impacting with any part of the body found below the waist.

Damage Limitation

Damage limitation measures come into play when an assailant is attempting to injure us. While we can never fully remove the chance of being injured in combat, we can attempt to limit the damage we receive and minimise the chance. When dealing with incoming strikes, these measures can be categorised as follows:

  • Evasion is simply moving out of the effective range (in whatever direction) of a strike and avoiding injury by removing the intended target. This could be small movements such as dodging (often employed alongside parrying) or large movements such as simply running away once the opportunity arises.
  • Parrying is the act of redirecting a strike's path in order for it to miss its intended target.
  • Blocking is the act of opposing a strike's motion directly or exchanging the intended target for something else.
  • Restriction is the act of limiting the effective range of motion available to the assailant in order to limit their ability to harm us.

Biomechanical Manipulation

While all movement is really by definition biomechanical manipulation, it is a workable term for when we directly alter the biomechanical structure of an attacker in order to compromise their stability or effective range of motion. This encompasses the following list of categories which is loose, not always mutually exclusive and not exhaustive:

  • Takedowns are various methods of taking an attacker to the ground where they stay in contact with the ground on the way.
  • Throws are various methods of taking an attacker to the ground that involve them becoming airborne at any point (i.e. their feet leave the floor). These typically result in more impact with the ground and a resultant increased risk of injury to the individual being thrown.
  • Joint manipulation comprises of various methods of manipulating the range of motion of a joint in order to restrict movement, cause pain or cause injury.
  • Grappling is simply the act of grabbing hold of an attacker in some way to effect biomechanical manipulation.
  • Clinching is the act of maintaining a very close distance through grappling to minimise the attacker's ability to comfortably strike.
  • Soft tissue manipulation is the act of manipulating soft tissues to move an attacker or cause discomfort, pain or injury to them. This includes methods such as gouging, clawing, pinching, tearing and pulling.
  • Choking is the act of inhibiting the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. There are two categories of chokes:
    • Blood chokes inhibit the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain in order to cause a loss of consciousness by compressing the external carotid arteries.
    • Air chokes inhibit the oxygenation of the blood flowing to the brain in order to cause a loss of consciousness typically by compressing the trachea. While this is the most common method of affecting breathing in order to cause a loss of consciousness, the torso can also be compressed in some situations in such a way that breathing becomes difficult or impossible. In addition, an air choke can be effected by affecting the nose and mouth.
  • Disarming is the act of removing a weapon from the control of an attacker. This can be done in many ways.

Use of Weapons

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A common edged weapon: a small locking knife

The use of weapons is the highest level of violence in that it presents a higher risk of causing serious injury or death than unarmed force deployment. In short, it's easier to kill or seriously harm someone with a weapon than without. As such, the force continuum must be borne in mind especially when considering using a weapon to deal with a violent situation, even if the weapon belongs to the attacker.

Please note the following loose classifications are not always mutually exclusive and serve only to differentiate for ease of discussion.