Simultaneous Attacks Colin Wee

The one steps I talked about in Had Enough of that Traditional One Step Nonsense typically refers to counters or go no sen type tactics. Meaning you see an opponent’s move, you block/cover/parry and return the strike. That’s how many of the one steps I learned early on were taught; they were a way to introduce basic techniques and to build skills to help dis‐tancing and timing.

I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss simultaneous attacks or sen no sen tactics. What I mean by this is you see the opponent about to move, you read approximately what he’s going to do, and you fire off a tactic that lands at about the same time. The opponent’s strike never lands because your’s lands either first or because you’ve successfully moved away or curved out the body part your oppo‐nent was targeting.

Here are a few ‘staple’ simultaneous tactics:

Side thrust kick to groin or like above to

The opponent is in the process of throwing a side kick (that’s easy to read) or a long range roundhouse kick. You go close, lean back‐wards, and fire off a rising side thrust kick that aims the opponent’s groin. It’s a devastat‐ing kick when it hits you in the ribs, and much more so when it strikes an opponent who has a leg lifted to kick you.

The front kick is a no nonsense kick that’s hard to read even if the opponent is facing directly at you. This can be done against many mid height or higher kicks, but is beautifully done against an opponent who likes to do that loping muay thai roundhouse kick. The front kick fired from the front leg needs to travel much less than other kicks, and will always get there first.

This is one of my favourites, but I’d really cau‐tion you whilst using this in training – most people (like about 90% of practitioners) don’t have much control over their kicks. So if you use the low side kick to the knee to reach out to the support leg, you’re going to be losing quite a few of your training buddies and pop‐ularity points. Low side kicks to support legs are great to use against almost all kicks. The opponent lifts their leg off the ground and whilst their kick is in the air, you can use your leg to block and then attack the support leg -which can’t move from the ground.

Leg sweep. Or at least, trying to sweep the

Leg sweeps are great to use against sliding side kicks or tornado type kicks. The oppo‐nent is not able to ‘see’ you dropping out of his radar too clearly, and the sweep takes out the support leg. Please try not to use this against people who have no clue about breakfalling.

High roundhouse against a punch or attack

I love using the high roundhouse closer than most – you can use the leg to reach up between the opponent’s arms – and especially insinuate it through the arms when he’s reaching out for you.

One of my favourite taekwondo techniques when I was a younger black belt was a hook kick to the head. The opponent can be coming in for a jab or lunge punch or backfist. It doesn’t matter – the hook kick crests the shoul‐der and the opponent sees the foot about 10 centimeters away from their head before it hits.

The turning back kick can be used as a simul‐taneous attack or while retreating. The turn‐ing distracts the opponent and you are able to use your back leg to find that hole between his guard, and perhaps distance yourself away from your opponent. It’s one of the more valuable ‘gimmicky’ kicks in your arse‐nal.

I’ve got some beef with Wing Chun instructors who talk smack about their art and put down everyone else’s – of course that’s only the opin‐ion I’ve got from meeting the few wing chun practitioners I have come across. But one thing I really like about Wing Chun is the short range kicks they use. Their kicks counter kicks, support legs, and can be used to deal with strikes to the upper gate quite well -as can be seen above. The best is that the kick can be done without offsetting your centre of gravity too much, which means you can effec‐tively use both your hands and legs in combi‐nation against your opponent.

Knowing the sens helps improve the way you train and how you drill techniques. As you can see, I’ve chosen kick heavy tactics, though when you start looking at reactive counters, simultaneous counters and then premptive attacks as a continuum, you get the idea that all your techniques are there to help you flow from one state to another.