A martial artist kicks an opponent's lead leg from kickboxing range.

The 7 Deadly Sins are familiar to most people, regardless of their faith. They represent the most objectionable vices that afflict humanity: gluttony, greed, pride, wrath, lust, sloth and envy.

Having trained thousands of students over the years, I’ve seen — and, in some cases, experienced — the martial arts counterparts of those sins. That prompted me to come up with the 7 Deadly Sins of Street Fighting. They’re obviously not sins in the religious sense, but they are serious in that falling victim to them can lead to a catastrophe in combat.

That last word is particularly important: These are not mistakes martial artists make when training for tournaments or practicing an art as a method for delving into Eastern culture. They pertain only to those whose raison d’être is learning how to prevail in violent altercations

1st Deadly Sin: Range Gluttony

Most students of self-defense who’ve picked up a martial arts magazine or watched an MMA show in the past decade realize there’s more than one range in a fight. If you acknowledge that but limit yourself to only two or three ranges, you’re committing a major street-fighting sin.

Don’t become gluttonous, or overindulge, in one range while forgetting the others.

In the ring, it may be only two or three ranges that are used, but on the street, there are five: kickboxing range, close-quarters range, ground-fighting range, weapons range and mass-attack range.

Redemption: Get some training in all five ranges — but don’t get sidelined by the fifth sin (which will be posted separately).

Read Part 2 here.

text and photo by Matt Numrich, M.A.

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